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Economic roadmap

28 May. 2016 12:43 AM IST

States like Nagaland, need to do some serious rethink on their respective welfare oriented programmes that bring a lot of central funds, since devolution may have meant reasonable amount of funds at the disposal of the states, but it has also meant that the Centre can no longer bailout states as in the past. It could even mean cuts on government funding and prioritizing of plans and projects. The borrowings from various financial institutions as in the case of Nagaland need also to be reviewed. Borrowed money used for non-economic projects such as construction of grand government buildings have to be drastically cut and if there is genuine requirement for borrowing, it has to be restrained to the barest minimum needed. Despite nearly fifty three years of statehood, Nagaland has yet to create a stable economy owing to the peculiar nature of government policies that are essentially loaded in favour of welfare and infrastructure development. However, infrastructural development has been on the agenda for over five decades and till today, basic needs such as road, power and water have not been fulfilled. Mere focus on infrastructure development without a proper blueprint and specifying objectives as observed, has not brought real gain except in a few pockets. If these basic infrastructures remain under achieved even after so many decades and so much money spent, then there is little that can be expected of being able to lay the foundation for economic development. While the understanding of global economy has just one objective- progress- and achieving it is to acknowledge that there are different means and a variety of activities, which require specific attention. While the global economy is driven by industrial activity, the economy of the north east region, is primarily agro-based and therefore, development of resource-based small scale industries is expected to be a practical option to spur the economic growth of the people of the region. Lack of economic foundation that provides a level playing field for every enterprising citizen, be it youth, mature or old. Absence only leads all to depend heavily on government patronage and that is the worst that has been happening. The manifestation if obvious and the syndrome is the same-spoon feeding. The rural folks are involved in agriculture but that is more of traditional practice and mainly for meeting their own needs. Even if commercializing agriculture or specifically horticulture, floriculture, pisciculture or animal husbandry is the objective, then the planners need to do their own assessment of the ground reality and with other institutions, have to transparently prepare schemes to reach the genuine farmers etc. How successful have dozens of government projects proved successful during the past decades, is a matter of debate. In this context, what needs to be considered is targeting the main workforce in the rural areas-which is women. There is need to create agriculture and economic zones in the rural as well as urban areas. The government can emulate various success stories of a few states where genuine NGOs with committed and trained members have brightened the corners of people in several states. Even in such matters as preparing an economic blueprint is involved for which, there are attempts to woo investments by business houses from outside; this has not taken off as the onus fall on the government to lay the carpet of facilities or provide whatever incentives or security etc remain unfulfilled.

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