NEW DELHI: In compliance with the policy of “Look East” and “Act East”, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr. Jitendra Singh has announced a “Make in Northeast” initiative on Tuesday.

The initiative, inspired by the “Make in India” campaign, was launched beginning with a comprehensive tourism plan for the region, in addition to the announcement of appointing a Brand Ambassador who could personify the heritage and identity of Northeast and at the same time, inspire the rest of the countrymen to “look east” and “act east”.

Talking about the efficacy of this campaign, Singh, the Chair of a joint meeting of senior officers of Ministries of DoNER and Tourism, said, ‘Make in Northeast’ initiative, inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ concept, would in the long run “seek to promote exclusive Northeast expertise in areas like tea processing, organic farming, food processing, exploitation of wind power through wind mills, AYUSH, wellness therapies like spas.”

Stating that the campaign is not only for generating revenue, the Minister said that one of the important objectives is to create job opportunities to prevent the exodus of youth which is presently taking place from the region to the rest of the country.

“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 said.

He added that a detailed Brochure for investors will also be prepared and released across the country to encourage investment in Northeast.

Additionally, the Minister said that mega circuit and mega destination projects of Tourism Ministry in the north-east region will also be pursued for developing the area as a destination for investors, holiday seekers and tourists.

Interestingly, he even talked about how his ministry would try and pursue the Bollywood for promoting the scenic beauty of the region.

“It is strange,” he observed, that the only filmmaker from Mumbai who had, with commitment, focused on depicting Northeast through cinema was Late Dev Anand and therefore, the glory of visuals from Northeast locations needs to be reintroduced to the present generation of filmmakers as well”.

He proudly proclaimed “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”.

In this regard, his Ministry would be organising an event in Mumbai soon to interact with the representatives of the film industry, the DoNER Minister informed.