Public hearing on ''Vision 2020'' held in Manipur

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Imphal, Nov 2 (UNI) The Manipur government today organised a public hearing on ''Vision 2020'' for the Northeastern (NE) region here.

Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said Vision 2020 was formulated for the NE's development.

However, he said the NE had lagged behind the rest of the country as well as other developed countries.

State Law and Forest Minister Th Debendra appealed to the people to work for the region's development and cooperate in implementing the Vision.

Dr Gautam Naresh of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, gave a brief highlight of the vision and urged the people to comment on the issue.

Prof N Mohendro, an economist, said globalisation and the emerging trade and commerce in the neighbouring countries had necessitated the NE's development as the region was the gateway to the new world economy.

However, Prof Priyo Ranjan, of the Manipur University, said the ''Vision 2020'' had very little impact as the productive areas were not defined.

He opined that the focus was only on the market and not on developing the infrastructure in the region, adding that no work was done at the micro level while preparing the Vision 2020 document.

Chairperson of the Manipur Women Commission Dr Sh Jamini said the draft preparation did not pay much attention to women.

Women's issues should be dealt with separately, she said, adding that globalisation and developing economy had affected women adversely, resulting in increase in women trafficking cases and other crimes against women.

The ''Vision 2020'' document stated that the NE was home to over 200of the 635 tribal groups in the country.

''The developmental vision, if it has to be realised, should be based on the needs and aspirations of the people. The Vision 2020 has been formulated with a view of helping the people to march on the path of economic, social and cultural progress towards prosperity and wellbeing,'' it stated.

The document put forward a strategy for encompassing inclusive development of the region and realising the vision of the people with five interdependent components, including participatory development articulated through grassroots planning to focus on development of sectors and sub-sectors with comparative advantage, augmenting the capacity of the people to participate productively in economic activities and developing the capacity of the institutions to design and implement developmental programmes.

Large number of people attended the public hearing which would continue throughout the day today.

Officials said people could continue to send letters and suggestions to the Planning department and they would wait for the response for about ten days before concretising the Vision 2020 document.

UNI

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