‘The decision of the Central Government to continue Special Plan Assistance (SPA) to the Northeastern states would benefit the State and the region’, said Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Monday.
Addressing the gathering at the 2nd North East Connectivity Summit, organised by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with support from the Government of Meghalaya and North Eastern Council (NEC), Sangma said the State would benefit from the Central Government’s decision to accept the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission (FC) to increase the devolution of Central taxes to the States from existing 32% to 42%.
‘The Northeastern part of our country is extremely resource rich and enjoys a geographical advantage because of its proximity to the high growth Southeast Asian economies, however, the region has remained under-developed only because of its connectivity issues,’ he further shared, adding, ‘Therefore, it is imperative that we emphasize improved connectivity which will bring with it many opportunities for enhanced economic growth in the region’.
While speaking about the summit, he said that the main focus of such a summit is to make accessible a wide range of possibilities for the local people. ‘There is a need to expand the reach of Northeast beyond Bangladesh, Bhutan and Thailand,’ the CM pointed out. He suggested the growth of plantations like Agar or Bamboo that can be game changers for the people of the region by uplifting the farmers.
It is to be noted that the main focus of the North East Connectivity Summit 2015 were: Roads and Railways, Riverways, Air Connectivity, BBIN corridor, Digital Connectivity, Tourism connectivity, Energy and Skill Development.