DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said the north-eastern region has been given utmost priority ever since the Narendra Modi led government assumed office at the Centre.
Addressing the media in the national capital on Saturday, the DoNER minister also said the Union Government has decided to go for 100 per cent funding of various central government projects being implemented in the North-east, instead of the existing system of sharing 90 per cent of the cost.
The DoNER Minister further informed that under the Union Government’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojna’ scheme, as many as 5,301-km roads in the region have been taken up for improvement.
Out of this, 3,246-km roads have been marked for development of economic corridor in the North-east, he said.
Singh also apprised that the bidding process for the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway has already begun.
While stressing on various initiatives taken for the development of the North-east in the last four years, Singh said the 90-year-old Indian Forest Act of 1927, which was a legacy of the British Raj, was amended through a Cabinet decision.
“As a result, bamboo, which was defined as a ‘tree’ under the Indian Forest Act of 1927, was changed, thereby doing away with the requirement of obtaining a permit for cutting of bamboo on non-forest land for economic use,” he said.
Singh further said, this amendment regarding bamboo will go a long way by opening new vistas of employment generation and entrepreneurship by allowing bamboo cultivation and bamboo use by non-farmers on non-forest land in the region where bamboo attains much significance and an integral part of way of life of the north-easterners.
Singh also said the Centre has created an exclusive forum at the NITI Aayog for streamlining plans for the north-eastern region, which will be co-chaired by its vice-chairperson and the DoNER secretary.
The DoNER Minister further said the forum would look into various proposals both at the Central and state levels and shortlist plans for the fastpaced development of the region.