Press Release || NEWMA will be Fresh Fruit Squash in a new container: NITI Aayog Vice Chairman in Asian Confluence Conversation.


The Newly formed North Eastern Water Management Authority (NEWMA) is “not going to be old wine in newbottles” but rather “Fresh Fruit Squash in new containers” said NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr. Rajeev Kumar at an online conversation organized by the Asian Confluence as part of its ongoing signature ASCON Conversations series. The conversation was held on the broader theme of “India’s North East: Development Challenges and Strategies in the post COVID-19 Era”, between Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman- NITI Aayog and, Mr. M.P. Bezbaruah, Chairman, Governing Council, Asian Confluence, and Former Member, North Eastern Council    

Dr. Rajiv Kumar in his address focused on the various mechanisms and initiatives taken up by the NITI Aayog to help North East’s economy and come out of the crisis much stronger.  He highlighted the formation of the NITI Forum to carry out reforms in five key areas: Tea, Tourism, Bamboo Economy, Fisheries and Dairy. The forum has suggested that North-East Region NER to follow the ‘Sikkim model’ to go to higher value addition in agriculture crops.  He also talked about the newly formed joint working group of DONER and NITI Aayog to push forward initiatives in these five areas.

 He further highlighted the establishment of North Eastern Water Management Authority (NEWMA) which aims to harness water resources in environment and people friendly manner and works towards flood mitigation. He acknowledged that water is an abundance in the North-East region and the water resources should be used to the fullest through all means from agriculture, hydro-power and development of water related entrepreneurship.

 Dr. Kumar said that the way forward to finance the infrastructure development and other projects will be through private companies and international and multilateral institutions.  The joint-working group will work towards it and make the region attractive for private sector investment. NITI Aayog has tried to set up special monitoring of SDGs for NER and suggested that the planning development of north-eastern states should be converted into SDGs monitoring units which will help in achieving the SDGs 2030 targets for these states. 

The web event had active participation from various scholars, government officials and experts in the question and answer session. In the end, Mr. Bezbaruah deeply appreciated that the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog could find out time to clearly outline broad canvas of action to be taken to start post-COVID recovery, emphasizing the need for regulatory reforms, private investment and good governance for implementation. It was reassuring that he specifically reaffirmed his personal and NITI Aayog and Government of India's continued commitment to the NE.


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