President Patil underlines need for development of North-East

March 10th, 2011 - 6:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Kohima, Mar 10 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Thursday said the accelerated development of the North-Eastern region, which has contributed much to the richness of the nation, is fundamental for the country’s economic rise.

Speaking at the public reception here, President Patil said: “Our nation is moving ahead. Today, India is counted amongst one of the major economies of the world. Our objective is to have a high economic growth rate and to have an inclusive growth process. Measures that promote inclusiveness are very important for a country as large as India.”

“Growth must reach all sections of society and all regions of the country. The accelerated development of the North-Eastern region, which has contributed much to the richness of the nation, is fundamental for the country’s economic rise. Nagaland is very much part of this process,” she added.

Emphasizing on the development of physical infrastructure, particularly transport connectivity, which is a key prerequisite for economic development, President Patil said: Nagaland should harness its resources and its many potential areas of growth. Agriculture has a significant share in the State’s domestic product. I strongly believe that food security is a very important objective, and a focus on enhancing agricultural productivity through better seeds, better technology and better water management is essential for a sustainable and secure future.”

“The State Government could think of change in the ’slash and burn’ method of jhum cultivation, and instead move towards improved sustainable land-based means of livelihood. Natural and forest wealth are amongst the assets of Nagaland. Better management of forests, which have a wide diversity of flora and fauna including medicinal plants, can generate social, economic and environmental benefits,” she added.

President Patil further said it is important to build capacity for undertaking forest based enterprises in a manner that while using forest resources, forest health is preserved, and its wild-life and bio-diversity are conserved.

Expressing her delight that the North-Eastern Region is pursuing Vision 2020 for its development, and also has a Regional Council, President Patil said: “I would like to add that regional integration, drawing on regional commonalities and pooling together of regional resources, can result in maximization of benefits. Moreover, this region stands strategically placed at the doorstep of the nations of South East Asia, and can play a crucial role in the development and effective fructification of our ‘Look East Policy’.

“This will provide economic benefits to Nagaland also. Increased connectivity with the nations to the East of India would open the scope for investment and tourism, including eco-tourism and culture tourism in the North-Eastern states, a sector which has not really so far performed to its potential,” she added. (ANI)

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