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Government of India
Vice President's Secretariat
09 OCT 2021 3:44PM by PIB Delhi
North-Eastern Region breaking with past; witnessing new era of resurgence, assert Vice President of India

Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha Chairman Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu today asserted that the North-Eastern Region(NER) is now decisively breaking from its  troubled past and is witnessing a New Era of Resurgence(NER) as evident in substantial improvement in economic and Human Development Indices, expansion of infrastructure development and steep decline in insurgency over the last 7 years.

Shri Naidu spoke at length on the region’s legacy that resulted in the twin development and democratic deficit and the change in the recent years further to a new sense of direction and acceleration in the pace of development and the way forward while addressing a special session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly. 

Referring to the insurgency and inadequate infrastructure in the region that limited the flow of private investments resulting in development deficit, the Vice President said: “I am glad to note that the vital North-Eastern Region has firmly resolved to make a break from such a past so as to script a new future by molding the present in that direction. The plethora of infrastructure projects completed and in progress and the evidence of socio-economic development is a clear pointer in this regard”.

He further said that inadequate and inequitable development deficit, by accentuating disparities among the people, especially, in a region with wide ethnic diversity, impacts their democratic participation as they were already suspicious of the modes of development and are concerned about their own identity and culture. 

Shri Naidu noted that the gulf between the intentions and actions on the ground for the development of the region over a long period led to the Prime Minister’s ‘Act East Policy’ in 2014 which is being implemented with a new energy and focus.

In support of the new resurgence in the NER, Shri Naidu elaborated that while the Per Capita Net National Income in the country improved by 60% now over that of 2013-14, the increase in the Per Capita Net State Domestic Product of 6 of the 8 North-Eastern States was more than that. The Per Capita Net State Domestic Product of five of the eight States of the Region was either higher than or almost at par with that of Per Capita NNI during 2018-20 while it was so in case of only 2 States during 2013-14.

He also informed that in respect of social development, measured in terms of Human Development Index (HDI), seven of the 8 States of the region performed better than the country’s index in 2019.  With a 78.50% Literacy Rate, NER does better than 74% for the country.

Elaborating on the central government’s initiatives for the development of the region during the last 7 years, Shri Naidu gave details of almost doubling of Gross Budgetary Support to the region  during 2021-22 from that of 2014-15, substantial allocations under various schemes like Start Up India Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Employment Generation Programme, support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, large number of road and air connectivity projects etc and the pace of their execution.

Referring to the return of much needed peace in the region due to the efforts of the central government, Shri Naidu informed that compared to 2013, the insurgency related incidents declined by 70%; civilian deaths by 80% and casualties of security forces by 78% in 2019. He noted that the recent signing of comprehensive Bodo and Karbi Anglong Agreements reflects the keenness to herald an era of peace in the region.

Expressing concern over the functioning of the legislatures in the country, Shri Naidu, while referring to the annual sittings of one to six of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly during 2015-20, urged the States of the region to sit longer. He stressed the need for meaningful debates and discussion to decide on issues concerning the nation and the people. He wanted legislators to focus on 3Ds—debate, discussion and decision.

Pointing out that there were only 20 women MLAs in the 8 legislatures of the region, accounting for only 4% of the total 498, Shri Naidu said: ‘’There is a strong case for involving more women Members in law making in the region. Even in Parliament, women constitute only 11%”.

Noting that 12 of the 17 state and regional parties of North-Eastern Region being in power, the Vice President said: “This order of huge participation of State level parties in the governance of this region with a population of about 5 crores, in conjunction with national parties is a statement of alignment of local aspirations with national ambitions. This should result in commensurate outcomes that further the interests of the region and the nation”.

He also emphasized the need for the state governments to transfer 29 subjects and devolve 3 Fs—functions, funds and functionaries to the local bodies as per the provisions of the Constitution.

