Imphal, Oct 7 (UNI) Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu called on the people of the northeast on Friday to work hard and contribute to the overall growth of the nation.
Biren said that people should think about what they have contributed to the nation, rather than what the government has given them.
If people start to think that way, people will work more and contribute to the development of the country, he said.
Both Chief Ministers addressed an event, “Young Leaders Connect – 8” which was held here.
on the theme “North East India 2030: Towards India’s Innovative and Sustainable Growth”.
Biren said that the North-East Leaders Connect (NELC) over the decade had paved the way as an enabler for growth and development in the Northeast Region.
The platform provided by NELC will continue to facilitate the design of reforms and the deepening of strategic ties to unlock the full potential of the Region, he added.
Expressing his confidence that this year’s edition will offer better perspectives on trends and challenges in the Northeast Region, he emphasized that a better understanding of realities would help reshape a shared vision for the Region’s progress.
Biren said that the Northeast Region, which is strategically located as India’s land gateway to Southeast Asia, is blessed with abundant natural resources, rich cultural heritage, skilled human resources, colorful tribes and tourist attractions.
After affirming that the region has the potential to be another engine of growth for the country in the 21st century, he spoke about the need to significantly materialize the region’s inherent potentials in different fields.
For this to become reality, the young leaders of the Region must collectively forge a vision
and lead a coordinated response, he added.
Biren further said that the Government of Manipur is committed to inclusive and sustainable development and continues its efforts to harness the dynamism of the youth.
In the Northeast too, the emergence of many talents has empowered locals while continually pushing the wheel of innovation to newer destinations, he said.
Biren reported that Manipur Start-Up has transformed the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The State Government has extended various supports and aids to a total of 5,796 entrepreneurs for a
total project cost of Rs. Rs 110 crore, to provide ample space for the growth of a venture.
Acknowledging that information technology is one of the core strengths, he also reported that the first Manipur IT SEZ building will be ready soon and is expected to create employment opportunities for around 1,500-2,000 people.
He further mentioned that with an improved connectivity infrastructure in Manipur and an improved law and order situation in the state, the tourism and hospitality sector is also recovering, creating opportunities for paid employment.
Noting that the share of exports from the Northeast Region is abysmally low compared to India’s total exports, he expressed the hope that such a conclave would facilitate the simplification of the bottlenecks that lead to an exponential increase in the number of exports in the coming years.
This would also be a springboard towards strengthening partnerships and creating sustainable collaborations in the region, he added.
Pema Khandu, who is also a governing member of NELC, said that the time has come for the Northeast Region to play a major role in determining the country to achieve the five trillion dollar economy.
He said the region’s rich natural resources and fragile ecology should not be compromised by the various growth paths being pursued.
Emphasizing that the northeastern states have eight percent of the country’s geographic area with four percent of its total population, he said that the region contributes only a small part of the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total production of grains foodstuffs of India, domestic and foreign tourists and also the total export of India.
Khandu further stated the need to discuss how to increase our contribution to the national GDP, which sector to focus on, measures to increase production of food grains, attract more tourists and industries to prioritize.
Certain measures to solve problems related to insurgency, drugs, interstate border disputes have been taken in mission mode, in addition to building infrastructure for enabling business environments, he added.
Continuing that the quality of our human resources would be the next key asset, he said that we must sincerely strive to promote it.
Gaurav Gogoi MP stated that the northeastern states have a promising future with their potential youth, talents, culture and diversity, apart from violence and insurgency which are things of the past.
He expressed the need to tell others about the glorious past and the promising future.
Gaurav reported that NELC was born out of a common love and passion for the North East, which would continue to grow and create friends not only among the North East, but also with the rest of India.
He mentioned that for the Northeast economy means its people and as such the potential of
our people must be harnessed to achieve growth and development.
Biren Singh and Pema Khandu also launched the NEW (North East Region World of Entrepreneurs) project. Short videos on Star Education Manipur and the Young Leaders Connect theme song were also shown.
The opening session was followed by a panel discussion on “Unlocking the economic roadmap for North East India”, “What will be the key sectors that will drive inclusive and sustainable growth in North East India” and a Conversation with Young Leaders from Northeast India.
UNI NS BM