Union Home Minister Amit Shah has called that the last 10 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “golden era for the Northeast” in terms of development and a secure law and order situation.
Addressing the 71st plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) here, Shah said that under the leadership of Modi, not only the distance from the Northeast to Delhi and the rest of India has reduced due to the creation of infrastructure, but the difference of hearts has also come down.
He said the Northeast, which was struggling with various ethnic, linguistic, border and extremist groups related problems, has also got the beginning of a fresh and durable era of peace in these 10 years.
“If these 10 years for the Northeast are compared with the 75 years after the country’s independence, then this decade will definitely be considered as the Golden period of the Northeast,” he stated.
He said the Modi government has always considered the Northeast as an important part of India.
“During the time of Atal ji, by giving it priority, a separate ministry was created for the Northeast and today under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the three mantras of Act East, Act Fast and Act First are being implemented. Along with this, impetus is being given to the Northeast by giving priority to it in all the ministries of the Government of India,” Shah said.
The Union Home Minister highlighted the achievements of the central government in the past decade. He said 11,121 violent incidents took place in the northeast from 2004 to 2014 when the Congress was in power. Such incidents have declined by 73 per cent to 3,114 from 2014 to 2023.
Deaths among security forces dropped by 71 percent from 458 to 132, while civilian deaths declined by 86 percent in the past 10 years, he said.
Shah said that the insurgency-related incidents have also come down significantly because in the last 5 years more than 8,900 rebels of various militant groups have surrendered and have joined the mainstream.
Further, the Home Minister also informed that 75 percent of the areas in the region which were covered under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) have been removed from the ambit of AFSPA from 2018, barring a few areas of Assam and Manipur.
Shah further said there is an increase of about 162 per cent in the budget allocated to the region and that 10 percent Gross Budgetary Support Scheme has benefited the development of the Northeast.
He said Rs. 1500 crore was made under the PM-DevINE (Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region) for 2022-23 and Rs. 6600 crores for 2025-26.
An Inter-ministerial task force has been formed for agriculture, 8 ropeways have been taken up under the National Ropeway Development Programme, and the budget of the DoNER Ministry has increased by 153 per cent.
Under the National Edible Oil Mission, Rs. 234 crores has been allocated in the Northeast alone to give priority to palm oil. Along with this, 32 projects worth Rs. 1713 crore have been approved under the Special Infrastructure Development Plan of Northeast.
Among the achievements of North Eastern Development Finance Corporation, schemes worth Rs. 5490 crores have been approved from January 2023 to December 2023. He said that under the SAMBHAV scheme, work is being done to provide basic facilities to 75 Gram Panchayats and councils of 42 districts of 8 states.
The Union Home Minister said that we should increase the use of NESAC and it can be used to make disaster, water management and administration people-oriented and modern.
In the last 10 years, the Modi government has invested Rs. 81,000 crores in railways, Rs. 48,000 crores in road connectivity and 5196 km long roads have been constructed in the Northeast under the Bharat Mala project. Under the UDAN scheme, 8 new airports have been constructed and 71 new air routes have been started in these 10 years.
“If Northeast becomes self-reliant in organic products, dairy farming, fishing and egg production, then 13 lakh people can be given employment in these 4 sectors alone. He said that development of the region alone is not enough, but along with the region, there should also be development of the individual and for this Industrial production and agriculture are the only options,” he said.
“When India is going to become a 5 trillion-dollar economy, the Northeast should also set a target of giving its lion’s share in this effort and when the whole of India becomes completely developed and self-reliant in 2047, then our North-East will also become fully developed and self-reliant,” he said.