Stressing that the present decade is critical for the region for catching up with missed opportunities and time, Shri Naidu suggested a 15-point framework for focused action. This includes; All the ethnic groups to be guided by the spirit of shared destiny; resolution of inter-state border disputes; ending the remnants of insurgency and violence; promoting private investments; addressing the twin development and democratic deficit; targeting self-reliance through promotion of productive economic activities and asset creation for reducing depending on central transfers; effective governance ensuring accountability and transparency for efficient resource utilisaion; involvement of communities in formulation and execution of policies and projects, entrepreneurship and skill development, sustainable development etc.

The Vice President also said that India has always been a peace-loving country and never attacked any other country. India also never nurtured any expansionist ambitions. From Arunachal Pradesh to Andamans and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one country and there will be no compromise on its unity and integrity. India will also not tolerate outside interference in its affairs.

Complimenting the Arunachal Pradesh Government, MLAs and other stakeholders for the progress of the State, Shri Naidu called for focused efforts to address the concerns relating to; Infant Mortality Rate, student dropout at secondary level, sex ratio, literacy and road network. He urged everyone to work towards a poverty-free, illiteracy-free, corruption-free and discrimination-free India.

Shri Naidu inaugurated the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly Library, paper recycling unit and Dorjee Khandu auditorium.  “These are certainly very valuable additions to this impressive Assembly building”, he observed.

The Vice President complimented Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly for being the first legislature in the North-Eastern Region and third in the country for introducing e-vidhan system.

Observing that Arunachal Pradesh has a lot of strengths, the Vice President said the whole country is looking at Arunachal today with renewed interest due to its potential and achievements of its people. Arunachal has the potential to become the fruit basket of India due to its natural resource endowments. It can become a global tourism destination because of its enchanting landscape, he added.

The Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Brig (Dr) B.D. Mishra (Retd.), Chief Minister, Shri Pema Khandu, Speaker of Arunachal Legislative Assembly, Shri Pasang Dorjee Sona, ministers and legislators were among those present on the occasion.

Following is the full text of the speech –

“अरुणाचल प्रदेश की इस सुंदर भूमि पर, लोकतंत्र के इस मंदिर में आप सभी से मिलने का और आपको संबोधित करने का सौभाग्य मिला है।

मेरे लिए बहुत प्रसन्नता का अवसर है। इस सम्मान के लिए मैं माननीय अध्यक्ष, मुख्यमंत्री और सभी सदस्यों का आभारी हूं।

यह शानदार इमारत, विगत कुछ सालों में इस सीमांत प्रदेश द्वारा की गई प्रगति का प्रतीक है। इस महत्वपूर्ण सीमांत प्रदेश में इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर तथा विकास के अनेक प्रोजेक्टों को पूरा कर लिया गया है। कई परियोजनाओं पर तेज़ी से काम हो रहा है। इससे यहां के  सामाजिक आर्थिक विकास में भी तेज़ी आई है। मेरे लिए यह संतोष का विषय है।

पिछली बार जब मैं इस प्रदेश में आया था तब मैनेइटानगर तक की यात्रा सड़क से की थी और आज मैं यहां तक हेलीकॉप्टर से पहुंच सका हूं। मुझे बताया गया है कि ग्रीन फील्डहोलोंगी हवाई अड्डा अगले साल अगस्त तक बन कर तैयार हो जाएगा। इस राज्य और यहां के निवासियों की प्रगति को पंख मिल जायेंगे।  इस तरह का बदलाव, इस महत्वपूर्ण सीमावर्ती प्रदेश और पूरे पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र में हो रही नई प्रगति और विकास को दिखाता है।

अतः, मैं अपने संबोधन का विषय भी इसी संदर्भ के अनुरूप रखूंगा  "NER में NER", जिसका अर्थ है "NEW ERA OF RESURGENCE IN NE REGION ".  Resurgence का अभिप्राय पुनर्जीवित करने, फिर से नया उत्साह जगाने, बढ़ावा देने से है। इस क्षेत्र के बदलाव के लिए, विकास के लिए, किए जा रहे कामों में नई रुचि, नई स्फूर्ति के संकेत साफ दिखते हैं।

I, indeed deem it as an honor to meet and address you all in this temple of democracy of the beautiful state of Arunachal Pradesh. I thank the Hon'ble Speaker, the Chief Minister and all the Members for according me this rare honor.

