‘Strong, stable NE key to building self-reliant India’

NEW DELHI, Sep 10: Asserting that a strong and stable Northeast is key to building a self-reliant India, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday said the government is working to improve the infrastructure and connectivity in the northeastern states, while also facilitating greater regional integration.

The government has a vision for this region that is captured in the 3 Cs – connectivity, commerce, and cultural commonalities – Shringla said at a webinar on ‘Self-reliant India: Reimagining the Northeast India in terms of employment and skill’.

“In partnership with our neighbours and friends to the east, we are working to improve the infrastructure and connectivity in our northeastern states while also facilitating greater regional integration,” he said.

Shringla cited various examples of cooperation with countries like Japan and Bangladesh to enhance connectivity and ensure economic modernization of the NE states.

While road and rail connectivity have improved significantly, there is also a need to focus on air connectivity in the region, he said.

The positive cascading effects of improved connectivity bring trade and investment, Shringla said, adding that they also bring employment opportunities.

“The potential of mutually beneficial resources and of generating common economic spaces is evident in anotherarea energy,” he said.

Noting that Bangladesh currently imports 1160 mw of power through adjoining states in India, he said hydrocarbons will flow through an India-Bangladesh friendship pipeline.

“A strong, stable and prosperous Northeast is key to building a self-reliant India. The Act East Policy of the prime minister provides an effective means to achieve it,” Shringla said.

“The realization of this dream brings together various ministries of the government of India, as also the state governments, which are both implementing agencies and beneficiaries at the ground level,” he said. (PTI)