Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday asked the Centre to provide special concessions and incentives in order to promote Foreign Direct Investment in the state. Assam should get at least five per cent of the total FDI coming in to India, Gogoi said.
Speaking at the first meeting of the governing council of NITI Ayog in the national capital, Gogoi said the extra investment of five per cent was needed to provide the necessary impetus to Assam’s economy. “The Government of India shall have to provide incentives to industry, to promote investment and job creation,” he said.
Pressing for continuance of special incentives for industry in Assam and the Northeast, Gogoi said ‘Make in India’ would be incomplete and even meaningless if there was no focus on ‘Make in Assam.’
“The incentives provided in the North East Industrial Promotion Policy should not only continue but further expanded in quantum and scope to facilitate industrialization in the state,” he said.
Gogoi also pointed out that the per capita income (at current prices) for Assam was Rs 46,354 as against the all-India average of Rs 74,920. “This gap shall have to be bridged for the nation to develop faster. This can happen only when investment flows in and additional wealth and capital gets generated,” he said.
Pointing at the existing infrastructure gaps in Assam and the Northeast, Gogoi said Assam currently had a road network of 146 kms per one lakh population against the national average of 402 kms. “These statistics further accentuate the pressing need for bigger investments in infrastructure in Assam and the region,” he said.
Gogoi said there was a major demand for allocating funds for critical, large infrastructure projects for roads, airports, railways, inland waterways and power, etc., which would help achieve the twin objectives of addressing the Northeast’s developmental needs and providing a congenial eco-system for better ties between India and South East Asia.
Underlining the need for comprehensive development of inland waterways, Gogoi said a proposal of the Assam government for World Bank funding of inland waterways was pending with the Centre.
Asking Modi to expedite this proposal, he also suggested New Delhi begin a dialogue with neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar to establish and upgrade existing protocols for handling all kinds of goods and passenger traffic.