Dr. Jitendra Singh said, it was only after he took over the charge of DoNER Ministry over 90 days ago and started looking at Northeast from a closer and different perspective that he realized that the region was abundantly endowed in natural resources and enjoys multiple advantages for mineral and forest wealth as well as fertile land. Furthermore, because of its proximity to world’s rapidly growing markets of Bangladesh and Southeast Asia, it can provide for India a gateway through land route to new markets on the east, he added. He observed, to consolidate Indian market outside the Indian borders on the East, it was imperative to develop market potential in the Northeast.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said that traditionally Northeast has been known for plantation of tea, but what is lesser known to rest of the country is that it could offer plantation and export of a wide range of crops including oil palm, etc. It is appalling that huge quantity of fruit and horticulture products like pineapples, kiwis, oranges, apples, mushrooms, etc. go waste because of lack of proper storage and transport facilities and therefore, if these are technically and methodically handled, Northeast can become a major source of export of fresh fruit and fresh fruit products to the rest of the country and the world, he added.
Like Kashmir, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, Northeast offers phenomenal and varied tourism opportunities including river sports, adventure and wildlife tourism, which are waiting to be explored to the fullest extent through an approach guided by vision and professional focus. Once this objective is achieved, Northeast will develop not only as a hub of business and revenue generation, but will also offer enormous opportunities of employment to local youth who are otherwise moving out to different parts of country for livelihood, he added.
Reiterating Prime Minister’s focus to bring Northeast at par with rest of the country, Dr. Jitendra Singh called upon the business community to come forward to invest in the region and assured them of government’s resolve to provide every kind of help and cooperation to create a business friendly environment in each of the eight States. In this regard, he also referred to government’s initiative to improve air-connectivity, communication facilities and development of hydro-power projects in order to supplement business initiatives by potential entrepreneurs. At the same time, he said, creation of business-friendly environment would also inspire local youth from the region to take to private entrepreneurship which would help them both in serving their region as well as in finding employment for themselves.