GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has made a special appeal to the Prime Minister who is the chairman of NITI Aayog to give special exemption to Assam with regard to requirement of the size of land for establishing any project in the State. The Chief Minister made this appeal while putting forward his views during the sixth Governing Council meet of the NITI Aayog held virtually on Saturday.
Speaking at the meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Sonowal said that taking into the consideration the paucity of land in the State, NITI Aayog must give special relaxation to Assam for setting up any mega project in Assam. Chief Minister Sonowal also pointed out that the density of population in Assam is 397 persons per square kilometre which is higher than the national average. So, he made an appeal to the Prime Minister to impress upon the NITI Aayog to grant exemption to Assam so that the State can catch up with other States of the country for setting up mega projects in Assam. The Chief Minister also requested the intervention of the Ministry of Power to explore the possibilities of reduction in tariff for NTPC Bongaigaon Station for Assam.
Sonowal also said that though 2020 was a very challenging year for the entire country, the visionary leadership and timely interventions of the Prime Minister gave the country courage and determination to overcome the challenge. He also said that NITI Aayog has given the States an empowered role as equal partners in national development. The 'bottom-up' approach of planning introduced by the Aayog is boosting an environment for better coordination through an inclusive thought process and vision for development in the country.
In a bid to contribute to the goal of making India a 'Global Manufacturing hub', the State government besides enacting 'Ease of Doing Business Act', also introduced several investment friendly policies and created a 'Single Window Agency' for the clearances system which has enabled the investors to apply online. Moreover, the 'Industrial Land Bank' has been set up and a 'Multi-Model Logistic Park' at Jogighopa is being developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. The Government of Assam has also completed implementation and achieved compliance of the 'District Business Reform Action Plan' and DPIIT. The State government has also come out with a comprehensive new 'Land Policy' and distributed land pattas to over 3.35 lakh indigenous landless families during the last four-and-half year. Moreover, the government has taken up exhaustive measures to boost organic farming; and as a result, the area under organic farming increased from 6,000 Ha in 2015-16 to 43,000 Ha.
He also said that the State government is taking steps for facilitating ease of export, agri-marketing infrastructure, uplifting the infrastructure for Post-Harvest Management, Cold Chain Management, Marketing linkages, PPCs etc. Besides developing Air Cargo Terminal at LGBI Airport to promote export of agricultural products the government is also supporting innovative and start up agri business and food processing industries.
He also stated that the government has accorded high priority to infrastructure development to achieve long term economic and social visions of the State. He said that besides dedicating Dhola-Sadiya Bridge, Bogibeel Rail-cum-Road Bridge and the new Saraighat Bridge to the service of the people, approval of construction of five new Bridges over Brahmaputra have been already given. The foundation stone of Dhubri-Phoolbari Bridge and Jorhat-Majuli Bridge was laid by the Prime Minister on February 18.
Chief Minister Sonowal also said that 'Skill Development' and 'Entrepreneurship' are the focussed areas for Atmanirbhar Assam. To meet the skilled manpower globally, the North East Skill Centre is being established under the aegis of Assam Skill Development Mission in collaboration with ITE Education Services, Singapore.
The Chief Minister also observed that the guidance of Prime Minister and the synergy and support extended by the Union Government helped Assam in the expeditious implementation of the initiatives of Central and State governments thereby unleashing rapid transforming in Assam. The Chief Minister added that he hoped that the discussion in the sixth Governing Council meet would further help in chalking out the future roadmap for realizing the development goal of the country leveraging the growth potential of the State, stated a release.
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