Speaking at CII's East India summit, Kant said, NE can grow much faster and flourish with Act East and NE Industrial Promotion Policy functioning towards that direction.
The long international borders along the northeastern (NE) states required converting into major assets to improve accessibility to ASEAN for a more vibrant trade, Amitabh Kant, Niti Aayog CEO, said.
Speaking at CII’s East India summit, Kant said, NE can grow much faster and flourish with Act East and NE Industrial Promotion Policy functioning towards that direction. Allocations to NE has grown 3.5 times since 2015-16 towards creating road infrastructure and seven times in four years for creating special infrastructure. Although the region has high road density, surface roads to total road length are at the bottom, Kant said.
NE, at present, has a railway network of 590 Kms but the government was sincere about creating a railway link across various states in the region. However, creating railway connectivity from the NE states to Bangladesh was of prime importance to tap the growing market there.
The East-West corridor, from Silchar in Assam to Porbandar in Gujarat, a part of the $12.317 billion North-South-East-West corridors, would connect NE to the rest of India and therefore it was necessary to create NE as a vibrant gateway to South East and South Asia, Kant said adding the region would have 18 airports and 150 air routes by 2024.
While principal economic advisor in the ministry of finance, Sanjeev Sanyal stressed increased capital expenditure, boosting municipal infrastructure and monetising at least 50% of the roads and railways in the NE, National Task Force on Infrastructure Monitoring chairman, Vinayak Chatterjee said, the Centre offers a state 50% of the asset value if a state divests its PSU, 33% of the value for monetising a state asset and 50% if a state PSU goes to the capital market.
The need was to identify such assets that can be monetised and remove differential risks for the same category of an asset in different states to harmonise public-private- partnership under one framework.
Japan’s ambassador in India Satoshi Suzuki was of the view that highways in Tripura, Assam and Mizoram will have to be extended up to the borders of Bangladesh and the Act East Forum was working to create connectivity between Assam, Meghalaya, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Japan would extend a $ 1.5 billion loan for infra projects in NE particularly for disaster resisting highways, Suzuki said.