To boost exports, Dispur seeks infra upgrade at B'desh border
Announce NEIIP ahead of Global Investors Summit, CM urges Prabhu
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
NEW DELHI, Nov 7: Seeking upgrade and modernization of the export infrastructure at Assam-Bangladesh international border, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday requested Union Minister for Industry and Commerce Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu to constitute a special task force for preparation of a time-bound action plan towards this end.
Sonowal also raised the issue of announcement of North East Industrial Investment Policy (NEIIP) ahead of the forthcoming Global Investors Summit. “Early announcement of NEIIP is highly crucial for industrial investment in Assam and the Northeast. This policy will leverage industrial growth in the entire region” Sonowal said.
The Assam CM met the Union Minister at his office in Udyog Bhavan and informed him of the importance of strengthening border trade points with Bangladesh.
“Currently, we have three border trade points, namely Golakganj and Mankachar in Dhubri district and Sutarkandi in Karimgaj district. In the light of special emphasis by Prime Minister on Act East Policy, it is crucial that these border trade points are upgraded and modernised”, Sonowal said.
Sonowal also requested Prabhu to form a special task force comprising the Act East Policy Affairs Department of Assam and representatives of the Ministry of Finance, MEA and MHA to chalk out a comprehensive and time-bound action plan in order to upgrade the physical facilities, the procedures related to Land Custom Stations and appropriate commodity based incentives to stimulate exports from Assam to Bangladesh.
Apprising the Union Minister about the preparations for the Global Investors Summit to be held in Guwahati in February, 2018, the Chief Minister also sought his cooperation for turning the event into a launch pad for industrial growth of the State.
Responding to the Assam CM’s requests, the Union Minister assured to take urgent appropriate steps for revamping the infrastructure of the three border trade points. Prabhu also announced that the Industry and Commerce Ministry would be a co-sponsor of the Global Investors Summit and will bear 50 percent of its cost. He further assured to write to CEOs of global industrial houses to participate in the Investors Summit.
Further highlighting the need to restructure Tocklai Tea Research Institute into a Global Innovative and Futuristic Centre for diversified use of tea, Sonowal urged Prabhu to initiate appropriate steps to restructure and support the institute to play the role of a global leader in tea research in areas “beyond-beverage,’’ such as medicines/drugs cosmetics, food preservation, etc.
“Tocklai Tea Research Institute is the oldest tea research station in the world. The institute needs to reorient itself to aim its research towards futuristic and diverse uses of tea beyond its conventional use, so as to position it as a beverage with next generation outlook”, Sonowal said while requesting the Union Minister to give a new lease of life to the tea industry and thereby the economy of Assam as well.
Suresh Prabhu assured Sonowal of taking expeditious measures in all these directions.