Arunachal Pradesh an ideal platform to do business as well as contribute to welfare, Chief Minister Mr Kalikho Pul tells industry members
KOLKATA, May 28: A liberalized State Industrial Policy, which includes subsidies and incentives on cost of infrastructure, transport, training, power, import of equipment, tax benefits, ease of doing business, is what makes investments in Arunachal Pradesh a “high yielding proposition” for investors, Mr Kalikho Pul, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, told senior industry leaders here.
Arunachal Pradesh is an ideal platform to generate wealth – a State where business-friendly policies are in place and incentives for potential investors on offer, Mr Pul said during a Session on Promoting Investment in Arunachal Pradesh organized by CII Eastern Region here today.
“I earnestly believe that there are today opportunities for mutual growth, which must be capitalised. There are indeed opportunities where business and commerce meets welfare and people’s right to a reasonably good life.”
“Arunachal’s Industrial Policy seeks to utilise fully the forest resources, minerals and other natural resources of the State for its industrial development. It is a great opportunity for newer business ventures,” Mr Pul said, adding that the vision is to make Arunachal Pradesh the most-preferred investment destination in the North-East.
He said that the state was keen to industrialize the state for which the government would acquire land with least hurdles, provide power subsidy and other fiscal incentives.
The Chief Minister said that in order to facilitate entry of machinery for industry, the state was in talks with the Govt of India to establish various links. “These links will be probably ready by two years”.
He said that the state was endowed with coal, limestone, dolomite, marble and zinc, besides having a huge hydel power generation. To create conditions which also encourage participation of private enterprises in agro-based industries, the State has come out with the Agriculture Policy which envisages setting up of agro-processing units, including even small processing units, in production areas so as to add value to agricultural and horticultural produce. He also mentioned the opportunities for cold chain.
The Arunachal Government has put in place a single window system for all statutory approvals and clearances through a State Level Industrial Empowered Committee comprising the Chief Secretary, Secretaries and representatives from banking and financial Institutions, Mr Pul said.
There are also specific tax benefits whereby State and local duties and entry taxes are being waivered. We are ensuring that wherever land is needed, the government will ensure that it is acquired with the least obstacle to investors, he explained.
“Additionally, power subsidy will also be given according to the provisions of the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), 2007 along with other exemptions and subsidies,” Mr Pul said.
“We have made rapid strides in every field with the result that today we have become one of the fastest growing States in the country. In January 2014, for instance, Arunachal Pradesh topped the list of states in terms of total fresh investment, in all attracting 11 new projects with an aggregate investment of Rs 4,953 crores,” he said.
Mr Pul said PPP route could offer attractive opportunities in Arunachal for prospective investors and financiers, saying the State welcomes investors in a wide range of activities for building better infrastructure.
“We want to build better infrastructure to take care of the energy and transportation needs of the state. We should be able to move people and goods throughout the state in the most convenient, cost efficient and environmentally friendly way,” Mr Pul said, adding that the Arunachal Government is building railways, improving highways, and also is in the process of creating airports wherever possible.
“If you add to this the totally unexplored and exciting sector of aviation for high-end tourism into Arunachal, taking advantage of the creation of 7 Advanced Landing Grounds across the State truly, opportunities are abundant!”
In Mr Pul’s assessment, the North East in general and Arunachal Pradesh in particular occupy a strategically important position in the sub-regional context. “My State is a sentinel of our nation in the east, having an international border of 1817 km with China, Myanmar and Bhutan. The state has the distinction of being the greenest State of the country, and also of having the highest hydropower potential,” he said, adding that it has also been identified as a mega bio-diversity hot spot of the world and has been recognized by the travel icon Lonely Planet as the 4th best tourism destination in the world in 2012.
“It is (also) the bridge that connects India with South and South East Asian nations,” Mr Pul told the CII members. “We are actively engaging with the Government of India to increase connectivity and establish rail links to 11 entry points in the foothills of our state. This will facilitate the unhindered transit of plant and machinery into our State for any industry that may be set up,” he said.
According to Mr Pul, the North East is the fulcrum of trade. “The geographical setting of the State puts it at the fulcrum of Asia’s rapidly growing economies – India, China, and Southeast Asia. This phenomenal opportunity has to be realised if the Act East Policy championed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modiji is to bear fruit,” he said.
Mr Pul called for creative initiatives. “Arunachal has traditional organizational models of village councils and these traditional structures can be utilized to create clusters for skill development and to act as launching pads for small and medium enterprises,” he said.
Bio-diversity in Arunachal can be utilized for research, development and value addition of medicinal plants, herbs and even food additives can be encouraged, he said, adding that appropriate technology could be transferred and clusters for agro products could be set up and marketing linkages established.
“It is very important to speed up infrastructure projects, which are under implementation not only in our state but also across the region. Whether it is transmission lines remaining to be built to evacuate power to be generated in our State, or the extension of railway lines or highways, projects require fast completion,” he said.
Mr Pul also underscored the need for creating or tapping energy from all possible sources – be it hydro, wind, thermal and gas, or any other source. “In effect a large-scale public-private campaign to improve facilities for generation and transmission of energy is needed,” he said.
“With over 57,000 MW of energy projected in hydropower alone, Arunachal truly stands out as an investor’s paradise,” Mr Pul said.
Mr T V Narendran, Chairman, CII Eastern Region; Mr Umesh Chowdhary, Deputy Chairman, CII Eastern Region, also spoke during the Session.
Bandhan Bank Chairman & MD Mr. C.S. Ghosh also spoke during the question answer session with CM.