GLOBALIZATION AND NORTH EAST INDIA

GLOBALIZATION AND NORTH EAST INDIA

Globalization is an economic concept that involves the integration of markets, trade, and
investments through cross-border exchange between nations. Using different Socio-
cultural interactions and moves, structural adjustment programs, new world trade order,
opening up of domestic markets with global communication, privatization, deregulation,
and trans-nationalization of capital are the important consequences of Globalization.
After the adoption of the New Economy Policy by Govt. of India in 1991, India has
achieved incredible growth prospects through the entry of foreign currency by the
expansion of Indian trade beyond domestic boundaries ensuring the generation of
employment opportunities all through. But despite this estimated growth and inception
of economic liberalization, a high level of regional imbalance with socio-economic
backwardness still exists. For example, Northeastern states, which are geographically
isolated and economically sensitive regions, lag far behind other states in terms of
industrial growth, per capita income, foreign investment, and infrastructure. Balanced
and sustainable economic growth under globalization will not be possible unless the
burning issues of regional imbalance are tackled with an effective policy framework.
Northeast has a widespread unused resource all around carrying 98% international
borders with Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, and Nepal. Based on its mineral
deposits, medicinal plants, forest products, horticulture products, traditional handlooms,
and handicrafts it can develop border trade along with unparalleled growth prospects
under the new market economy directed by liberalization strategies. After the successful
implementation of the "Look East policy" it seemed that the Northeast could be a
prosperous and integrated economic space by linking two dynamic regions with the
network of railways, pipelines, transmission lines, and highways accordingly. Apart from
hydroelectric potential and petroleum products, cement, fresh fruits will also be the
added source for upgrading the economy, making it a viable investment destination.
But certain severe obstructions are somehow restricting the promising future of the
Northeast. Ethnic conflicts and revolts, lack of entrepreneurial spirit with proper
marketing channels, and overall underdeveloped physical infrastructure implant serious
challenges against the development of Northeast. With the fascination of earning easy
money by local youths, ongoing ethnic revolts usually turned illegal. The solution has
often been suppressed between the counter-insurgency operations and a few fruitless
political negotiations supported by awkward financial packages and seized by a corrupt
administration. Most of the rebellious groups have now become a bunch of illegal
organizations which make extreme political chaos resulting threat for both the
government and the population by smuggling, child abduction, extortion, robbery, fake
currency, arms dealing, and drug trafficking, Moreover, any deviation in normal political
behavior was taken as a national security threat as it shares the common borders with
neighboring countries. The ineffective role of the State Governments to uphold the rule
of law and execute policies for providing security and opportunities for socio-economic
equality is still missing. The pattern of conflicts varied in nature and causes remain
divergent and ever-changing. Withdrawal of sovereignty, the movement against

foreigners and immigrants, searching roots as a reaction to apparent Indianness are the
common factors in resorting, articulation, and mobilization of the violence. Furthermore,
the internal security threat has also increased due to the interconnection between the
Islamic fundamentalists Pakistani ISI and the Northeastern insurgents.
To bring the socio-economic stability of North-East, sensitive, transparent and
concerned governance is required which will maintain the interests for both functioning
aspects as well as the region's cultural tradition along with smart bureaucracy without
any connection with militant groups. Participation of civil society with suitable
representatives and overall fullest central financial policy support is also essential.
Economic rationality could be maintained by proper assessment of labor cost,
comparative advantages, propagation of indigenous technology and knowledge
systems, efficiency, and returns on investment. Utilization of human resources with
proper guidance of required skills and training will tune them along with the demand of
the competitive employment market, therefore, reduce the chance to join the insurgent
groups.
Moreover, uninterrupted well-maintained roads, extended railway networks, non
functioning airports as well as other international airports are needed to link all the
cardinal points, district headquarters, and major international trade centers with
adjacent countries for extending international trade and tourism. For the growth of
tourist sites, a special action plan should be required. For the development of
entrepreneurial culture, changes in land policy, initiation of land allotments for
companies on a lease basis with the exemption of sales tax, insurance policy for
investors, credit delivery, cluster development for small scale industries, training and
assistance for local entrepreneurs along with effective utilization of funds is required.
The new Industrial Policy of the North East will offer a favorable investment environment
with up to 100% equity to MNCs for setting up industries. Moreover, confidence building
with neighboring countries, export and import promotional initiatives, national security
and trade-related mutual agreements, and relaxation in free trade zones will nurture
connectivity, will result in the socio-economic development of North-East India in the
arena of globalization.