I am also delighted that I have been given the privilege of inaugurating the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly Library, paper recycling unit and the auditorium.  These are certainly very valuable additions to this impressive Assembly building.

I shall cherish these moments for a long time to come.

It is always a matter of pride to visit this land of rising sun which in true sense defines our national motto ‘unity among diversity’, with so many different ethnicities living together in peace and harmony for many centuries.

Arunachal Pradesh has a lot of strengths. The whole country is looking at Arunachal today with renewed interest due to its potential and achievements of its people.

I appreciate the sincere efforts you all have been making to build on your inherent strengths. 

You can contribute to nation building like no other state can.  Arunachal has the potential to become the fruit basket of India due to its natural resource endowments.

It can become a global tourism destination because of its enchanting landscape.

It can become a sustainable power house of the country if its 58000 Mega Watt Hydro power potential is utilized.

You also have a fascinating mosaic of ethnic, cultural traditions that you have carefully preserved over the years.

You have excellent sportspersons and mountaineers like Anshu Jamsenpa, the world’s first woman to scale Mount Everest twice in five days. And I read in the newspapers yesterday that your team has won the national Kabaddi championship.  This augurs very well. I do hope that the state government continues to promote sports by creating infrastructure and encouraging youth to excel in sports. 

This impressive building signifies the progress made by this frontier State during the last few years. I am also pleased to take note of the rapid strides being made by this important border state towards socio-economic development with completion of several infrastructure and other development projects and many others in progress. 

This kind of transformation is a clear evidence of resurgence in this important border State in particular and the North-Eastern Region in general.

I wish to describe this as 'NER in NER' which means 'The New Era of Resurgence in the North-Eastern Region', a new sense of direction, a distinct acceleration in the pace of development.

The setting up of the North-Eastern Council in 1971 under an Act of Parliament marked a departure from the earlier approaches as it set in motion coordinated actions and policies for the development of the region. This resulted in significant gains but not enough to realize fully the potential of the region and its people.

The announcement of 'Look East Policy' in the 90s of the last century set the tone for integrated economic development of the region by forging connectivity with the neighboring nations.

This Policy was given further thrust at the beginning of this century. However, taking note of the gulf between the intentions and actions on the ground, the 'Act East Policy' was launched with the new intent and energy in recent years.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Bhai Modi ji, while pronouncing the Act East Policy in 2014 underlined that the North-Eastern Region would be it’s fulcrum under which this region would emerge as an effective growth engine for shared benefits. He further stressed that Culture, Commerce, Connectivity and Capacity Building would propel this Policy.

During the past, the problems of inadequate infrastructure and rising insurgency prevented private investment to flow into the region. This has deepened the development deficit.

Inadequate and inequitable development widens disparities among the people especially  in a region with such wide ethnic diversity.

Sustainable development can occur only if we can make it people-centric and environment sensitive. Democracy presupposes a central role for people’s active involvement in shaping their own destiny.

Effective participation of the communities in framing and execution of policies and projects is hence, very important.

Effective development communication with the people is critical and the State Assembly provides the best forum for this communication and dialogue. 

Hon'ble Members!

I am glad to note that Arunachal Pradesh and the North-Eastern Region has firmly resolved to make a break from such a past so as to script a new future by molding the present in that direction. The plethora of infrastructure projects completed and in progress and the evidence of socio-economic development is a clear pointer in this regard.

I compliment all the state governments, North-Eastern Council and other stakeholders for their efforts for the development of this region since independence.

India is moving rapidly on its developmental journey and so is the north east region. A report of the Indian Chamber of Commerce published in 2013 had stated that the North-Eastern Region which is heavily dependent on agriculture and services sectors stands way below in comparison with the rest of India in socio-economic indicators. But there seems to be a major difference now.

Seven years ago in 2013-14, the Per Capita Net State Domestic Product, a measure of development, of only two states namely, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh was more than that of the Per Capita Net National Income. But as per the data published by the Reserve Bank of India for the two financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20, the Per Capita Net State Domestic Product of Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim was more than that of India and of Nagaland and Tripura close to the national average.

