The UPA government has been releasing funds liberally for the overall development of backward Manipur and now Rs. 1,206 crore has been sanctioned for the ongoing projects and construction of other new developmental infrastructures. This was stated by the Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi in his Independence Day statement on Thursday. Bulk of the fund will be used in the development of the hill areas in the state.

Twentyseven blocks in the hills are in the priority list of development for the government. Bank branches and police outposts will be opened there. Besides the Autonomous District Councils would be strengthened. Powers had been delegated to six Autonomous District Councils. Manipur's economy is based on agriculture and the government has been paying special attention to this sector. In 2012-13 Manipur was given the Krishi Karman award for outstanding performances in the field of agriculture. He disclosed that Rs. 2,042 crore would be set aside for the agriculture sector in 2013-14.

Since there is no railway line in the state the government is trying to improve the road communication. Problems of the land locked Manipur had been highlighted in a recent meeting at Guwahati in which the Chief Ministers of the NE states had participated. Since highway 2 which connects Assam with Manipur via Nagaland has many sink zones a bypass from Chumukedima in Nagaland to Mao in Manipur was proposed. Besides the construction of bridges over the Barak and the Makru rivers along highway 37 would be expedited. The highway 2 would be upgraded to a Trans Asian highway having four lanes.

Mr. Ibobi further said that the Asian Development Bank will make give a loan of Rs. 1,800 crore for the construction of an 85.60 km long road from Imphal to Moreh, the border town where there is legalised border trade with Myanmar. Apart from expediting the construction of the railway lines from Jiribam to Toupul the Tulihal airport would be upgraded to an international airport soon since all the infrastructures are there. The items of the legalised border trade had been increased from 40 to 62 recently.

He also said that it was encouraging that several underground organisations have come over ground with arms and are taking part in the peace process. He appealed to the remaining insurgent groups to lay down arms and join in the peace process. With the help of the people his government will protect the territorial integrity of Manipur, he said.