Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah today addressed the Annual Session and AGM of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) through video conferencing and said the development of Eastern India cannot be imagined without the development of the North East.
In his address focused on “[email protected] — Empowering North-East India,” Shah said that after Independence, there was development in Western and Southern India, but Eastern India had lagged behind.
“Prime Minister had said that when we come to power, we will focus on the development of Eastern India and make it a contributor to the development of the country by bringing it at par with the development of the rest of India, and I am happy to say that in the past seven years, the Eastern Winds of change can be seen in the area,” Shah said.
He said the North East is a very important region of the country and unless it is connected with the rest of India in every aspect, there will be no sense of unity and the development of the North East. Since the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, the development of the North East has been taken up in a phased manner.
The Home Minister said that after 2014 and 2019, peace was restored in the North East. In the first term, by entering into a land boundary agreement with Bangladesh, the biggest drawback is going to the East was resolved.
He said the Modi government has declared the Ministry of Home Affairs as an “Appropriate Government” to facilitate land acquisition for border projects. He said that there was a time when agitations and disputes were everyday affairs in the North East.
The Prime Minister has set a narrative that cooperation and hard work are required for development, not agitation or controversy. The Union Home Minister said that Manipur’s blockade has been ended, an agreement has been made with NLFT and they have laid down their arms. The 40-year-old problem of Bru refugees was also resolved and now they are being resettled. Many other agreements were signed.
Shah said that in these seven years there was a paradigm shift in enhancing the infrastructure of the North East and before 2024 all capitals of the North East will be connected with airports. Seven out of eight states of North East will be connected by rail.
Work has been done to build many national highways. 32 roads of the National Highway have been constructed at a cost of Rs. 12,000 crore. For the all-round development of the North East, from 2014 to 2021, Rs 2,65,513 crore was spent on infrastructure.
The 15th Finance Commission increased the expenditure of the North East by 251 percent as compared to the 14th Finance Commission. “The infrastructure, peace, political stability of the Northeast creates an environment in which you can trust and invest. In the year 2021-22, the budget of the North East is Rs 63,000 crore and the Modi government has doubled this budget in seven years,” he said.