While the Net National Income of India improved by 60% now over that of 2013-14, the increase in Per Capita NSDP in six of the eight states was more than that of the national average.

In respect of social development, measured in terms of Human Development Index (HDI), seven of the eight north-eastern states performed better than the Indian average as per HDI Report for 2019. Only Assam, with a score of 0.613 was below the Indian average of 0.645.

With average literacy of 78.50%, the region does better than National Literacy Rate of 74%.

In pursuit of its commitment to transform the socio-economic development landscape of the region, I am happy that the Central Government has undertaken several initiatives and interventions over the last 7 years.  As against the gross budgetary support of Rs. 36,000/- crore for 2014-15, it has been raised to over Rs. 60,000/- crores for 2021-22, marking an increase of 90% .

To promote employment, 1.07 crore loan accounts were sanctioned Rs. 48,868/- crore  under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna for this region.

Under the PM's Employment Generation Programme 24,455 units were set up in the region providing employment to 2 lakh persons during 2017-20. Under the Start-Up India Scheme, 3,449 SC and ST women beneficiaries were sanctioned Rs. 715 cores. 98,569 micro and small enterprises were sanctioned Rs. 4,685/- crore under Credit Guarantee Trust Fund.

Under the UDAN (Ude Desh Ki Aaam Nagrik) scheme, 108 air routes including tourism routes were sanctioned for the region and 44 of them have been operationalised. Over 190 road projects have been sanctioned for the region including 50 in Arunachal Pradesh under Central Road and Infrastructure Fund.

Construction of National Highways and other roads under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for this region, the target has been increased from 466 kms in 2014-15 to 1,029 kms during 2018-19. 164 roadprojects covering 4,017 kms at a cost of Rs.44,805 crores are in progress in this region.

The Central Government has also been making sincere and dedicated efforts to end violence in the region by finding solutions to the legacy problems by talking to all concerned. As a result, there has been substantial improvement in the security scenario in the region. Compared to 2013, the insurgency related incidents declined by 70%; civilian deaths by 80% and casualties of security forces by 78% in 2019. Signing of the path breaking Karbi Anglong and Bodo Agreements recently clearly indicate our collective commitment to herald peace in the region. 

Niti Ayog has come out with the North-Eastern Region Sustainable Development Goals Index and Dashboard - 2021-22 for 103 districts of the region to enable focused interventions based on identified gaps. The region as a whole has done well in respect of some goals like the Life on the Earth and Clean Water and Sanitation but needs to focus on other important goals like 'Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure' and 'Quality Education'.

Hon'ble Members!

I referred to the backdrop of complexities of  development of this region and the recent indicators of its resurgence at length on the floor of this august House because the future of Arunachal Pradesh and its people is integral to and intertwined with that of North-Eastern Region. I compliment the Chief Minister,  Members of this august House and all those who are actively trying to fast track the development of this state.

At the same time, I would like to flag certain areas for focused attention of the Government and the Hon'ble Members. We need focused efforts to address the concerns relating to; Infant Mortality Rate, student dropout at secondary level, sex ratio, literacy and road network. I am confident that these and other aspects, where Arunachal Pradesh is lagging behind, will receive greater attention from all of you.

Hon'ble Members!

As the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, it is appropriate and even imperative on my part to briefly refer to the functioning of Parliamentary institutions of our country as I speak on the floor of this august Assembly. Democracy is one of the important pillars of modern world as it is the best form of participatory governance.

It is a matter of concern that the people are increasingly distressed over the functioning of our Parliament and State Legislatures with rising disruptions and the way laws are being made. The people vote public representatives to voice their hopes and aspirations, to frame laws that address critical issues touching their lives.  However, when they find that there is no serious discussion and tangible decision, they get disenchanted. Their faith in the system gets eroded.

