North-Eastern Region breaking with past, witnessing new era of resurgence, says Vice President

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Vice President Venkaiah Naidu addressing special session of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu addressing special session of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly

New Delhi [India], October 9 (ANI): Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said that the North-Eastern Region(NER) is now decisively breaking from its troubled past and is witnessing a new era of resurgence(NER) as evident in substantial improvement in economic and Human Development Indices, expansion of infrastructure development and a steep decline in insurgency over the last seven years.

He referred to the insurgency and inadequate infrastructure in the region that limited the flow of private investments resulting in a development deficit and said the region has firmly resolved to make a break from such a past.

"I am glad to note that the vital North-Eastern Region has firmly resolved to make a break from such a past so as to script a new future by moulding the present in that direction. The plethora of infrastructure projects completed and in progress and the evidence of socio-economic development is a clear pointer in this regard," he said addressing a special session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

Naidu, who is Chairman of Rajya Sabha, noted that the gulf between the intentions and actions on the ground for the development of the region over a long period led to the Prime Minister's 'Act East Policy' in 2014 which is being implemented with new energy and focus.

He noted that while the Per Capita Net National Income in the country improved by 60 per cent over that of 2013-14, the increase in the Per Capita Net State Domestic Product of 6 of the 8 northeastern states was more than that.

The Per Capita Net State Domestic Product of five of the eight states of the Region was either higher than or almost at par with that of Per Capita NNI during 2018-20 while it was so in case of only two states during 2013-14.

He also informed that in respect of social development, measured in terms of the Human Development Index (HDI), seven of the eight states of the region performed better than the country's index in 2019. With a 78.50 per cent literacy rate, the region does better than 74 per cent for the country.

Referring to the return of much-needed peace in the region due to the efforts of the central government, Naidu said that compared to 2013, the insurgency-related incidents declined by 70 per cent, civilian deaths by 80 per cent and casualties of security forces by 78 per cent in 2019. He noted that the recent signing of the comprehensive Bodo and Karbi Anglong Agreements reflects the keenness to herald an era of peace in the region.

Expressing concern over the functioning of the legislatures in the country, Naidu, while referring to the annual sittings of one to six of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly during 2015-20, urged the states of the region to sit longer. He stressed the need for meaningful debates and discussions to decide on issues concerning the nation and the people. He wanted legislators to focus on 3Ds--debate, discussion and decision.

Pointing out that there were only 20 women MLAs in the 8 legislatures of the region, accounting for only 4 per cent of the total 498, Naidu said: ''There is a strong case for involving more women Members in law-making in the region. Even in Parliament, women constitute only 11 per cent".

Noting that 12 of the 17 state and regional parties of NER being in power, the Vice President said: "This order of huge participation of State-level parties in the governance of this region with a population of about 5 crores, in conjunction with national parties, is a statement of alignment of local aspirations with national ambitions. This should result in commensurate outcomes that further the interests of the region and the nation".

He also emphasized the need for the state governments to transfer 29 subjects and devolve 3 Fs--functions, funds and functionaries to the local bodies as per the provisions of the Constitution.

Stressing that the present decade is critical for the region for catching up with missed opportunities and time, Naidu suggested a 15-point framework for focused action.

It notes that ethnic groups to be guided by the spirit of shared destiny; resolution of inter-state border disputes; ending the remnants of insurgency and violence; promoting private investments; addressing the twin development and democratic deficit; targeting self-reliance through promotion of productive economic activities and asset creation for reducing depending on central transfers; effective governance ensuring accountability and transparency for efficient resource utilisation; involvement of communities in formulation and execution of policies and projects, entrepreneurship and skill development and sustainable development.

The Vice President also said that India has always been a peace-loving country and never attacked any other country. India also never nurtured any expansionist ambitions. "From Arunachal Pradesh to Andamans and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one country and there will be no compromise on its unity and integrity. India will also not tolerate outside interference in its affairs," he said.

Complimenting the Arunachal Pradesh Government, MLAs and other stakeholders for the progress of the state, Naidu called for focused efforts to address the concerns relating to Infant Mortality Rate, student dropout at secondary level, sex ratio, literacy and road network. He urged everyone to work towards a poverty-free, illiteracy-free, corruption-free and discrimination-free India. (ANI)

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