Regular power supply, land availability, simplified procedures for setting up industries and continuation of NEIPP identified as four must-do’s for new government
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, June 7: Ensuring uninterrupted supply of power, making land available for industries, simplifying procedure for the setting up of industries and continuation of the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP) have been identified as four must do’s in drawing the roadmap for industrial development in Assam.
The State Industries and Commerce department today convened a meeting of various industrial stakeholders to brainstorm on industrial development in the State. Representatives from 13 industry related organizations and 16 Central and State government undertakings took part in the meeting and put forward their suggestions.
State Industry and Commerce Commissioner Swapnil Baruah assured stakeholders of accommodating their grievances in the State budget and in the industrial policy. “All stakeholders should come together and make strides,” he said.
Taking part in the discussion, All Assam Small Scale Industrial general secretary RK Gohain said: “Ninety per cent of industries in Assam are of micro sector, and as such this sector should get an equitable thrust. Twenty-five per cent land and industrial sheds in the State should be kept reserved for this sector. This apart, uninterrupted power supply and continuation of the NEIIP are a must for industrial growth in the State.”
The representative from the All India Manufacturers’ Association said: “The entire process of industrialization, right from submitting applications to the issuance of licenses, should be made online. The current inspection raj in the department has to be done away with. Erratic power supply in the State, fund raising by various groups and the bandh culture are some of the hurdles to industrial investment in the State.”
Abhijit Baruah of the CII said the State government does not accord requisite importance to the Industries and Commerce department. “Dispur continues to allocate the lowest amount of funds for the department in the Budget. Because of small budgetary allocation, the department cannot undertake a number of works even when it wants to do something,” he said, and added: “The NEIIPP was a good step. However, all of a sudden it has been suspended. Dispur should take up the matter with the Centre for continuation of the industrial policy.”
The representative from FICCI said: “Power is the lifeblood for industrial development in any State. This apart, the land bank has to function properly. There should be smart rural hubs in the State. The kind of skill development training being conducted for the unemployed of the State is not up to mark.”
FINER president RS Joshi said proper functioning of the land bank and continuation of the NEIIPP can ensure rapid industrialization of Assam. “Guwahati should be chosen as a start-up city. All industry-related clearances should be done in time-bound manner,” he said.
The representative from the North East Industrial Association said micro and small scale industries do play an important role in solving unemployment in any state. “The State Industries and Commerce department should give thrust to the development of rural areas. Emphasis should also be laid on skill development in non-farming sectors like piggery, poultry, fishery and the like,” he said.
State Commissioner of Taxes Anurag Goel said that the government has already initiated steps to address the issues raised by trade bodies. He called upon them to apprise themselves of tax regulations and guidelines. He also asked the representatives to ensure good quality as well as affordable prices of finished goods and products.
Representatives from BCPL, CIPET, Rubber Board, Spice Board, IIE, NSIC and others also spoke at the meeting.