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New Delhi : Union Minister for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER), Tourism, and Culture G Kishan Reddy held a virtual meeting on August 31, 2021, in New Delhi with the Chief Ministers, Agriculture Ministers, Chief Secretaries, and other senior officials of all eight Northeastern States which mainly focused on growth of agriculture in the North East with special emphasis on the sectors like horticulture, oil palm, organic farming, and bamboo development.

The meeting was also attended by Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and BL Verma, Minister of State for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) and Ministry of Co-operation, besides senior officers of the Ministry of DoNER.

The objective of the meeting was to review the specific schemes under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s welfare such as the recently introduced National Mission on Edible Oils, the Bamboo Development plan for Northeastern region, the holistic horticulture development plan for Northeastern region and the development of organic farming plans. The meeting also focused on reviewing allocations by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s welfare under the 10% Gross Budgetary support, according to a PIB release.

Inderjit Singh, Secretary for Development of Northeastern region, set the context for the meeting with his opening remarks stressing on the importance of ensuring the Gross Budgetary support (GBS) of 10% for Northeastern states from the 54 non-exempted ministries was utilised.

This was followed by the address by Union Agriculture MinisterTomar, who attended the meeting virtually, and thanked  Union Minister  G Kishan Reddy for initiating the review meeting. Tomar said that the northeastern region was crucial for our country’s growth. He also stated that the Prime Minister has always been active regarding the development and welfare of the region.

Tomar said, “There are challenges in palm oil cultivation but the newly introduced National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm is a game changer in respect to palm oil production. I request the states to highlight the bottlenecks in implementing the central government schemes and ways for effective implementation.”The Minister also stated that he looks forward to jointly conducting the business summit on agriculture in the Northeastern region between the Agriculture and DONER ministries.

The Minister for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) Reddy started his address quoting PM Narendra Modi when he addressed the Northeastern Council (NEC) in 2016 and said “If the western region of the country can develop, if other regions of the country can develop, I see no reason why the North East region of the country cannot develop. I am also convinced that India can move forward if all the regions develop including the North East region.

Reddy stressed on the need to come up with proactive steps to ensure that the allocations to Northeastern states are utilised effectively and as a nodal ministry the Ministry for DoNER will be extending all the required support. “Recently, the Prime Minister has approved the revival of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC) by providing Rs 78 crores. The Union Government under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi will always stand shoulder to shoulder with the brothers and sisters of Northeastern region,” Reddy added. He felt that the augmentation of cold storage, supply chains, and further progress in the national missions on Bamboo and Honey would lead to the Northeastern states potential being fully tapped.

The meeting was attended by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Kandu, Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma,  Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh,  Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, Nagaland Deputy CM Y. Patton. Sikkim was represented by Bedu Singh Panth, Minister for Tourism & Civil aviation, while Tripura was represented by Pranajit Singha Roy. Minister for Agriculture and Tourism. Agriculture Ministers from other states were also present.