New industrial policy for North-East likely
A new industrial policy is set to replace the existing North East Industrial
Policy of 1997 which expires in the current year i.e. March 31, 2007.
The current policy will be amended to make it more attractive for investors,
mainly automobile and ancillary industries whose presence in the region is
"A review of the new policy has begun and the directorate of industries has
submitted its recommendations to the Centre," says P.K. Sharma, Deputy Director,
Industry and Commerce, Government of Assam.
Power, a scarce commodity in all the seven states of the north-east—known as
Seven Sister States—will be another focus area in the new industrial policy.
With the anticipated growth in industries, the need for more hydel power
projects has become imperative. "The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation
and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd are doing every bit to supply power to
the industries," Sharma notes. "We also expect Assam's hydel projects to
function efficiently as the condition (of power in the region) is miserable."
Two major ongoing hydroelectric power projects in Assam are the 2x50 mw Karbi
Langpi project and the 6x250 mw Tipaimukh project.
The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) is waiting for the
Centre's response to the new industrial policy.
Meanwhile, the Assam government, in its industrial policy, has granted several
exemptions such as entry tax on capital goods, works contract tax during
construction; and VAT on feedstock and products for 15 years from the date of
commencement of production. Assam is expecting nearly 500 plastic processing
industries to come up throughout the north-east region due to GAIL's multi-crore
Assam Gas Cracker Project, which has finally taken off.
[05 June 2006]