GUWAHATI, May 11 - As part of State government�s efforts to revitalize the industrial sector, which is hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today interacted with representatives of Central and State Government PSUs, industry and tea associations at the Assam Administrative Staff College here and solicited their suggestions to arrest the economic slowdown. He also talked to several industry leaders through video conference who joined the interaction from different parts of the State and the country.
�COVID-19 has posed an extraordinary challenge to the economy. The present crisis calls for extraordinary response. The State government is very much concerned about the loss incurred by the industries and has come up with measures to check the economic slowdown,� Sonowal said during the interaction.
He said that the State government worked relentlessly during last four years to develop a favourable economic environment in the State. He further said that industries in Assam contribute 39 per cent to the State GDP and provide direct employment to approximately 4 lakh people and indirect employment to around 20 lakh people and this sector has been severely affected by the lockdown.
Stating that due to lockdown big and small tea gardens incurred loss to the tune of around Rs. 500 crores, Sonowal assured the industry leaders that continuous efforts to revive the economy were underway.
He said in view of many foreign companies expressing their interest to migrate their base to India, he has already discussed the matter with the Prime Minister and sent letter to the Central Government to make suggestions to those companies to set up their production facilities in Assam. The Prime Minister has responded positively on the issue, he informed.
Moreover, saying that the State government has taken up steps to facilitate return of migrant workers of the State who are stranded at different places of the country, Sonowal stressed on making best use of their skills to boost the industrial sector.
Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary taking part in the interaction said that steps are afoot to leverage industrial growth in the State and as a result of which a favourable industrial environment develops in Assam today. He said that initiatives like Act East Policy Affairs Department and Assam Skill Development Mission have helped to develop better commercial linkages with the South East Asian countries. He also observed that steps taken for improvement of waterway would give a major push to economic activities in the State.