NEC seeks to redefine Look East Policy

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Agartala, May 14 (UNI) The North East Council (NEC) has sought to redefine the Centre's Look East Policy to bring the region to national economic eminence by 2020 and resolve outstanding issues related to trade, transit and investment with the neghibouring Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Talking to UNI here today, NEC Secretary Falguni Rajkumar said the council had held at least eight sectoral summits, besides regular meetings in 2007, to understand the issues and compile the resource strength, financial assessment as well as reviewe the development activities in the NE.

''The Delhi-based National Institute of Public Finance Policy (NIPFP) has prepared the document Vision 2020 following sample survey on the core issues of the NE states and the views of several Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and intellectuals with regard to development were also incorporated in the Vision document, which will be the next investment footprint for NE states,'' Mr Rajkumar said.

He stated that the Vision 2020 document had highlighted promoting Indian investment infrastructure in partner countries, especially Myanmar, particularly in respect of ports such as Sittwe and international highways to connect the NE to ASEAN countries.

However, the immediate priority was to build required infrastructure right up to the border areas, establishing connectivity and communication links to the cross-border points through which trade and economic exchanges with the neighbouring countries were proposed to be promoted under the Look East Policy.

It also emphasised on the need of foreign investment and NRI initiatives in the region in infrastructure, education, healthcare and even agriculture and its allied activities as a priority sector, he said.

''It is only through Green Revolution that the problem of the region's poverty can be addressed and the region can be catapulted in the path of rapid progress,'' he said.

The initial investment to implement the Vision would be from outside the region but at later phases, the NE would be capable enough to invest and surge ahead on its own, as an estimated Rs 13 lakh crore was required to balance the infrastructure gap between the NE and rest of the country, he added.

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