More incentives to airlines, Bollywood for promoting NE: Singh

More incentives to airlines, Bollywood for promoting NE: Singh

More incentives to airlines, Bollywood for promoting NE: Singh

The Centre will provide special incentives to airlines for increasing air connectivity to the Northeast and to Bollywood for films shooting in the region.

Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said the government is trying to woo industries to the eight Northeastern states so that enough jobs are created for the youths of the region.

"The issue of connectivity in the Northeastern states is a matter of major concern for us. The road and rail network is not there due to difficult terrain.

"A lot of dependence is on air travel. That is why we are requesting airlines to increase the number of aircrafts and frequency to these states. We are ready to provide more incentives to the airlines," Singh told PTI in an interview.

He said the DoNER is discussing the issue of providing air connectivity with the civil aviation ministry also.

Singh said road and rail network is also being given the top priority for the region and efforts are being made in this regard at the fast pace.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been emphasising on ensuring social and economic inclusion of Northeast with other parts of the country.

It is only after the Prime Minister's directive that now the government has decided to send at least one Union Minister to visit any of the eight Northeastern states -- Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura -- every fortnight.

"There is a lot of scenic beauty in the Northeastern states. It is like going to any other foreign destination. We will ask Bollywood to make films in these states. They are bestowed with picturesque locations," the DoNER minister said. Singh, who is a Lok Sabha member from Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur constituency, said the government will also set up institutes of higher learning in these states.

"There are not many good institutes in the Northeastern states. That is why youth go out to other parts of the country. We want to check it," he said.

The Minister said there is a huge potential available in the states to propel their economic growth.

"There is enough scope of developing food processing industries and hospitality sector. We are looking for ways to expand them," Singh said.

He said tourism in the Northeastern states will also be promoted by the Centre.
"We have decided to organise a four-day Northeast festival. It will be one of the biggest events ever planned in those areas," Singh said adding that the venue and dates are being finalised there.

The Centre will also open up more frequencies to expand the reach of telecom network in these states, he said.

The government has announced launching of 18 new FM radio Channels in the eight Northeastern states.

On the issue of alleged biasness being faced by people from the Northeast in other parts of the country, Singh said the government is concerned about any such incident and is taking every possible step to check them.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox