NES not benefited under Centre's liberalised policy: Ibobi

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh today said the relatively backward North Eastern States (NES) including Manipur had not benefited under the Central Government's liberalised policy.

Addressing the 54th NDC meeting here, Mr Singh said during the five year period of the 11th Plan, administration and physical infrastructure needs should be strengthened to enable the NES to respond appropriately to the liberalisation policy.

The NES were created not on economic sustainability but on political considerations, Mr Singh said, adding this was obvious from the size of most of the States and their limited resource generating capacity. Thus, the Centre needs to consider suitable mechanisms for directing investments into the less developed NES.

He said the deceleration in the agriculture sector had retarded the overall growth rate of eight per cent during the 10th plan period. This should, however, not erode ''our self-confidence since our economy had proved to be resilient enough.'' Mr Singh said the need of the hour was to gear up efforts in expenditious completion of irrigation projects by providing adequate funds so that the required modest growth rate of 4.1 per cent could be acheived during the 11th plan.

He said there is a strong need for the rapid development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes living in the hilly terrain of Manipur. He further pointed out the special problems of the State like Jhoom cultivation, high cost of transportation of construction materials and lack of banking facilities.

Mr Singh regretted that though the Food Corporation of India (FCI) had completed the construction of its godown at Jiribam, they were yet to start stocking of foodgrains. If the FCI started stocking the foodgrains at Jiribam depot, foodgrains and essential commodities could be transported through NH-53 Jiribam-Imphal roads which would reduce the problems of high prices faced by the State, he added.

The Manipur Chief Minister also called upon all the concerned agencies for the effective border management towards effectively controlling the militancy in the State and in the region.

UNI

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