No bid for airline services in northeast: minister

June 19th, 2008 - 3:12 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Mani Shankar Aiyar

Kolkata, June 19 (IANS) Airlines operators have shown no interest in starting services in the northeast, Minister for Development of the North Eastern Region and Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar said here. “The first tender did not evoke any response, so we floated another one,” Aiyar said Wednesday during an interactive session organised by three chambers of commerce.

“Till date we have not received any bid, it is closing on June 30. We hope we will be able to get some bidders,” he said.

The minister invited investment in the northeastern states, and identified infrastructure and roadways development as two areas that entrepreneurs could look at.

The region has the potential to generate Rs.500 billion worth of business, but no private or public sector company was interested in tapping this, he said.

Aiyar also said northeast India wasn’t benefiting from the government’s “look east” policy, even though it’s “where southeast Asia begins”.

If the region’s potential could be tapped to the fullest, it would add to India’s gross domestic product and strengthen it to compete with nations like China, he said.

Northeast India is surrounded by China, Tibet, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

Aiyar is set to unveil ‘Vision 2020′, a roadmap to the northeast, on July 2 in New Delhi.

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