Itanagar: While noting that the North Eastern Council (NEC) has been an important developmental partner for the state for decades, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig (Retd) Dr. BD Mishra on Sunday exhorted that the NEC must keep its guidelines adaptable enough to adapt to the changing needs of the North Eastern region.
“There is a huge scope for development of the entire North Eastern Region which can be achieved with the support of NEC by becoming the think-tank of the NE Region, he said.
Mishra said NEC can emerge as ‘NITI Aayog of North East’ by providing guidance and assistance to the states, while suggesting that NEC start preparing a roadmap for the NER 2047 in a ten-year rolling manner and present the same during the next plenary meeting.
Addressing the 70th Plenary of the North Eastern Council (NEC) at Guwahati, Assam, he highlighted the challenges before the state government, besides suggesting the way forward in the implementation of welfare measures and projects.
The governor stressed that while allocating the resources due consideration should be given to the expanse of the state’s geographical area, its remoteness, and the present status of development.
He also called for adopting innovative methods of monitoring and evaluation of developmental projects to ensure funds are optimally utilised to achieve their objective. He proposed creation of a dashboard by NEC in association with the State Planning Department for real-time monitoring of the uploaded NEC projects.
The Governor requested the DoNER Ministry and NEC to support the developmental needs of Arunachal Pradesh by ensuring that the resources allocated match the financial requirements to bridge the huge developmental gap of the State.
He said while financial resources are an important area, the other major area to work on is developing the absorption capacity of the states in the region by training and handholding.
The governor informed that the state used the COVID19 pandemic period to rejuvenate the health sector by converging resources from all sources and reducing the human resource gap in the sector from 33 percent to six percent.
He proposed the NEC and DoNER consider supporting the state’s lone medical college, TRIHMS, not only for capital expenditure but for revenue expenditure also.
“For a fund-constrained state like Arunachal, it is becoming difficult day by day to provide resources for the tertiary health care sector as the state is investing in primary and secondary health sectors”, he said.
Highlighting border area development, the governor informed that the state government has launched the ‘Golden Jubilee Border Village Illumination Programme’ with a mission to construct 50 micro-hydel projects in remote border villages to provide continuous electricity to the villagers as also the Armed Forces. A comprehensive proposal for development of border areas within 50 km from LAC is under active consideration of the Government of India, he said.
The governor apprised the Council about the various initiatives of the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Pema Khandu in diverse sectors including counter-insurgency, police modernisation, border area development, health, education, preservation of cultural heritage, climate resilience, reforms in governance, skill development and entrepreneurship promotion.
He said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s doctrine of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, Arunachal Pradesh has taken up a number of commendable initiatives towards self-sufficiency. The state has launched its own Atma Nirbhar schemes that will empower the people of rural Arunachal Pradesh. We have also made good progress in start-up and entrepreneurship development sectors that have already started bearing fruit, he said.