Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to continue the existing North East Industrial Investment Promotion Policy, 2007 (NEIIPP) till a new policy is rolled out. “NEIIPP-2007 has led to significant industrial investment in Assam to the tune of around Rs 5,000 crore before its expiry on March 31 this year. Till a new industrial policy is put in place, NEIIPP may be allowed to continue,” an official release said quoting Sonowal. Taking part at the 3rd Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog in the national capital, the Chief Minister put forward a slew of demands in front of the Prime Minister.
Pleading for revival of Ashok Paper Mill, HPC’s Nagaon Paper Mill and Cachar Paper Mill, Sonowal said resumption of these units will provide boost to the rural economy of Assam and requested the Prime Minister to assist in revival of the units.
The Chief Minister urged for evolving a mechanism for scheme-wise allocation of central share well in advance to enable the states to prepare a realistic resource-based action plan as the absence of it creates difficulties in reflecting the correct allocation of funds against each scheme.
On the 15-year Vision, 7-year Strategy and 3-year Action Plan, Sonowal requested the Aayog for inclusion of state specific concerns to achieve faster and more holistic growth. “I believe that for a country like ours, we need a long horizon vision supported by appropriate strategy and practical action plans for realising the avowed vision,” he said.
On skill development, the Chief Minister said a new skill development department and a skill development mission have been set up to provide employment opportunities to 1.5 lakh young people every year in the state.
Besides, he said his government has been able to increase tax revenue by 20.5 per cent, non-tax revenue by 28 per cent and a quantum leap in expenditure, excluding salary and pension, from Rs 12,833 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 24,731 crore in 2016-17. Sonowal attributed these achievements to transparent and honest governance, coupled with the yearning to accelerate the pace of development, the release said.