NEW DELHI, June 30: Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh said today that Bamboo will herald India’s “Vocal for Local” movement and will propel the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” from Northeast. In the Post- COVID era, Bamboo has the potential to emerge as an important vehicle of trade, not only for India but for the entire subcontinent, he said.
Addressing a webinar attended by senior officers of Ministry of DoNER from their respective places and officials of North Eastern Council (NEC) from Shillong, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Bamboo is not only vital to India’s Post- COVID economy but it will also add a new momentum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of “Vocal for Local”.
He said that the sensitivity with which the Modi Government views the importance of the promotion of Bamboo is evident from the fact even during the lockdown period, the Ministry of Home Affairs on 16th April, while allowing limited activities in different sectors, permitted the functioning of bamboo related activities like plantation, process etc. The Government has also encouraged local entrepreneurship by providing Venture Funds to the prospective entrepreneurs and facilitating investment, domestic as well as foreign by friendly countries, in the region, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Northeast consists 60% of India’s reserve of Bamboo and it is a great advantage. While this government has over the last six years accorded highest priority to the development of the North Eastern region, he said, it has at the same time given the Bamboo sector the kind of boost which it had never received since independence.
In this regard, the Minister referred to the amendment in the 100-year-old Indian Forest Act brought about by the Modi Government in 2017, as a result of which, home grown bamboo has been exempted from it in order to enhance livelihood opportunities through bamboo.
DoNER Minister also interacted with the senior officials of the Border Roads Organization (BRO) about connectivity issues and addressed their concerns in Northeast. It may be recalled that the Government has also come up with a new scheme called “North East Road Sector Development Schemes” (NERSDS) for development and proper maintenance of inter states roads within the region, which has colloquially acquired the name of ‘Orphaned Road’ because of its persistence neglect by both the connecting states.