SHILLONG, Nov 21: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said an 80-km passage connecting West Bengal through Bangladesh could be the second and much faster economic corridor for the Northeast.
Connectivity through the neighbouring country is the reason why “looking south” – Bangladesh and southern parts of the Northeast – is crucial for Meghalaya, he said after inaugurating an international inter-disciplinary seminar at Synod College here on Monday.
The topic of the seminar was “Look South Policy vis-à-vis Meghalaya”.
Sangma said the Look South policy is important for Meghalaya as well as the country, insisting Act East cannot be a generic policy. “It has to be a very region-based policy,” he added.
He said one needs to look at the bigger picture of intra-regional cooperation. “If we share the best practices and resources with each other, the entire structure of the country will be strong,” he said.
The CM mooted the idea of a presidential retreat in the Northeast, which he felt will send a strong message of national integration.
Underlining the need to have a corridor through Bangladesh, he said the southern part of the Northeast can benefit from faster connectivity with India’s “mainland”.
“This corridor can be a huge game-changer for us economically,” he said.
Sangma said the government is examining a proposal to put up conveyor belts for supplying minerals and other products to Bangladesh. Such a system will allow the government to monitor what is being supplied and help in generating revenue with more efficiency, he said.
He also highlighted the huge scope for agriculture by developing a good value chain system and creating economic interdependence.
“There is a need for exchange programmes between students and entrepreneurs of Bangladesh and India. It is very important to take entrepreneurs on board as they are the ones who will make things happen,” he said.

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