GUWAHATI, March 13 (IANS): The 2018-19 Budget for Assam proposes to establish a North East Foundation, which will act as a think tank for the region, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday.
The Minister said he proposed setting up of the Foundation considering not only the common geography of the region but also the history, culture and traditions in the region.
“We the people of Northeast not only share common geography but also common history, culture and traditions. We have abundant natural resources and share borders with South Asian, Southeast Asian and East Asian countries. All the states in the northeastern India are classified as special category states owing to our difficult terrain and economic constraints,” said Sarma.
“On the other hand, inter-dependence and commonness among the northeastern states is a compelling reason for all northeastern states to come together and align their developmental strategies with the overall developmental framework for the region,” he said, adding that against this backdrop, he proposed setting up of the Foundation.
“This foundation will also liaise with leading think tanks at national and global levels and articulate the perspective of this important region in a strategic, holistic manner,” said the Minister.
As a goodwill gesture, the government of Assam would take lead in establishment of this foundation and provide seed funding for a period of five years, he added.
Sarma hoped that his colleagues from other northeastern states would come forward to support this initiative.