Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that with the assistance of Centre, Northeast will focus on bamboo industry in a big way, since this is a sector which has not received the deserved attention in spite of the fact that over 60% of India's bamboo is grown in this region. Addressing the meeting of "NITI Aayog Forum for Northeast" in Guwahati, Dr Jitender Singh said that under the directions of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi the homegrown bamboo has been exempted from the Forest Act.
During the meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that the Modi Government has set up a new National Bamboo Mission (NBM) to focus on this sector. The North Eastern Council Cane & Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC) will act as a coordinating and facilitating agency for the North Eastern region, he added.
Out of a total outlay of Rs.1,290 crore till March 2020, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Rs.150 cr to Rs.200 Crore has been allocated for the North Eastern region for the year 2018-19. He said that the priority should be the marketing of high-value products like bamboo shoots, candy, bamboo charcoal fibre in the fashion Industry, etc. In addition, big industries dealing in fibre, construction material, bamboo engineered wood, etc. are the potential areas which can be envisaged for further expansion, he said.
Under the four and a half years rule of the Modi Government, Dr Jitendra Singh said, there has been a visible and consistent effort to develop the North Eastern region and bring it at par with the other regions of the country. This transformation has been mainly possible because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal interest and high priority to the region, he said. And now, the whole country is witnessing and appreciating the revolutionary fast-track change in a short span of time, the Minister said.
Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to the growth achieved in the Tourism sector and said that in the last two years, some of the destinations like Gangtok and Shillong received such a heavy tourist rush that there was no accommodation available. He said the most significant marker of this change is the fact that now even the private tour operators from South Indian cities like Bengaluru are planning exclusive tourist itineraries for Northeast.
Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to the prioritization of the "Tea Sector", considering the fact that more than 850 Tea Estates and 2500 Tea Gardens are located in the State of Assam alone. He also referred to plans and efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in "Fish production" considering that 95% of the region's population consumes fish.
(With Inputs from PIB)