The mountainous State of Mizoram, covered with verdant forests dotted by bamboo groves, teeming with vibrant wildlife, scenic cliffs and aweinspiring waterfalls, is a place worth visiting. To leverage its latent potential, the Mizoram Government is ensuring holistic development to transform the meaning of being here, writes Priyanka Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN).
Keeping perennial challenges and requirements of residents in mind and the unexplored potential of the State, the Mizoram Government is now working in a resolute manner to bring the much-needed change, guided by the New Economic Development Policy (NEDP).
NEDP is a comprehensive roadmap of progress and a strategy for Mizoram that has changed the way resources used to be allocated for development of the State. Today, the economic growth in the State has received a boost from the cumulative impact of various development schemes, projects and policy reforms under NEDP.
The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Mizoram has been continuously growing at a robust rate over the years. The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at constant prices (2011-12) approximately attained an amount of Rs. 13,655.34 crore in 2016-17 against the provisional estimates of Rs. 12,487.73 crore for 2015-16. It was a growth of about 9.35 per cent over the previous year. The GSDP at constant prices (2011-12) clocked 12 per cent average annual growth rate during the financial years 2012-13 to 2016-17. The projected growth rate for India as a whole has been placed at 6.75 per cent in 2016-17.
Services sector still dominates the economy and challenges ahead would include stabilising services sector-led growth through provision of appropriate policy including administrative reforms, putting in place appropriate regulatory environment and improving ease of doing business in the State. NEDP at a Glance The New Economic Development Policy, or NEDP is a comprehensive growth strategy for Mizoram.
It has been implemented since 2016 to bring about a strong and sustainable economy with robust public finances in an integrated manner. In this respect, the NEDP has been a strategic driving force of the State’s economy. The State Government has already invested Rs 1,027 crore during 2016-2018, Rs 277 crore in 2016-17, and Rs 750 crore in 2017-18.
The Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (EDS) under NEDP being implemented through Mizoram Entrepreneurship Development Monitoring Committee (MEDMOC) has been quite a phenomenon in creating the spirit of entrepreneurship. It has helped in identifying emerging business opportunities and rightly emphasising the role of entrepreneurship for the rapid development of Mizoram Economy.
Mizoram is today one of the fastest growing States in the Country. It has been among the four high growth States with its economy continuously growing at high rate of over 8 per cent during 2013 to 2016. These four States have been Gujarat, Jharkhand, Mizoram and Tripura. Driven by a clear vision, the NEDP has been prepared with proper guiding principles. Under the NEDP, be it development scheme, project or programmes, all are holistic and inclusive accommodative of the Mizos’ culture, tradition and lifestyle and be in conformity with the natural endowments of the land.
The NEDP broadly consists of the following 8 broad Strategies –
- Strategy for reviving agriculture and allied sector
- Strategy for developing industrymanufacturing sector
- Strategy for infrastructure development
- Strategy for sustaining services sector led growth
- Reform in Public Financial Management
- Skill Development to reap demographic dividend
- Climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy
- Strategy for Wider Public Administrative Reform
The Road Ahead To achieve success in these fields, the existing policies and programmes implemented in Mizoram will be reviewed and future course of action will be chalked out. This may involve doing away with existing practices and making hard choices so that progress can reach the common people.
The policy will not comprise simply distributing fund to all departments; allocation of fund will be based on preparation of viable projects/ programmes which will strengthen the economy, employ sectoral inter-linkages, are high impact economic activities, and which perpetuate a growth-friendly regulatory environment and improve the ease of doing business in the State.
NEDP is being implemented vigorously by the Government. Care is being taken so that development initiatives under it are holistic and inclusive which will be accommodative of the culture, tradition and lifestyle of the Mizo people and be in conformity with the natural endowments of the land. Health Services Directorate of Health Services (DHS) is concerned with provision of Community Health Services through its network of 12 Community Health Centres, 57 Rural Primary Health Centres, 8 Urban Primary Health Centres, 372 sub-centres and 166 sub-centre clinics.
The full spectrum of promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services are provided to citizens of Mizoram even to the remotest village. Most of the vertical health programmes currently implemented through the National Health Mission (NHM) are through the DHS.
As per the Report of NITI Aayog and the World Bank Group “Health States, Progressive India” released on 9th February 2018, Mizoram topped Health Index in the small States category, and as per the score it is ranked second among all States.
Health in the Sustainable Development Era: Vision 2030 It is being observed that the post-2015 development agenda has put health at the forefront of development. Health is a key input for and outcome of development.
The India State-level Disease Burden initiative has indicated that malnutrition and tobacco are the top two risk factors driving the most deaths and disability combined. Malnutrition is a tremendous challenge especially for children aged under five. Mizoram had the highest number of tobacco users in the country until 2017 when the findings of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) indicated that Mizoram is now in the No. 2 position, only lagging behind Tripura. The absolute figure for current tobacco use has also declined from 67.2 per cent to 58.7 per cent. This will have a tremendous impact on the prevalence of tobacco use related diseases and deaths.
Water Supply and Sanitation Mission To ensure all rural and urban households have access to and use safe drinking water and sanitation facilities on sustainable basis so as to bring about a healthy environment, prosperity and better quality of life. Rural Water Supply Rural drinking water supply are implemented mainly by providing piped water supply using gravity flow, pumping scheme, Rain Water Harvesting Scheme (RWHS), hand pump tube well, improvement of village spring source and impounding reservoir, etc. Urban Water Supply Mizoram is still on its way to achieve the National norms of Water Supply Level (70 litres per capita per day (lpcd)) in Urban Water Supply Programme.
There are one city and 22 towns in Mizoram. 10 towns have been brought under fully covered status (70 lpcd), 13 towns are still under partially covered (below 70 lpcd). There are four towns where water supply projects are under construction for achieving 70 lpcd and many more are expected to be sanctioned within a few year.
Road and Transport
In 1987, the Transport Department became a separate department after the bifurcation of Supply and Transport department when attaining the Statehood.The Road Transport Sector has grown significantly during the decades. Road Transport has deep linkages with the rest of the economy and a strong multiplier effect. Passenger transport services are provided both by the State Road Transport Undertakings (MST) and private operators.
Following liberalisation, the share of MST has declined with the entry of private operators to meet the over increasing passenger traffic demand. The Department continues to render services to the public on transportation purposes such as transportation of passengers and goods to various destinations, and enforcement of Motor Vehicle Acts & Rules by way of collecting fees and fines to Motor Vehicles and issue of permits to vehicles depending on necessity by the State of Mizoram and issue of driving license to those persons having efficient driving skill, frame and amendment of the Motor Vehicle Acts & Rules in harmony with the overall growth of the country. In rendering public services, the Transport Department also has high contribution to the State income by the revenue earned from MST passenger buses as well as from the collection of tax, fees and fines from motor vehicles, showcasing its vital role in the State economy.