The course of events during the last Monsoon Session of Rajya Sabha continues to linger in the minds of the people as the august House was subjected to sacrilege with some Members tearing and throwing into air someParliamentary Papers besides climbing on to the sacred Table of the House. There have been instances of similar unruly behavior in certain State legislatures. We cannot allow this unfortunate trend to continue.

As we celebrate 75 years of development in independent India, Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava, we must resolve, take a Maha Sankalp, to strengthen the grand democratic tradition of our nation.

We must ensure that our State Assemblies and the Parliament become effective instruments for shaping the new India, we all are dreaming of.  Our democracy is one of the oldest and the largest democracies in the world.  Let us make it the best.

We must have more sittings and more constructive debates in each session. As per information available, the average sittings per year were around 8 in Arunachal Pradesh.You may like to review this and consider more sittings so that you can discuss at length issues of larger public interest.

Another issue that I would like to flag is representation of women in the legislatures of our country.

There are only 4 women in this august House. Of the total 498 Members in the eight Legislative Assemblies of the region, there are only 20 women Members constituting only 4%.  There is a strong case for involving more women Members in the law making not only in the region but in other legislatures and the Parliament.

Given the ethnic diversity in the North-Eastern Region, there are special Constitutional provisions enabling autonomous councils for people’s participation in governance. Their effective functioning needs to be ensured to achieve the intended objectives.

I am really glad that in conformity to the Constitutional provisions, the State government has decided to devolve, funds, functions and functionaries to Panchayat Raj bodies. It is a step in the right direction. s

I am also happy to note in this context the excellent initiative taken by your government with ‘Sarkar Apke Dwar’ which aims to bridge the gap between the citizens and government.   

We have a federal polity that enables synergy between local aspirations and national ambitions. There are several state and national parties in the country. Over 30 parties are represented in the Parliament including those from this region.

There are 17 state level parties represented in the legislative assemblies of the 8 North-Eastern States. I find that 12 of them are in the governments of respective states.

This order of huge participation of State level parties in the governance of this region with a population of about 5 crores in conjunction with national parties is a statement of aligning local aspirations with national ambitions. This should result in commensurate outcomes that further the interests of the region and the nation. We should work as Team India, capitalizing on each other’s strengths with the ultimate aim of transforming the lives of our people in this region as well as across the country.

माननीय सदस्यगण!

हमारा देश कड़े संघर्ष के बाद अर्जित आज़ादी का अमृत महोत्सव मना रहा है। अगले 25 वर्ष हमारे देश को सामाजिक आर्थिक विकास की नई ऊंचाइयों तक ले जाने के लिए महत्वपूर्ण हैं। ऐसी ऊंचाइयां जो हमारे जैसे देश की प्रतिष्ठा के अनुरूप भी हैं। हमारे लिए यह दशक महत्वपूर्ण है जिसमें हम अपने पूरे सामर्थ्य को हासिल करने के लिए एक मजबूत नींव रखेंगे।

पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र के लिए तो ये दशक और भी महत्वपूर्ण है क्योंकि आपको ऐतिहासिक पिछड़ेपन को पीछे छोड़ कर, चुनौतियों को नए अवसरों में बदलना है।

इस क्षेत्र के विशेष इतिहास की पृष्ठभूमि में, आज मैं, इस सदन के माननीय सदस्यों के सामने,  पूर्वोत्तर के लिए भविष्य की रूपरेखा प्रस्तुत करने का प्रयास कर रहा हूं :

1. सभी जातीय समूहों के बीच अपने साझे भविष्य की भावना का विकास

2. इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर और कनेक्टिविटी की कमी को जल्द से जल्द पूरा करना

3. राज्यों के बीच सीमा को ले कर चल रहे विवादों का सौहार्दपूर्ण समाधान

4.   बची खुची घुसपैठ और हिंसा को भी जड़ मूल से समाप्त करना

5. पर्यावरण और प्रकृति सम्मत औद्योगिकीकरण के लिए निजी निवेश को बढ़ावा देना

6.पर्यटन की संभावनाओं का पूरा उपयोग करना

7. उद्यमिता को बढ़ावा देना

8. कौशल प्रशिक्षण को बढ़ावा देना

9. राजस्व देने वाले काम और प्रोजेक्ट्स लगाना जिससे अधिशेष या सरप्लस पैदा हो सके जिससे केंद्रीय सहायता पर निर्भरता कम हो

