This anti-industry scenario has to change," Assam Industry Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said here today. He was addressing a press conference at the end of a two-day mid-term review meeting of North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), 2007, with Industry ministers of other NE states, including Sikkim.
The minister said the Policy alone cannot attract investment if a conducive atmosphere is not created. "The frequent bandhs and disruptions are the most detrimental factors," he said.
Citing the case of Bongaigaon Thermal Power Project in Assam, Mr Bordoloi pointed that the commissioning of the project has been delayed from 2011 to 2013 for various factors and frequent bandhs in the area is one of them.
"The people have realised this after our pleading and various organisations of the area have now resolved to exempt work at the Project from any bandh or agitation called there," he added. The minister identified lack of adequate power as another major headache in promoting industrialisation in the region. "Water, gas and coal (primary power generation sources here) are in short supply.
All states are suffering huge setbacks," he added. Mr Bordoloi informed the review meeting discussed on skill building as a source to tackle the acute unemployment problem in the region.
"The people of this region have a natural flair in some sectors, like hotel and hospitality and healthcare. And we have resolved to put thrust on these," he said.
The meeting also resolved to urge the Centre to shift the thrust from big industries to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under the NEIIPP as land needed for big projects is not available in the region.
Industry ministers of Mizoram and Sikkim, Mr S Hiato and Ms Neru Sewa respectively, attended the review meeting, while the rest of the states were represented by parliamentary secretaries and other top officials. Industry leaders as well as Central Government representatives were also present.