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Jaitley flayed over comment on reforms

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 8 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today described Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley�s reported comment asking the States to introduce reforms for attracting investment or perish as a stand that reflects the BJP�s pro-rich deportment.

In a statement here, Gogoi said, �Arun Jaitley�s comment on the States to reform or perish is a clear reflection of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government�s pro-capitalist agenda�. He further said, �If the landlocked regions like the North East are left to compete with bigger States like Gujarat and Maharashtra, a sense of disparity and sarcasm will overpower the regions concerned because of their lacking a matching business environment.

Moreover, Jaitley�s statement is an indication of the NDA Government�s transition from cooperative federalism to competitive federalism�.

The Chief Minister further said, �If Jaitley�s wish list is allowed to be materialised, it will lead to a market economy and will prove to be a doom for the people of the North East who are economically poor and backward.�

He also maintained that the Union Finance Minister�s comment would further widen the regional disparity and would result in sluggish growth. It would also disturb creation of jobs and give rise to resentment among the youths which has been one of the major causes of insurgency in the State.

He asserted that to bring Assam and other North Eastern States to the course of growth and bolster their business environment, the erstwhile UPA Government introduced North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP).

However, the new dispensation at the Centre instead of pronouncing some new investment incentives, suspended the NEIIPP, thus serving a blow to the development of Assam and other North Eastern States.

The Chief Minister stated, �Assam and other North Eastern States needs more incentives to set up more Central sector industries to give a boost to its local and natural resources. However, the Centre�s thrust on market economy will only unleash regional imbalances.�

He observed that competition is healthy only when there is a level playing field for everybody. However, Arun Jaitley�s stand on states only reveals his myopic view which has the undercurrent of creating regional disparities and putting a spanner on the growth of the backward regions as the poor States will remain poor, said Gogoi.

Chief Minister Gogoi further said, �the Union Finance Minister�s comment is tantamount to his insensitivity towards the people of the North East, as the Centre�s neglect of the region will only alienate the people of the region even further.�

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