10. सतत और स्थाई विकास सुनिश्चित करना

11. जवाबदेही और पारदर्शिता ला कर प्रशासन में सुधार करना जिससे उपलब्ध संसाधनों का बेहतर उपयोग हो सके। भ्रष्टाचार का उन्मूलन।

12.  नीतियों, योजनाओं, परियोजनाओं के निर्माण और कार्यान्वयन में सामुदायिक भागीदारी को बढ़ावा देना

13. अंतर प्रादेशिक और अंत: प्रादेशिक असमानताओं को समाप्त करने के लिए लक्षित प्रयास करना

14.  लैंगिक समानता सुनिश्चित करना

15. विकास और लोकतंत्र दोनों को ही साथ सुदृढ़ करना

इस दिशा में प्रयास तो पहले से ही चल रहे हैं, पर समय की मांग है कि इन प्रयासों में और तेज़ी लाई जाए। पूर्वोत्तर का क्षेत्र अब हाशिए पर नहीं रहा बल्कि केंद्र में है। भारत का विकास इस क्षेत्र के विकास के बिना अधूरा रह जायेगा। इसलिए अरूणाचल प्रदेश और पूर्वोत्तर भारत को अचंचल श्रद्धा और कठोर कर्मठता से समृद्धि का नूतन अध्याय की रचना करना होगा।

अपनी आजादी के 75वें वर्ष में,  मैं क्षेत्र की महान विभूतियों रानी गैडिन्ल्यू, मोजे रिबा, कनकलताबरुआ, बीरटिकेंद्रजित सिंह, तिरोत सिंह साइमलिए, पो तोगनसंगमा तथा अन्य महान वीरों और वीरांगनाओं को सादर श्रद्धांजलि अर्पित करता हूं जो विदेशी सत्ता के खिलाफ लड़े।

अंत में मैं अरूणाचल प्रदेश सरकार का और इस पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र की राज्य सरकारों और नागरिकों का अभिनंदन करता हूं कि आपने कोविड 19 महामारी के खिलाफ सफलतापूर्वक अभियान चलाया। हमारे देश ने इस स्वास्थ्य आपदा के खिलाफ एकजुट हो कर लड़ाई लड़ी है। मेरी आशा है कि इसी तत्परता के साथ आप लोग काम करते रहेंगे और इस महामारी पर विजय पायेंगे।

Dear Members,

As we celebrate a number of achievements during the last 75 years of independence, let us recognize that we have still a long way to go in our developmental journey.

We have to build on our collective strengths. The government of Arunachal Pradesh in conjunction with the Union government has to ensure eradication of extreme poverty, reduce regional disparities, achieve gender equality and socio economic transformation of the lives of people.

We should continuously enrich human capabilities by upgrading the skills of our youth, improving the quality of education and focusing on improving health care systems. 

Our existing governance structures need to be revamped by making them more responsive and citizen-friendly through greater transparency, accountability and zero tolerance for corruption.  Greater digitalization can certainly make this transformation possible by reducing needless delays, diversion and dilution.

Arunachal’s destiny will be powered by 17 lakh citizens who have been dreaming and working hard to shape a brighter future for themselves and the state. 

You, as leaders, have a great opportunity to be the co-authors of this new chapter in Arunachal’s history being scripted by the people of this state.

I am sure you will provide the necessary direction and momentum to propel Arunachal’s development trajectory to the next higher level.

I wish you all success in your efforts.

मैं एक बार फिर अरुणाचल प्रदेशके विधानसभा केमाननीय अध्यक्ष, माननीय मुख्यमंत्री और सभी सम्मानित सदस्यों के प्रति आभार प्रकट करता हूं कि उन्होंने मुझे इस गरिमामय सदन में, अपने विचार आपसे साझा करने का अवसर दिया।

धन्यवाद!

जय हिन्द!”

*****

MS/RK/DP