Montek for infrastructure development in northeast

New Delhi/Agartala, May 29 (IANS) Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has asked the northeastern states to encourage private participation to accelerate infrastructure development, officials said Wednesday.

The plan panel emphasised on health and education.

"Private participation is necessary to speed up the infrastructure development process," Ahluwalia said in a meeting with Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in New Delhi Wednesday.

The official quoting Ahluwalia said: "While developing the infrastructure, health and education must be given priority. The state government should adopt investment-friendly policies. Planning Commission is happy about the development strategy of the Tripura government which has lot of focus on agriculture."

"Planning Commission would push early completion of central infrastructure projects being implemented in Tripura. The commission complemented the state's economic performance," Ahluwalia was quoted as saying by the official.

In the Wednesday's meeting after thorough discussions, the annual plan of Tripura for 2013-14 was finalised at Rs.2,500 crore, which is Rs.250 crore higher than the previous fiscal's annual plan of Rs.2,250 crore.

Ahluwalia said the process needs to be taken forward for improving socio-economic conditions of the people of the northeastern states.

Sarkar told the plan panel that Tripura government would give emphasis on strengthening trade, commerce, economic and cultural ties with Bangladesh during 12th plan (2012-13 to 2016-2017) for giving necessary fillip to the economy.

The Tripura chief minister said that the total literacy according to the 2011 census is 87.75 percent which is higher than the national literacy rate of 74.04 percent.

"The state was working on preparing a comprehensive strategic plan indicating the measures and interventions for development of higher education and consolidation of existing institutions in the state," Sarkar added.

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