Guwahati, Saturday, January 7, 2012
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Willing to help develop NE region: Ghatowar

 New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS): Expressing hope that entrepreneurs would explore business opportunities in the North-eastern region of the country, Minister for Development of Northeast Region Paban Singh Ghatowar said the government was committed to the development of the area.

"The Central government is committed to the development of the region," said Ghatowar at the 7th North East Business Summit here on Friday.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said though most of the States in the region were conflict free, it is the responsibility of the local governments to ensure a business friendly environment.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the region is suffering as it lags behind in infrastructure. "We need better infrastructure," he said. He said developing agriculture and agro-processing industry was required in Assam to provide jobs and inclusive growth.

Gogoi further said an indicator of development and the improved law-and-order situation in the State was the rising prices of land. "Around 12 insurgent groups are coming to the negotiating table,"he said.

Claiming the Assam tea brand was still the best in the country, he said quality of the tea leaves needs to be improved to do well in the markets abroad.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said his State was a consumer State and had a lot of potential of trade with Bangladesh, with which it shares over 400 km border. "Meghalaya can be developed as a very good tourist destination and a trade point with Bangladesh," he said.

Stating "the region is bestowed with rich natural and human resources", Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Virbhadra Singh said, "There is a need to channelize the vast resources for the overall growth and development of the area." His ministry is actively promoting development of small units, said Singh.

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