‘Ease of doing Business’ crucial to economic growth: Dr Jitendra Singh

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SHILLONG: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that ‘Ease of doing Business’ is crucial to economic growth and particularly in the peripheral regions like Northeast and Jammu & Kashmir, it requires a conscious effort to achieve this.

Addressing the concluding session of the two-day Plenary Meeting of North Eastern Council here, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, often the emphasis of the policy planners is on handholding or outreach to investors, which is also important, but more purposeful is to create conditions which are business – friendly and entrepreneurship – friendly. If an entrepreneur, particularly a new Start-Up, finds a destination profitable for investment he would readily come forward even without any persuasion or any handholding .

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Dwelling on the transformation witnessed in the North Eastern region during the last six years, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the business and trade potentials remained under-utilised because of the conditions not being business – friendly. For example, he said, before 2014 Northeast was in news mostly for insurgency, road blockades, killings during encounters, etc., and this antagonised the investors from outside, but over the last five years the perception has changed.

Similarly, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, when he came into the Ministry of DoNER in 2014, he was told that so far there had been only two film shootings of Bollywood movies in Arunachal Pradesh in spite of picturesque scenic locations. On inquiring further, he realised that there was no place readily available for keeping equipment by the cinema filmmakers. Today, there is a full fledged Film Institute coming up in Arunachal Pradesh which got delayed due the COVID pandemic but may become functional before the end of this year. At the same time, a Film City is being proposed for the other scenic State of Sikkim, he added.

The DoNER Minister noted that the Northeast has been put on a fast track of development under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the last six-seven year and this bears evidence in the form of the unanimous opinion across the country that Northeast is on the rise. He however added that the expectation is very high and the Prime Minister wanted to achieve more than what has been achieved so far.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the North Eastern Region will lead the growth story of India, when the rest of the world is looking for economic resurgence through trade in post-pandemic times. Dr Singh also said that the Northeastern region will be one of the favourite business destinations of India post-COVID-19 and bamboo is going to be the key pillar of the economic activities. He however asked all the States to equip themselves up to make optimum use of the favourable condition that the North East will have during the Post COVID period.

The Minister urged all the States to utilise the funds that have been allotted by various ministries so that the benefits of the schemes reach the last person. He said that the rate of utilisation of funds under NEC has been encouraging and hoped that funds under other ministries allotted to the region shall also be brought to optimum utilisation.