Indo-Bangla waterways to boost N-E economy: Tripura CM

AGARTALA:

The waterway connectivity between northeastern states and Bangladesh would boost the economy of the region, said Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, in Guwahati on Monday.

Use of Bangladeshi ports and transportation through rivers between India and Bangladesh would ease ferrying of goods to and from the land-locked N-E states, said Deb while addressing the two-day Northeastern Council (NEC) meeting, which started on Sunday.

The four N-E states -- Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram -- share 1,880 km international border with Bangladesh. Transportation of goods from other parts of India via Bangladesh will save time and be cheaper.

On the NEC, Deb said, it should give 90 per cent of its budgetary allocation directly to the state government projects and 10 per cent might be retained by the council for taking up projects beneficial to these states.

He also demanded increase in the NEC's budget from Rs 580 crore (for 2019-20). The public sector and government-owned companies and corporations should be allowed to spend 10 per cent of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds in the N-E region, he added.

Presided over by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, 68th NEC meeting was attended by the Governors and the Chief Ministers of the eight N-E states.

Deb said, violating the formula, the NEC had been giving only 7.20 per cent funds to Tripura for the past five years against the stipulated 12 per cent.

Deb said though the Centre and the state contributed funds for various projects in the 90:10 ratio, it was not easy for N-E states to meet that 10 per cent share due to constraints.