Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah addressed the Annual Session and AGM of the Indian Chamber of Commerce through video conferencing today

New Delhi : The Union Minister for Home and Cooperation,  Amit Shah, addressed the Annual Session and AGM of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) through video conferencing today. The theme of this address was – [email protected] – Empowering North-East India.

Speaking on the occasion, Amit Shah said that in 2014, when the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi became the Prime Ministerial candidate, he had shared his vision for the development of India as well as the development of the North East.The Prime Minister had said any country cannot progress unless there is all-inclusive, all-pervasive and balanced development. Shri Shah said that after Independence, there was more development in Western and Southern India, but if we look at the background of 70 years, then it seemed that Eastern India has lagged behind. Prime Minister had said that when we come to power, we will focus on the development of Eastern India and make it a contributor to the development of the country by bringing it at par with the development of the rest of India, and I am happy to say that in the past 7 years, the Eastern Winds of change can be seen in the area. He said that when we speak about the development of Eastern India, it cannot be imagined without the development of North East.

The Union Home and Cooperation Minister said that there are two parts to the Amrit Mahotsav of Azadi. The first part is to remember the unknown martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice to get us freedom, and connect the young generation with them. Under the second part, from where we have to take India for 75 to 100 years, let us take a pledge.  Narendra Modi has said that the 25 years from 75 to 100 years of our Independence will be the most productive years and in these 25 years, we have to progress with the view that India should be globally first in every field. In the field of economic development, Prime Minister has set a target of US $ 5 trillion dollar economy before us and this cannot be possible without the development of the North East.

Amit Shah said the North East is a very important region of the country and unless it is connected with the rest of India in every aspect, there will be no sense of unity and the development of the North East as compared to rest of India is not possible if there is no peace and prosperity Since the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, we have taken forward the development of North East in a phased manner.

The Union Home Minister said that North East India has an area of ​​about 8 percent of the total land area, about 3.8 percent of the population and about a 5,000 kilometers long international border connected with five countries. The North East is one of the 18 global biodiversity hotspots. 25 percent of the country’s forest area is in the Northeast and about 30 percent of the dense forest area is in the North East and in a way we can say that the North East acts as the lungs of India. Shri Shah said that the North East is also a heterogeneous region and there are more than 270 social groups and more than 185 dialects are spokent here. However, using this aspect some people had made the North East a very difficult area. Before 2014, there was a huge mental gap between the rest of India and the North East. The Union Home Minister said that after Shri Modi’s government came to power in 2014, the first thing the Prime Minister did was to bridge this mental gap and focussed on the North East, and began sending a Union Minister there every 15 days. In the last seven years, the Prime Minister himself has visited the North East several times and has stayed overnight in the North East and now gradually the Northeast has become closer to the rest of the nation. There was a time when there were problems like violence, extremism, disputes, floods, corruption and drugs. Manipur was known only for bandhs, blockades and strikes. Assam was known only for terrorism and conflicts between ethnic groups. But today the North East remains in the news for increasing connectivity, development, tourism, employment, electricity and forests as well as ending floods. If industrial investment is to be made in any region, then it is very important to have peace, end disputes, create an environment of political stability and create a good environment for economic development. The task of creating such an environment has been done by the Narendra Modi government in the last 7 years. Today the North East is ready to be a big contributor to the development of the country. Shri Amit Shah said that the connectivity problem in the North East is being resolved by signing a land border agreement with Bangladesh. The North East will be connected to the ports of Bangladesh in two years and this will open up a huge avenue for setting up industry in the North East and for connectivity to the rest of the world.

Amit Shah said that we have integrated the three Es- Empathy, Empowerment and Enabler for the development of the North East and we want to move forward with these three Es. The Union Home Minister said that the North East has suffered a lot and the aim of the North East Policy of the Modi Government is to establish peace by understanding with empathy the aspirations of the youth with sympathy to establish peace there and to empower the governments in the North East with political stability. The job of the government is that of an enabler, it is to empower the public and this is what we have done for the past 7 years. He said that in the last 7 years, we have identified four major objectives for the North East region. First, to end the instability by establishing political stability, secondly to end all the disputes in the North East and turn it into a peaceful area, thirdly to preserve its dialects, languages, dance, music, food and, culture, and to create an attraction for it in the world, Fourthly to make the North East a developed region and make efforts to bring the North East’s contribution to the l GDP back to the level before Independence Shri Shah said that I am very happy to inform that we are moving forward with success in this direction.

The Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that due to Prime Minister’s popularity and organizational efforts, instability in North East has now become history, after political stability, now North East is moving towards peace. In the last seven years, all the states of the North East have been successful in forming the governments of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Today all the governments here are working stably with absolute majority, elections are also being held peacefully. People of North East have accepted Prime Minister Modi and given us 19 out of 24 seats. Out of 498 MLAs, 350 MLAs are from NEDA and where Delhi was earlier considered an outsider, now there is no hesitation in taking its help for development considering Delhi as elder brother. Prime Minister’s vision of bringing political stability has been implemented and it will be of great benefit in the development of NorthEast.

The Union Home Minister said that after 2014 and 2019, we have done a great job for the establishment of peace in the North East. In the first term, by entering into a land boundary agreement with Bangladesh, the biggest drawback of North East for going to the East has been resolved. He said that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s government, while taking an important policy decision, has declared the Ministry of Home Affairs as “Appropriate Government” to facilitate land acquisition for border projects. He said that there was a time when agitations and disputes were everyday affairs in the Northeast. Prime Minister has set a narrative that cooperation and hard work is required for development, not agitation or controversy. The Union Home Minister said that Manipur’s blockade has been ended, agreement has been made with NLFT and they have laid down their arms. The 40-year-old problem of Bru refugees has also been resolved and now they are being resettled. After the Bodo and Karbi Anglong peace agreements, many militants have laid down their arms. About 385 civilians were killed every year in incidents of violence from 2007 to 2014 and now from 2019 to 2021, an average of two civilians have died. He said even the death of two civilians is also very unfortunate and we want to reduce it to zero. In these two years, around 3,922 militants have surrendered and 4,000 weapons have been deposited with the police. Shri Amit Shah said that the State Governments and the Central Government have given Rs. 12,000 crore for their development and rehabilitation.

Shri Amit Shah said that in these seven years there has been a paradigm shift in enhancing the infrastructure of the North East and before 2024 all capitals of the North East will be connected with airports. 7 out of 8 states of North East will be connected by rail. Work has been done to build many national highways. 32 roads of the National Highway have been constructed at a cost of Rs. 12,000 crore. For the all-round development of the North East, from 2014 to 2021, Rs. 2,65,513 crore were spent on infrastructure. The 15th Finance Commission increased the expenditure of the North East by 251 percent as compared to the 14th Finance Commission. The infrastructure, peace, political stability of the Northeast creates an environment on which you can trust and invest. In the year 2021-22, the budget of the North East is Rs. 63,000 crore and the Modi government has doubled this budget in seven years. He said many institutes like AIIMS, IITs, IIMs have been opened, so that the children of the North East are trained as a good workforce.

The Union Home Minister said that there is immense potential in the IT sector in the North East and we have also done a lot of work for IT connectivity. The North East has natural beauty that can attract tourists from all over the world. For organic food also, three states have been declared as complete organic states and organic agriculture is being promoted in rest of the states. The demand and market for organic foods is increasing all over the world and the Northeast can become a big spot for this too. He said that there is a lot of potential in the sports sector in the North East. Floods are a major problem in the North East, and for tackling this issue many natural ponds will be created and flood water will be diverted to these ponds through the use of ISRO, using the heterogeneous geographical location for flood control.

Shri Amit Shah said there is immense potential for the bamboo and paper industry. About 60 percent of India’s total bamboo production comes from the North East and now the Narendra Modi government has given the status of agriculture to bamboo. In a year or two, the North East region will be connected with Bangladesh by rail and road and after that there will be immense possibilities to go East. The investment policies of different states in the North East are quite attractive. The most important thing is that peace has been established in the North East, political stability has been established and many institutes have been set up for education which will prepare children as trained human resources.

The Union Home and Cooperation Minister said that the Prime Minister has a dream of a Self-reliant India. We are in the year of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and we have to prepare the way for those who will celebrate 100 years of Independence. If the country is to be fully developed, then every part of ​​the country should be equally developed. He said that in 7 years we created the kind of environment needed to be created for investing capital in the Northeast. Appealing to the ICC and its members, he said that they should look at the North East from a different perspective, know the change that has come and invest. Time has come to invest in the North East, empower it, connect it with the rest of the country and promote its development. It is the responsibility of all of us to fulfill the development envisioned by the Prime Minister. In the year of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav all of us should resolve that we will contribute in the development of North East.

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