More funds for NE: Mein

Chowna Mein in Itanagar on Tuesday. Picture by Damien Lepcha

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein on Tuesday said huge investments were likely to be pumped into the Northeast, including Arunachal, in the coming years to usher in unprecedented development in the hilly region.

He said this at the National Seminar on Hill Economies and Sustainable Development – Challenges and Prospects, organised by the Centre for Development Studies, department of economics at Rajiv Gandhi University here.

Mein said the hill states of the Northeast were “pool of bio-resources” with abundant natural resources, rivers, wildlife, flora and fauna.

“It has high prospects of development such as agro-forestry and horticulture, plantation crops, organic farming, animal husbandry, recreation and tourism, hydro-power, mining and quarrying, cottage and small scale industries, agro and forest-based industries,” he said, adding that the need of the hour was to find out ways to transform the resources into an economic driving force.

“There is need to design region-specific policies to overcome the constraints in the hill states and to reap the benefits from comparative advantages,” he said and asked the experts “to come out with concrete suggestions from the outcome of such discourses and help the state government in framing a roadmap for policies to tap and convert the huge potential into a viable economy”.

Mein promised to incorporate feasible and innovative recommendations in the government’s planning and policy-making.

University vice-chancellor Tamo Mibang said peace and and good connectivity were pre-requisites for the development of any region.

Prabhat Kumar Pankaj, director of Jaipur-based Jaipuria Institute of Management, a founding faculty member of RGU, emphasised on parameters that bring happiness to people.

In his keynote address, he said any measure of sustainable development should enhance well-being and happiness of the people. He suggested introduction of courses in schools and colleges to promote happiness and also for adopting an alternative paradigm on measuring development and achieving holistic well-being in government programmes and policies.

Scholars from Bangalore, Punjab, Haryana, Bengal and other states are participating in the two-day seminar that will focus on various topics pertaining to hill states. The topics include tourism, problem of urbanisation, migration and industrialisation, livelihood diversification, gender issues and agriculture.

Damien Lepcha Telegraph India

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