NITI Aayog would act as a “facilitator and catalyst” for the north eastern states in implementing the Centre’s Act East Policy, a top official of the government think-tank said today. “We will provide full support in providing advocacy to the north eastern states in the implementation of the policy and the Aayog’s role will be primarily to act as a facillitator and catalyst,” NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said. He was speaking said at the plenary session on North East Indian Economic ties with ASEAN and BBN (Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal) countries, on the second day of the Global Investors’ Summit here. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has categorically said that the north east would be at the centre of the Act East Policy, whose three key features are connectivity, culture and commerce, Kant said.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is driving the PM’s Act East Policy and if the region progresses, “we will be able to lead a vast section of the population towards prosperity”, the CEO said. The Assam government was the first in the country to set up an Act East Department, and the policy is key to the growth, progress and upliftment of people from poverty to prosperity, the official said.
The north east is not just a gateway to South East Asia but is an extended corridor for growth, progress and prosperity, he said. “Integration of the North East with East and South East Asia… will help in energising the region.” Connectivity is critical not only by road but also by air, railways and river transport, which “we are actively trying to augment and ensure speedy completion”, he added.