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CM seeks NITI Aayog help in State�s growth

By The Assam Tribune
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GUWAHATI, March 5 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has drawn attention of the NITI Aayog to the perennial problems of flood and erosion in the State, stressing the need to find a permanent solution to the devastating floods and erosion every year through constitution of a multi-nation mechanism and allocation of funds to build road-cum-embankments like the one in Dibrugarh, in different parts of State.

Holding a meeting with Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar in the CM�s Conference Room at Janata Bhawan here today, Sonowal also stressed the need to prevent erosion by rivers as it causes loss of nearly 8,000 hectares of land in the State every year.

The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman assured of taking action in this regard and informed that a meeting held recently with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the chair, decided to set up a �Northeast Water Management Authority� where all the NE states would be stakeholders in managing the menace of flood.

The Chief Minister suggested taking along Bhutan for making the purpose of the Authority fruitful, to which Dr Kumar responded in the affirmative.

Another key matter that came up for discussion during the meeting was implementation of an industrial policy for the region on the lines of North-East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIPP), 2007 which expired on March 2017. The Chief Minister urged the NITI Aayog to expedite the process of implementation of the new policy to sustain the momentum of business and investment in the aftermath of Advantage Assam: Global Investors� Summit.

The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman assured of intervening in the matter of formulating a new industrial policy soon. He also requested the State government to submit a proposal of an industrial policy in the region taking into account ASEAN countries� proximity.

Other measures requested from NITI Aayog for industrial growth of the State included keeping no cap on refund of Income Tax and CGST/IGST, period of refund to be kept at 10 years, etc.

Boosting internet connectivity and increasing bandwidth in the State through the Internet Gateway at Cox�s Bazaar in Bangladesh so that IT-based industries can grow at a fast pace and augmenting digital payment infrastructure in the state for Direct Bank Transfers (DBT) to beneficiaries like job card holders under MGNREGA, tea garden workers, selected beneficiaries of PMAY etc., were some other issues where help from NITI Aayog was sought.

The NITI Aayog was also requested to increase the allocation of Central assistance in drinking water projects, rural livelihood, education, health, skill development etc., to which Dr Kumar responded positively.

Minister of State for Power Pallab Lochan Das, Legal and Media advisers to the Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali and Hrishikesh Goswami respectively, Chief Secretary TY Das, State Innovation & Transformation Aayog (SITA) Vice Chairman Dipok Kumar Barthakur, Additional Chief Secretary of PWD Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia and Principal Secretary of Finance Samir Sinha were also present at the meeting.

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CM seeks NITI Aayog help in State�s growth

GUWAHATI, March 5 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has drawn attention of the NITI Aayog to the perennial problems of flood and erosion in the State, stressing the need to find a permanent solution to the devastating floods and erosion every year through constitution of a multi-nation mechanism and allocation of funds to build road-cum-embankments like the one in Dibrugarh, in different parts of State.

Holding a meeting with Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar in the CM�s Conference Room at Janata Bhawan here today, Sonowal also stressed the need to prevent erosion by rivers as it causes loss of nearly 8,000 hectares of land in the State every year.

The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman assured of taking action in this regard and informed that a meeting held recently with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the chair, decided to set up a �Northeast Water Management Authority� where all the NE states would be stakeholders in managing the menace of flood.

The Chief Minister suggested taking along Bhutan for making the purpose of the Authority fruitful, to which Dr Kumar responded in the affirmative.

Another key matter that came up for discussion during the meeting was implementation of an industrial policy for the region on the lines of North-East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIPP), 2007 which expired on March 2017. The Chief Minister urged the NITI Aayog to expedite the process of implementation of the new policy to sustain the momentum of business and investment in the aftermath of Advantage Assam: Global Investors� Summit.

The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman assured of intervening in the matter of formulating a new industrial policy soon. He also requested the State government to submit a proposal of an industrial policy in the region taking into account ASEAN countries� proximity.

Other measures requested from NITI Aayog for industrial growth of the State included keeping no cap on refund of Income Tax and CGST/IGST, period of refund to be kept at 10 years, etc.

Boosting internet connectivity and increasing bandwidth in the State through the Internet Gateway at Cox�s Bazaar in Bangladesh so that IT-based industries can grow at a fast pace and augmenting digital payment infrastructure in the state for Direct Bank Transfers (DBT) to beneficiaries like job card holders under MGNREGA, tea garden workers, selected beneficiaries of PMAY etc., were some other issues where help from NITI Aayog was sought.

The NITI Aayog was also requested to increase the allocation of Central assistance in drinking water projects, rural livelihood, education, health, skill development etc., to which Dr Kumar responded positively.

Minister of State for Power Pallab Lochan Das, Legal and Media advisers to the Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali and Hrishikesh Goswami respectively, Chief Secretary TY Das, State Innovation & Transformation Aayog (SITA) Vice Chairman Dipok Kumar Barthakur, Additional Chief Secretary of PWD Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia and Principal Secretary of Finance Samir Sinha were also present at the meeting.