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PM’s remarks at the Inauguration of the Hornbill Festival, Kohima

PM describes entire Northeast region as a “Natural Economic Zone”
PM outlines initiatives taken for development of the Northeast

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today described the entire Northeast region as a “Natural Economic Zone” – NEZ – whose potential had hitherto remained untapped. He said his priority is to nourish the NEZ for the benefit of the NE (Northeast). In his remarks at the inauguration of the Hornbill Festival in Kohima, the Prime Minister praised the rich cultural heritage of Nagaland and the sturdiness, honesty, simplicity, inherent strong character and hardworking attitude of the Naga people. He congratulated the Nagas for organizing this festival which showcases the cultural diversity of the state.

The Prime Minister also greeted the people of Nagaland on their statehood day, and urged them to introspect and look back at what has been achieved over the last 50 years, and what ground remains to be covered.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the rich biodiversity, and youthful English-speaking population. He said these would ensure that tourism and investment would come to the state. He said the region must capture a part of the global IT outsourcing business.

The Prime Minister mentioned the potential of the state in the sports of boxing, archery, football and taekwondo, and said this must be realized.

He said it was a decade since former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited Nagaland. He assured the people of the state that they would not have to wait so long again for a Prime Minister to visit. He said he would come back to see that all he has mentioned becomes a reality.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the initiatives taken by his Government for the Northeast over the last 6 months. He mentioned the Ishan Uday special scholarships for 10,000 students from the Northeast, and the Ishan Vikas scheme for 2000 students and 500 faculty members from colleges of the Northeast to visit other parts of the country every year.

He said a modern apparel garment manufacturing centre would be set up in every state of the North-East, beginning with Nagaland, Assam and Sikkim.

He said the Government has earmarked Rs 53,000 crore in the Union Budget for development of Northeast. Rs 28,000 crore has been earmarked for construction of new railway lines to boost connectivity. Rs. 5000 crore has been earmarked for improvement of intrastate power transmission systems and a similar amount for boosting 2G mobile connectivity.

A National Sports University will be established in Manipur and 6 new colleges of agriculture will be set up in the region.

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