Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday said that the State government is examining proposals to put up conveyor belts for exporting of goods to Bangladesh.
“We strongly feel that this conveyor belt system will allow us to ensure that the products and the minerals that we send to Bangladesh is going to be properly monitored and we will be able to get the revenues out of it in a much more efficient manner,” he said in the course of his inaugural address on Look South Policy vis-a-vis Meghalaya’ here.
In 2004, Lafargeholcim Bangladesh Ltd had set up 17-kilometer-long conveyor belt, one of the longest trans-boundary conveyors in the world, exporting limestone from its mine in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district to its cement plant in Bangladesh’s Sunamganj district.
The conveyor belt traverses 10 kilometres (km) in Bangladesh and 7 km in Meghalaya.
Sangma further said that there is a huge scope in agriculture by developing a good value chain system and creating an economic interdependence.
Stating that there is a need to have exchange programmes between students and entrepreneurs of Bangladesh and India, the Chief Minister said, “It is very important to take entrepreneurs on board as they are the ones who will make things happen.”
Sangma said that the Look South policy is important for Meghalaya and the country and added that if Act East policy has to be really put in letter and spirit then it cannot be an Act East generic policy.
“It has to be within the Northeast a very regional based Act East policy,” he said, adding that every state in the Northeast has a relative act direction policy.
“There are basically three zones for economic activity in the north East which have its own challenges and requirements and opportunities,” he said.
The Chief Minister also said that there is a need to have a sister-state relationship.
“There is so much we can learn from other states and when we share the best practices and resources with each other the entire structure of the country will be strong” he added.
He also said that North East and West Bengal is just separated from each other by 80 kilometers through Bangladesh and if there is connectivity through Bangladesh it would be a second economic corridor for the entire Northeast cutting down distance and travel time.
“The entire Northeast and the southern part of Northeast will all be connected to this route. This will be the economic gateway for the for the Northeast in the long run and this is a huge game changer for us,” Sangma added.