GUWAHATI, July 3 � Ashwini Kumar, Union Minister of State for Planning, today said that while harnessing the hydro power potential of the North-east, the Centre would take the people into confidence and their sentiments would be respected.
Addressing a press conference, Kumar said that the Assam and the North-east figured prominently in the 12th Plan which seeks to generate 10,000 MW of power across the country.
�The North-east will naturally have a big role in it�but we will honour the sentiments of the people,� he said, in a reference to the opposition to mega dams in Assam and other parts of the North-east.
The minister expressed confidence that Assam had developed a favourable climate for drawing investments. �With the Government�s focus on development and employment generation with local communities as stakeholders, the State now has a favourable atmosphere for investment,� he said.
Kumar also advocated bringing in changes in the North East Industrial and Investment Policy (NEIIP), saying that it had partially served the purpose. �The NEIIP needs a re-look under the present circumstances. There should be greater incentives under the policy for giving a new impetus to small and medium industries in the region,� he said.
The minister revealed that the allocation of Rs 9,000 crore as annual plan was the highest for the State by Planning Commission, and that it should further expedite the development process of the State.
The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) submitted a memorandum to Kumar, urging him to extend �all assistance for ushering in the blue and green revolutions in the State.