Kohima: Union Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the Central Government is giving priority to the North Eastern Region as the region has been neglected for long period and informed that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will
be visiting Nagaland next week.
Official sources said that during the media interaction, Tomar said that the Central Government believed that when the Northeastern region developed, the country would develop, when the North East moved forward, the country moved forward.”
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made numerous trips to the North East and his Cabinet Ministers visit the region every two to three months in order to understand the problems of the people, and if possible, try to solve them, as well as to make the people feel that the government is standing with them.
The Union Minister said the frequent visits by Central leaders and by the Prime Minister himself, to the region, are testimony to this.
While informing that the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting Nagaland next week, he said that she will also likely visit Mon during her tour.
He maintained, “It is not restricted to Dimapur and Kohima alone, given an opportunity, Union Ministers are visiting different parts of the state as well.”
Addressing the State Agriculture officials, he said that the North-East is very much in the development vision of the Narendra Modi Government.
“When we talk about all-around development, then we cannot ignore the Northeast, ” he added.
Sources said Nagaland Agriculture Minister G Kaito Aye said that agriculture and allied sectors provide the best scope for economic development, as it constitutes about 45% of the State’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and remains to be the largest workforce.
He said that Tomar’s visit was the first visit by a Union Agriculture Minister in 16 years with the last being Sharad Pawar to inaugurate the North East Agriculture exhibition at Agri Expo in Dimapur. Imports exceed exports, yet Kaito claimed that Nagaland is performing well among the smaller states. He outlined challenges affecting the agriculture sector, among which included the inclination to design “one size fits all” schemes and delayed release of funds by the Centre.
He said that the policymakers should plan policies keeping in mind the specific needs of the region.
He reminded, “During the current financial year, although the first quarter is already over, the Agri and Allied Departments have not received the first installment.”
Non-existent all-weather roads in rural areas have not been to the advantage of marketing farm produce, he said.