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Wooing investors

It is heartening to note that the Government of Assam, while tackling the COVID-19 situation in a highly professional

Chandra Mohan Patowary

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Jun 2020 2:23 AM GMT

It is heartening to note that the government of Assam, while tackling the COVID-19 situation in a highly professional manner, is also simultaneously engaging itself in wooing investors from foreign countries to the State. On Monday, Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary interacted through a webinar with 11 Singapore-based companies, and promised them the best of facilities for setting up shop in Assam. Though the webinar was not entirely accessible to the media, one must trust when the Minister says that these Singapore-based companies have evinced keen interest in investing in Assam. The Minister had particularly placed before the investors opportunities available in areas like food processing, hospitality, infrastructure development, industrial town development, start-ups, airline catering, skills training, organic farming and marketing. The Government of Assam has also pointed out to the investors taking part in the webinar that historical legacy, policy framework, locational advantage and robust infrastructure are prerequisites for any investment. Officials who took part alongside the Minister also cited the instances of the 150-year old glorious tea industry of the State as well as Asia's first oil refinery in Digboi, in order to drive home the fact that industrial activities are not altogether new to Assam. The State's key economic components like oil and natural gas, energy, food processing, agriculture came into focus during the webinar, in addition to Assam's compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent in the last five years. While it is for the Government of Assam to now aggressively follow up with the investors issues that were discussed in Monday's webinar, what the Government now also needs to focus on is the sudden spurt in calculated campaigns against the major public sector industries of the State like Oil India Ltd and Coal India Ltd. While it is a fact that certain developments and incidents have caused major environmental disturbance and loss in recent times, there is also a calculated design by certain anti-development forces to project these public sector companies as villains, demons and exploiters and what not. The government must ensure that these PSUs strictly adhere to the environmental laws and ensure that no harm is caused to the environment and the people. Simultaneously, the government must also ensure that there are no illegal operations, no forcible collection of donations, no blockades and bandhs, no theft, and no threats to employees of these PSUs.

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