With Gangtok and Shillong remaining corona-free and an airport coming up at Itanagar, the North Eastern Region (NER) of India is all set to play an important role in the country’s economic emergence in post-Covid scenario. In the process, it will take lead as ‘new engine’ of ‘new India’.
The Union Minister of State (IC) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh shared this in a video message addressing a webinar on ‘Emerging North East – Smart Solutions’ hosted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and India of India (ASSOCHAM). “When the whole world begins to realise that the resources elsewhere are getting gradually saturated, it is the northeast which would attract the attention of the new entrepreneurs, explorers for its unexplored potential and avenues whether it be in the form of tourism or setting up new entrepreneurships,” said Dr Singh.
The Minister said India is emerging out of the corona pandemic and has to an extent set an example before the world of how it could meet the challenge of crisis in spite of its huge population of 135 crores quite effectively and producing rather better outcomes than most of the European countries with much smaller population. “Therefore, time has come for all of us to ponder, plan and workout the scenario in the post-pandemic era and how best to supplement the economic condition and resurgence of India in the post-Covid era,” said Dr Singh.
Dr Singh added holiday seekers will soon realise that compared to some of the best known European tourist destinations, the destinations in northeast India are safer as well as cost effective. “As far as tourism is concerned, the most sought after European tourist destinations got completely afflicted or gripped by corona, it was some of our favourite destinations like Gangtok and Shillong remained corona-free till the end.”
He said that with an airport coming up at Itanagar, it would be a special facilitation for the trekkers, mountaineers and explorers who would like to visit the scenic spots in the Tawang Valley. Talking about trade and business aspect, he said India had a business of Rs 5,000-6,000 crore in bamboo sector alone which has huge reserve in north-east, and hailing the Government of India, he said, “Prime Minister Modi having taken the recent decision to hike the import duty on the bamboo goods coming from abroad to as much as 25 per cent, this is certainly going to encourage domestic bamboo production. This is a great breakthrough, for example looking at the small item like agarbatti (incense sticks), which is an item used virtually in every Indian household but all of it was being imported from other countries. Now we would be creating conditional milieu which would encourage this production domestically.”