Rs 25,000 cr projects stalled, Assam chamber wants industrial policy revived
The industry body also suggested declaration of tea as a national drink
Kamrup Chamber of Commerce (KCC) hoped that the new BJP-led alliance government in Assam would steer the economy of the state so that it can take its place among the developed states of the country.
Talking to newsmen here, KCC president Mahavir Jain urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who would be present at the oath taking of chief minister designate Sarbananda Sonowal here on Tuesday, to revive the state's economy and bring in fresh investment by immediately restoring the NE Industrial Policy and Promotion (NEIPP) for at least 10 years.
Exemptions given in the policy should be continued, he said and added that projects of Rs 25,000 crore were held up due to the hold on NEIIPP. The policy if restored would go a long way in solving the unemployment problem of the state, he said.
Jain said improvement of rural economy was essential to improve the purchasing power of the state's 82 percent rural population and this would be possible only with the improvement of investment in agriculture and horticulture sectors and allied fields like food processing.
The Centre must declare these as thrust areas as they are employment intensive, while investment in the oil sector is only capital intensive, he said.
Improvements in agriculture and horticulture sectors should be supplemented by increasing investment in and development of related infrastructure like cold chain in every sub-division, marketing facilities and warehouses for farmers.
Food Corporation of India should be made active at the lowest level to buy surplus food grains from farmers, Jain said adding KCC was confident that Assam has the capability to meet the food needed in the entire North East region.
The industry body also suggested declaration of tea as a national drink and said the garden owners should be allowed to use at least 50 percent of their surplus land for agriculture/horticulture purposes.
"Tea gardens can play a major role in promoting tea tourism in the state and special tourism packages should be developed for this", Jain added.