Cost of Being at Borders: North-Eastern Region of India

G. L. Meena


North East Region (NER) is a perfect case to visualize the development gap between mainland and marchland. Peculiarity of the region lies in sharing 98 per cent of its border with the foreign countries. This region is natural resource endowed, especially with spices. Even then it shares less than 3 per cent of India’s GDP which is an indication of the low standard of living of the people. The present study attempts to find if this region is paying the cost of being at borders? It argues that lack of infrastructure, means of communication, transportation and mobilization of resources in particular convert it into marchlands as far as pace of economic activities is concerned. At the same time, in the absence of appropriate trade policy formulation, interdependence of the people on the two sides of the political boundaries is getting translated into informal trade practices and sometimes even illegal trade practices. The paper seeks to examine how the lack of infrastructure development has adversely affected the integration of the region with the rest of India and thereby has exacerbated its development problems.

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