Aizawl: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said Mizoram will soon serve as an important gateway of South East Asian( SEA) economies and become a fulcrum in the development and growth of the North-Eastern region through the ambitious bilateral Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP).
“Within the renewed Act East Policy of the Government of India, Mizoram is set to occupy the centre stage as it will serve as the all-important gateway of South East Asian economies into the region as well as into the country. I am confident that in the coming years Mizoram will become a fulcrum in the region’s growth and development through the important Kaladan Multi-Modal Project,” the Vice President said while addressing the last sitting of the state’s budget session.
He said that the KMMTTP when completed will transform the economy of not just Mizoram but the entire North-Eastern region and help accelerate economic growth and development.
Citing that peace brings prosperity and development, Naidu said the signing of the historic Mizo peace accord in 1986, which ended more than two decades of unrest and strife in Mizoram, has ushered in peace and progress in the state.
The peace accord has served as an example upon which similar peace agreements have become a reality in other parts of the North-Eastern region, he said.
“Mizoram today is not only counted as one of the most peaceful states in the country but has embarked upon the developmental journey with a rare earnestness,” he said.
“Even though Mizoram was a late starter in the developmental process as compared to other Northeastern states, I am extremely pleased to note the rapid strides being made by this important state towards socio-economic development with the completion of several infrastructure projects,” he said adding that this kind of transformation is clear evidence of resurgence.
Naidu, who arrived in Aizawl on Wednesday for a two-day visit, said the state has improved its ranking in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) index from 21st position in 2019-20 to 12th position in 2020-21.
He said that Mizoram is rich in natural resources and these resources and congenial whether must be harnessed in all possible ways to make sustainable development.
The state also has great scope for small scale industries based on bamboo and timber products, agro-industry, handloom and handicrafts, as well as medicinal and aromatic plants, he said.
The vice president said that sustainable agricultural practices must be promoted and encouraged as agriculture, which is the main occupation of Mizoram, is essential for bringing about overall prosperity and for attaining food security.
The state also has a great potential for expanding horticulture and floriculture and Orchids and Anthuriums, for example, can, not only generate additional income to farmers but also make Mizoram a favourite tourist destination, he said.
Naidu appreciated the state government’s flagship programme – Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP),
which seeks to bring about socio-economic development that is inclusive and people-centric.
He lauded the state government for taking up several infrastructure developments and said the construction of broad gauge railway line between Bairabi and Sairang near Aizawl, which will connect the rest of the country via Assam, when completed will open up new growth avenues and usher a new era of progress and development.
Naidu also said that the NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives priority to the development of North East region.
He pointed out that Rs 600 crore was allocated in the 2022-23 Union Budget for the construction of Aizawl by-pass road and bamboo link roads in different parts of Mizoram under the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East (PM-DevINE) Scheme.
Naidu said that he was pleased with the way Mizoram has deepened the country’s democratic roots by peaceful electoral processes, graceful conduct of legislators in the Assembly and sustained, inclusive development endeavour over the last five decades.
“I congratulate all of you in setting a high benchmark that other state legislatures and even the Parliament can emulate,” he said.
He said that the total involvement of the people gave an extraordinary momentum to the political process, as a result of which the state witnessed the restoration of peace and order.
The vice president also lauded the collective efforts of the Mizoram government, Mizo communities, churches and NGOs in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite being the worst COVID-19 affected state, Mizoram has been able to fight the pandemic because “‘Tlawmngaihna,’ the Mizo code of ethics and life, has served as the guiding principle and mantra of the state against the pandemic, he said.
Naidu was met by representatives of several organisations and institutions in the evening.
He will leave for Sikkim on Friday.