8th North East Business Summit begins in Delhi

New Delhi, Jan 9 (ANI): Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Paban Singh Ghatowar inaugurated a two-day 8th North East Business Summit here today.

In his inaugural address, Ghatowar said it is the most opportune time for north east states to capitalise on growing trade relations with nations bordering India and emerge as crucial enablers for enhancing economic and cultural tie-ups.

He emphasized the need for effective hand-holding by all stakeholders so that North-East India can reach its next level of growth and economic prosperity and the Look East Policy finds its true meaning.

Asserting that the rapid development of the north east region is among the foremost priorities of the Central Government, Ghatowar said: " The states in north eastern region are special category states which get liberal central funding on 90:10 pattern and non-exempted central ministries / department are mandated to allocate 10 per cent of their Plan funds for development of NER."

" Large plan investments and focus on infrastructure development has helped growth in this region and recently approved 12th Five Year Plan document by National Development Council states that "there has been substantial improvement in growth rate in NER States, particularly in Eleventh Plan," he said.

"The growth rate of 5.3 percent in Ninth Plan in North East Region improved to 6.2 per cent in Tenth Plan, though less than National Average of 7.8 per cent and average GSDP growth of these States during Eleventh Plan improved to 9.95 percent against 7.9 percent at national level. This improvement in growth is due to concerted efforts of Centre and the States," he added.

He further said that despite having large investment opportunities in sectors like hydropower, infrastructure and natural gas, health care, textile and handicrafts, tourism, horticulture and agro-based industries, minerals, and so on, NE States are yet to witness any major investments in these sectors by private investors.

"Special fiscal package under North East Industrial Policy (NEIP) has so far failed to trigger major investment flow in the region in the manner it was conceived. NEIP did lead to some investment in industrial units in and around Guwahati in tea, coal, plastics, cement, cosmetics, metallurgy, and so on, but could not attract investors to other parts of the region," he said.

"According to an assessment based on the financial investment intentions by private / public sector enterprises during Eleventh Plan period, 336 units expressed intention for investment in the North-East involving 38892 Crore (approximately). As per 12th Plan share of investment (based on letter of Intent) in NE was, however, only 0.58 per cent of total intended investment at national level," he added.

The two-day summit organised jointly by the Ministry of DoNER and the Indian Chamber of Commerce is likely to see participation from investors and experts from the North Eastern Region and neighbouring country.

On the occasion, Ghatowar also gave away third North East Excellence Awards to the Public Sector Undertakings, Departments and individuals for their outstanding performance in their respective fields of North East region.

He also released a book 'India's North-East - Diversifying Growth Opportunities' prepared by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and PVC India. (ANI)

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