Resident commissioners of all the North Eastern states of India held a “brainstorming and intellectual lunch session,” called by chief resident commissioner of Nagaland Dr. D. K. Bhalla at Nagaland House R.K Puram, New Delhi on July 27.
A press release from New Delhi Nagaland House PRO (IPR), Kuolie Mere stated that the session was called in order to brain storm different policies and options for development of the North East region.
Among the things discussed in the meeting was how most of the North Eastern states were deficient in generating monetary resources and how the states could be made more self-sufficient so that they do not have to only depend on central funding.
The possibility of mandating that all corporate houses spend their CSR funds for developmental activities in the North East was also discussed. It will allow the corporate sector to explore various avenues of development and nation building in North Eastern states, they opined.
At the meeting, it was also suggested that the rich flora and fauna, bio diversity etc of the NE states can be used for revenue generation by developing sustainable tourism activities without disturbing the ecosystem of the area. The tourism activities discussed were medical, golf, anthropological, ecological, adventure tourism etc. The state governments can provide land and other resources and private players in collaboration with GoI can infuse capital resources for projects.
The meeting agreed that the 15th finance commission should be requested to understand that the NE states act as a natural sink for the rest of nation and hence the region should be given even higher devolution of funds to keep it more green.
On the subject of job creation, an issue that was raised by various Resident Commissioners was bringing various mega projects to the region and strategies to fund small projects in the farming and horticulture sectors.
Separate defined economic entities for the region like NE bank, special loan assistance agencies and a dedicated insurance agency only for NE Horticulture and agro based food processing industries could possibly bring much development to the region, they opined.
The Resident Commissioners welcomed the initiative. The meeting concluded with the suggestion that an aide memoir should be developed by all the resident commissioners together and present it to the Prime Minister to expedite the NE agenda of the government.
This informal session was chaired by Dr. Bhalla.