Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today batted for reviving a UPA-era policy for promoting industries and investment in the Northeast to give a push to the government’s flagship Make in India campaign in the region.
The North-East Industry and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP) was formulated nearly a decade ago, but was shelved after the change of guard at the Centre in 2014.
“If the buzzword is Make in India, then you will have to ensure that the NEIIPP is reintroduced in an improved manner. Hopefully, we will get a positive response from the government on the issue,” he told a CII summit on the Northeast region here.
Noting that the NEIIPP has been kept under suspended animation since September 2014 by the Modi government, Sangma said it must be reintroduced with lots of new features, especially excise duty and income tax waivers.
The NEIIPP was an open-ended scheme with no limits on the number of proposals to be accepted from industries.
“We do need to bring back the NEIIPP to bring in substantial investments in the region. For the Make in India campaign, we also need to make in the Northeast and offer some additional incentives to corporates to invest in the region,” the Congress leader said.
He said production of ethanol as an alternative fuel from bamboos, which is abundantly available in the region, will require an investment of Rs 1,000 crore.
“If you are looking at ethanol as a bio-fuel from bamboos, the Northeast region, which is rich in bamboo cultivation, can help a lot in achieving the objective of lowering crude oil imports. This can be done with an investment of only around Rs 1,000 crore,” he said.
A M Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, admitted that no new licence under the NEIIPP had been issued by the DIPP since September 2014.
Certain parts of the scheme should be reintroduced for ensuring investments in the Northeastern states, he said. “We will try to request the government to do something in that direction,” he said.
Singh said as many as 56 central ministries have earmarked 10 per cent of their annual budgets, amounting to Rs 33,000 crore, for the development of Northeast for this fiscal year.