"The big growth is going to take place in Asia and really going to take place in East. So logically if we can ensure connectivity with this part (North-East then), we would be seeing a dramatic change over the next 20 years," he said addressing the inaugural session of two-day long North-East festival in New Delhi.
    
Elaborating further he said, "Potential for greater connectivity in open economy does mean that this region is going to become quite a central part of connectivity of India with the Eastern part of the World. Actually this is the part of the World where growth is going to take place."
    
According to Ahluwalia, connectivity including rail, air, and road in this part (North-East) of the country was less than ideal.
    
"I know that in the North-East, the feeling is that not enough has been done. But the change that has occurred in terms of connectivity is very substantial. I agree that more needs to be done," he said.
    
Ahluwalia also said that the Planning Commission would convene a meeting of Chief Ministers of North-Eastern states on January 20 next year in New Delhi to review the progress of infrastructure development in the region. The meeting is to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
     
"This will be the first time when the issue of connectivity and development of power will be discussed. The full exploitation of hydro power in the North-East will be on agenda," he said.
    
The Deputy Chairman also informed about plans of organizing a conference in Guwahati where all Chief Minister of the Northeastern states will be invited. There will be deliberations on how India can enhance the role of private sector participation in the development of the region.

(Agencies)

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