Ramesh concerned over lack of infrastructural facilities in NE

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Shillong, Sept 25 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh today expressed concern over the lack of infrastructural facilities in the North Eastern states despite the region getting the highest financial allocation in the country.

''There is a need of setting up a North East Infrastructural Development Corporation to fund physical infrastructural facilities on a Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) mode,'' Mr Ramesh told reporters here.

Mr Ramesh, who was on a two-day visit to Meghalaya, said not all the North Eastern states is afflicted by insurgency with 'Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim - which are peaceful being suitable for investments. Henceforth, the focus of the government will be on visible growth of development in North East and not only on allocation of work.'' Stressing on the need of accountability, he said there was a better need of accountability in North East for utilizing central funds as well as need to improve quality of administration.

''There would be no dearth of funds for the North East and the government is trying for institutional funding from Asian Development Bank and World Bank,'' he said.

'' Today, North East requires good connectivity, power, telecom and other infrastructural facilities for growth,'' he asserted.

On Meghalaya, Mr Ramesh said, the state has immense potential in the field of horticulture, IT, Power and other areas, having connectivity to the South-East Asian countries.

The Minister who also visited an organic tea farming venture at Sohryngkham village in East Khasi Hills District said Meghalaya also has the potential for development of the organic ginger, and turmeric farming.

Mr Ramesh said he had offered Chief Minister D D Lapang to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Spices Board and ITC for marketing of organic ginger and turmeric.

On the promotion of floriculture, the Union Minister said, Meghalaya will be given all aid for cultivation of roses, as India has planned to produce 20 million roses a year during the nest three years which can be exported to Japan.

The Export Promotional Council will give aid to develop the cold storage, testing laboratories and packing facilities, he said.

UNI

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