NEW DELHI, Mar 15
The Opposition on Monday urged the Centre to sharpen its focus on the development of the country’s North East and mainstream the region with the rest of the country, even as BJP leaders said that the region had witnessed significant growth under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership during the last eight years.
Initiating a discussion on the working of the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region (DONER) in Rajya Sabha, Congress MP Ripun Bora said more projects had been sanctioned for the region by the previous UPA regime compared to what had been done by the current Government.
He asked the Government to think seriously about the development of the North East in the context of the strategic importance of the region from the defence standpoint. He said the “feelings (among people) of step-motherly treatment” being given to the region needed to be addressed.
He said the Centre should focus on the industrialisation of the region to tackle the problem of unemployment.
NCP MP Praful Patel said industrial development of the region was critical and it should not be left behind. He said the development of the region was important for the country’s security even as he drew attention towards integrating the North East with the rest of the country economically, socially and culturally.
BJD MP Amar Patnaik said the region needed to be mainstreamed and budgetary allocation for development should be further increased.
BJP MP Bhubaneswar Kalita said the Government was focussed on the development of the region and a raft of infrastructure projects had been implemented. “Dreams have become a reality. Infrastructure development has happened.” He said increasing connectivity in the region was a top priority for the Government.
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the region had witnessed significant development under the PM’s leadership. He said the PM had asked all his Ministers to visit the region, understand the issues there and monitor the progress of the schemes of their Ministries in the North East. He said the region had been transformed over the last seven years. The discussion went on for four-and-a-half hours.
The Government will respond to the discussion in the House on Tuesday. Hindustan Times