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Does Mizoram hold the key to economic development in Northeast India?

21 Mar,2022 07:01 PM, by: Pooja Dasgupta
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With one of the highest literacy rates in India (at 91.3%) and a strategic location bordering Myanmar to the east & south, and Bangladesh to the west; Mizoram is one of those North-eastern states that needs to be discussed more often. Similar to the charm of other north-eastern states, Mizoram too has its own share of exotic landscapes, natural resources, rich heritages; but remains vastly unexplored on the economic front.

Despite high literacy, the economic development in the state currently lags behind, with several measures underway to remedy the scenario. Due to its international border alliance with Myanmar and Bangladesh, and state border alliance with Assam, Tripura, and Manipur, Mizoram serves as a key partner to the ASEAN partnership with India.

Building connectivity via waterways and land routes

In a recent development, Mizoram is on its way to establishing an inland water support, to be built between river Tiawng at Khamrang village in Mizoram to Gharmura in Assam. Inland waterways are crucial to the mobilisation of trade from one location to another. Activation of a functional water support between Mizoram and Assam is anticipated to pave the way for accelerated inter-state trade and exchange of resources for mutual growth between the two states.

 

But that’s not all. The ambitious bilateral Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project is set to open up alternate routes between Northeast India and mainland India and help shorten the distance between the two parts considerably. It will also ease mobilisation via the only narrow Siliguri corridor (referred to as the chicken’s neck) at the moment. Remarking on the project, Vice President India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu stated that Mizoram will soon serve as an important gateway of South-East Asian economies and become a fulcrum in the development of the North-eastern region.


Flagship Policy Implementation

From the new fiscal year 2022-23, Mizoram will also be adopting the flagship programme, Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP) under the governance of MNF Govt. in the state. It is projected to act as a catalyst of growth in the key sectors through exploration and optimal use of resources. The end goal of the project is to bring sustainable development to the state and has plans to aid trade beneficiaries with no less than Rs. 3 lakhs as monetary assistance. Further, Mizoram has increased budget allocation to Rs. 700 crores from Rs. 400 crores in the previous budget.

The overall execution of the said policies and infrastructural projects is anticipated to strengthen the export business in Mizoram and is also intended to open up new avenues for an industrial revolution in the state.

With various developmental projects at the forefront toward making India economically advanced, Mizoram is expected to aid the acceleration of growth by opening up trade linkages through Southeast Asian routes and position itself as an integral component to India’s economic prosperity. It will be interesting to witness the emergence of business powerhouses from the state, who will be leading the change from the front.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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