Manthan Topic: The Sunrise States
Tourism and Border trade
“The need of the hour is to focus”
Team Name: Future India
S. Jawahar Ganesh
J. K. Pushkar
The North Eastern states occupy 8% of India’s geographical area but contribute
to only 2.3% of the country’s GDP.
•Prior to any policy programme to resolve the problem of insurgency in
the region, the political processes that has been framed and pursued to convert
a breeding ground of insurgencies must be reversed first.
•The attitude and security obsess mindsets of the central government
should also change and embrace the region with open arms so as to restore the
lost confidence of the common people
•In order to reconnect the lost connectivity, trade and commerce and
more importantly to foster emotional attachment among various ethnic
groups inhabiting in the region, infrastructures like roads, transports,
Communications, electricity, banking etc. must be developed adequately.
•Until and unless the quality of governance has been improved, no
Matter how much is the fund earmarked for whatever the policy programme
initiated would not be successful and only the common people have to bear
Comparative Advantage of Tourism:
With ou tiful atu e’s eathtaki g s e i eauty, salu ious li ati o ditio s,
extraordinarily diverse ,rich art and cultural heritage of the people, this region can
become a hotspot for eco and adventure tourism.
The development of this industry would promote national integration and international
understanding, generate employment and revenue and provide prospective buyers for local
manufactured products especially handloom and handicraft products–a dyeing industry due
to lack of access to market.
Tourism can generate more employment per million of rupees spent than any other
It would also enlarge the base of locally manufactured products.
All this, however, would be possible only when there is well-developed infrastructure like
transport and communication and sense of participation of the people of the region.
The lack of connectivity and access to market, the main causes for under utilization
of resources and weak resource-industry linkages, have set the economy of the
region by half a century behind.
Due to the peripheral location and stiff competition from mainland industries having
better access to critical inputs like finance, technology and management, the base of
traditional manufacturing in the region has been eroded leading to deindustrialization.
This has widened the gap between resource base and industrial structure in the region.
Further, due to the restriction of free movement of men and material across the border,
the notion of isolation has developed in the minds of the people.
It is in this context, there is a strong argument to develop border trade.
In this increasingly borderless world, establishment of border trade would not only
provide an opportunity to revive the local manufactured units but also serve as a transit
corridor for the mainland big industrial units to explore the vast Asian market.
It is with this vision that ‘look east policy’ was initiated in 1991.
Unfortunately, as old habits die hard; the central government still continues to live in the
shadow of security obsessed mindset and prefers inward looking approach.
As a result, even after so many years of implementation of border trade agreement, it has
failed to invigorate the region’s trade with their neibhouring countries.
The tepidity of the central government in implementation of the policy has only led to
rise in the porosity of these borderlands.
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