Itanagar: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday advocated for a special approach by the Centre towards north-eastern states while preparing policies, keeping in view various challenges of the region.
"The north-east region cannot be considered at par with other states of the country owing to its geographical factors and we need a different outlook for the region especially in terms of rural connectivity and other rural development programmes," the minister said while addressing the 27th Statehood Day celebration here at Indira Gandhi Park this morning.
Ramesh, who arrived here yesterday on a two-day visit to the state, said the Centre had accorded top priority to development of Arunachal Pradesh and during the last five years, many central flagship programmes were implemented including projects under the Prime Minister developmental package announced during 2008.
"Arunachal is very close to our heart and there will be no dearth of developmental fund for this land-locked state," he said, assuring all possible help for rural development in the state.
Expressing satisfaction over the progress of various developmental projects in the state, the minister said all challenges hampering development in the state would be addressed.
"We will ensure that every penny is judiciously spent so that people could witness visible development taking place in the once neglected state," he said.
Announcing several rural development projects for the state, Ramesh said all the 4,000 rural habitation in the state which are yet to be connected by roads would be connected by all-weather roads under Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) scheme within the next five years.
Referring to insurgency problem in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of the state, Ramesh said once the Naga political issue is resolved, the insurgency problem in these three districts would be resolved.
"With UPA`s untiring effort, there is a political solution in sight for the vexed Naga issue. Once peace is established in Nagaland, it will prevail in Arunachal too," he said.
The union minister also announced an amount of Rs 50 crore and Rs 170 crore for construction of 55 km long Bameng-Lada road in East Kameng district and 155 km long Miao-Vijaynagar road in Changlang district respectively, the foundation stones for which were laid by him yesterday.
He said a special programme for women self-help groups had been prepared by his ministry to help women gain economic independence.
"The programme will be extended to Arunachal Pradesh soon after due approval of the union cabinet," he said, adding, more youths of the state would be provided employment under the MGNREGA scheme.
Stating that Arunachal was on the threshold of development, the minister exuded hope that the socio-economic relationship between India and Myanmar would improve once the border trade between both the countries start officially.
"We should change the viewpoint on border trade and establish more border trade centres (BTCs) so that border trade is enhanced with Myanmar in the coming days," he said.