Governor RN Ravi with chief minister Neiphiu Rio, Speaker Sharingain Longkumer and others at Raj Bhawan in Kohima on Saturday.

Nagaland Governor RN Ravi on Saturday expressed concern over the “worrisome” investment climate in Nagaland.

In his Independence Day message, Ravi stressed on building investment friendly eco-system so as to encourage investors from outside and within the state to have sufficient confidence to set up enterprises.

He pointed out that the government job is the main source of employment and that economy is largely based on salaries of government servants.

“Even our agriculture and horticulture sectors which are the mainstay of our state’s economy are in distress,” he said while highlighting that the relative decline is more obvious during the recent decades.

Ravi called for encouraging and incentivizing the entrepreneurship.

The Governor observed that the “legitimate expectation” of the people of Nagaland was dividends of peace when the security forces and the Naga armed groups agreed to suspend operations against each other paving the way for political settlement.

By legitimate expectation Ravi meant freedom from fear of guns, better health, better education, better infrastructure, better livelihood opportunities, an atmosphere to dream and an eco-system to pursue their dreams.

“Incongruously a deeply entrenched network of vested interests has emerged during the period which has misappropriated the dividends of peace and did not allow them to reach the people,” he noted.

Ravi noted that there is mass scale mayhem and miscarriage of dreams and expectations of the people of Nagaland which is unendurable and unacceptable.

Stressing that Nagaland cannot be left behind in India’s grand march forward, he said the people of the state have their natural right of a dignified future.

To achieve this, the institutions of accountability, justice and fair play have to be built and strengthened.

“We will have to break the vice-like grip of the vicious circle of the network of vested interests and make way for the virtuous circle of peace, prosperity and happiness for our people,” he said.

Ravi said the cooperation of the two million people of the state is needed as this cannot be achieved by the government alone.

He added that he has deep and abiding faith in the inherent goodness and capability of the people in this endeavor

In a letter to chief minister Neiphiu Rio on July 16, Ravi, who is also the Centre’s interlocutor for Naga talks, said there have been “unrestrained depredations” by over half a dozen “armed gangs” who are “brazenly running their so-called governments” and challenging the legitimacy of the state.

He also said this cannot be tolerated.

A few days later, Ravi also ordered profiling of the state government employees who have their relatives in the Naga underground groups.

This has further strained the relations between Ravi and the NSN (I-M). The outfit alleged that Ravi has upped the ante against the Naga political groups as he brazenly used “slanderous” terminology like “armed gangs” “underground groups”

“But what has directly pricked the consciousness of the Naga people at large is when Ravi went for the profiling,” it said.

The NSCN (I-M) also accused Ravi of misinterpretation of the framework agreement.

It alleged that he twisted the Framework Agreement and misled the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the steps taken to solve the Naga issue.

The group accused him of committing a breach of confidential documents by circulating the “doctored Framework Agreement and competencies” to the Naga leaders that he favoured after removing a word “new” that virtually changed the meaning of a sentence in the Framework Agreement.

It wanted that the pact be handled by somebody other than Ravi, who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years.

The NSCN (I-M) and the Centre are currently holding formal talks in Delhi after a gap of more than eight months.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com