Assam CM Attends 71st Plenary of North Eastern Council in Shillong


Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday attended the 71st Plenary of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in his capacity as a member of the Council, dedicated to the economic and social development of the Northeastern part of the country. The plenary, held at the State Convention Centre in Shillong, also saw the presence of Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah who is also the Chairman of NEC, Union Minister for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER), G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of State for DoNER, B L Verma, and the Governors and Chief Ministers of all the member States of the NEC.

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Speaking at the Plenary meet, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his gratitude towards the current administration at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking relentless measures for the socioeconomic growth and development of the Northeastern region. He said the Northeastern region has embarked on a transformative journey owing to the continued focus it has received from the current government at the Centre. The Chief Minister cited the example of the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2024 recently published by the NITI Aayog that shows Assam’s multidimensional poverty registering a sharp decline from 36.97% in 2013-14 to 14.47% in 2022-23. The decline in poverty rate pulled nearly 80 lakh people in the State out of poverty in the last 9 years, he added.

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The current phase of unprecedented positive developments on multiple fronts, including economic, in the State can largely be attributed to the climate of general peace that has been prevalent for the past couple of years, the Chief Minister said, exuding confidence the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for the next financial year would register a significant growth over the current level. He referred to the measures the State government has taken to improve Assam’s standing in the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) rankings. The Chief Minister added, these and the other measures have led to creation of a conducive investment climate in the State which has resulted in many big-ticket investments in the past few years. He urged the Centre to bring out a new industrial policy for the Northeast so that the region can attract more private investors.

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Chief Minister Dr. Sarma said owing to the government’s focus on fulfilling the genuine hopes and aspirations of the various aggrieved communities, peace has returned to Assam after many decades, recording zero casualty amongst security personnel and civilians last year. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act is currently in force in only four districts, he said, exuding hope that the Centre would explore the possibility of repealing it entirely from the State. The Chief Minister said resolution of border disputes between Assam and its neighbours are going ahead in the right direction.
The Chief Minister added that there has been marked improvement in the crime scenario in the State, especially with regard to “crime against women” where a significant reduction in cases has been observed.
The Chief Minister also spoke about the various infrastructure development projects, particularly on the road infrastructure front, currently under various stages of development in the State. The State government has also put special emphasis on the development of school infrastructure in the State, he stated, adding that a huge chunk of monetary resources allotted under North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) and PM-DevINE scheme are being spent on improvement of secondary school infrastructure.
The Chief Minister also spoke about the measures being undertaken by Assam to attain self-sufficiency (atmanirbharta) in many fronts such as fish, egg and milk production.
Later in the day, the Chief Minister attended the 11th Meeting of the North East Space Application Centre (NESAC) Society held at the same venue that saw the attendance of the Union Minister of Home Affairs who is also the President of NESAC, DoNER Minister G Kishan Reddy, NESAC Vice-President and ISRO Chairman S Somnath.

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