Image: Northeast Now

Union DoNER minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said the ‘bamboo sector’ will propel the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan in the north-eastern region.

He said it is going to be an important vehicle of trade not only for India but also for the entire sub-continent.

Addressing a review meeting of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and North Eastern Council (NEC) through video conference, Dr Singh said bamboo is not only vital to India’s post-COVID economy but it will also herald a new momentum for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of ‘Vocal for Local’.

The minister said the sensitivity with which the Modi government views the importance of the promotion of bamboo is evident from the fact that even during the lockdown period, the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 16, while allowing limited activities in different sectors, allowed the functioning of bamboo related activities like planting, process etc.

Dr Singh took great satisfaction over the fact that DoNER achieved 100 per cent work output even during the COVID-19 crisis.

He said it was probably the first ministry to implement cent percent e-office functioning much before the pandemic hit India.

He congratulated the team DoNER for achieving 100 per cent expenditure during 2019-20 and appreciated the efforts of the Ministry for helping the north-eastern states in developing Infrastructure for fighting COVID-19.

The minister also appreciated the Ministry for playing a coordinating role between the north-eastern states and various other central ministries and departments, in several issues that required intervention.

Emphasizing on the importance of seamless internet facility for the overall development of the region especially during the current crisis, the minister urged the officers to coordinate with the Department of Telecommunications to augment uninterrupted high-speed net facility for the region’s comprehensive socio-economic development.

During the meeting, the minister was also apprised of the role played by North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) in promoting start-ups in the Northeast by promoting local talents.

It was informed that the NEDFi also encouraged local entrepreneurship by providing venture funds to prospective entrepreneurs, especially in the MSME sectors and facilitated investment in the region.

Dr Singh also interacted with the Border Roads Organization (BRO) director-general Lt General Harpal Singh and other senior officials of the organizations and addressed their concerns pertaining to the north-eastern region.

DoNER secretary Dr Inderjit Singh, special secretary Indevar Pandey, NEC secretary Moses K Chalai and other senior officers of the department participated in the video conference.


Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: