Unlike previous regimes, N-E ranks high on Modi govt’s priorities: FM Sitharaman tells ‘Viksit Bharat’ participants (Lead)

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday reiterated Modi government’s commitment and resolve to bring North-Eastern states at par with the rest of country on development index and provide them with the equal opportunity, as in other parts.

Addressing the Viksit Bharat Ambassador Campus Dialogue at IIT Guwahati, the Finance Minister listed out series of developmental programmes initiated and launched under Modi government in last ten years and how it has brought a paradigm shift in the development of the North-Eastern region.

Previous regimes left the region ignored and neglected for many decades but the Modi government, since coming to power in 2014, has laid special emphasis and focus on its growth, she said.

She further pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken keen interest in setting up new “growth centres” and also envisioned harnessing of local resources, intrinsic to the region and all this is giving unprecedented outcome.

“Bamboo mission programme has brought big attention to the North-East. As the world is fast abandoning use of paper and plastic, the bamboos are finding a global acceptance,” she told the Viksit Bharat event participants.

Highlighting the Centre’s schemes, the Finance Minister informed, “More than Rs 25,000 crore development funds have been allocated to N-E states so far while the Rs 6,600 crore funds were given for job-oriented development in the region.

“India hosted the G20 Summit. Out of hundred, more than 20 events were held in N-E region. Many ministers and foreign delegates descended to the region, prompting the locals to showcase their products to visiting global dignitaries,” she added.

Boasting about medical tourism potential of the region, FM Sitharaman said that seven cancer hospitals in Assam will turn the region into a hub for medical services and it will see patients visiting the state from entire South Asia for cheaper and high-end treatments.

She further informed, “Not long ago, PM Modi laid the foundation stone for seven cancer hospitals in Assam. Besides this, eight new medical colleges and two new IIITs have been opened. To strengthen education system, more than 800 schools have been established while 25 lakh teachers are getting trained.”

“This pace of growth in North-East has never been witnessed before,” she asserted.

The Finance Minister, when queried on government’s roadmap for making India a superpower by 2047, quipped, “this is why we urge you to become Viksit Bharat Ambassadors.”

She urged the participants to join the movement as ambassador and spread the message of hope that if all this can be achieved in last 10 years, what all can be done in many more years till 2047.

Prior to the event, the Union Minister was also felicitated before the interaction programme with the students at Viksit Bharat Ambassador Campus Dialogue in Guwahati.



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