GUWAHATI, Jan 30 - The Assam Government is ready with a Rs 32-crore budget to host the Global Investors� Summit on February 3 and 4, which will be the biggest ever such summit in the entire North East. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power has agreed to provide required power from the National Grid for industries to be set up in the State to overcome the problem of power shortage faced by Assam.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Assam Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that of the budget of Rs 32 crore, the Ministry of Commerce has provided Rs 10 crore and the State Government is also seeking sponsorship from the Public Sector Undertakings like the Oil India Limited (OIL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
Giving details of the response from investors and preparations for the mega event, Patowary said that so far 4,900 participants have registered themselves to attend the event. He said that apart from industrialists from all over the country, foreign delegates including delegations from the ASEAN countries have accepted the invitation of the State Government to participate in the meet. There would be multi sectoral seminars by countries like Laos, Japan and Bangladesh. One investor from Canada has shown interest in setting up or a Five Star Hotel, while, the State Government is expecting more investments in Hydrocarbon, tourism and pharmaceutical sectors. He said that 300 officers have been engaged as protocol officers alone, while, at least 3000 police and security personnel have to be deployed to ensure security.
All the three Five Star Hotels have been fully booked, while, 800 rooms have also been booked in other quality hotels in the city for the participants and delegates from foreign countries. Patowary said that if any participant wants to visit places of tourist attraction including Kamakhya Temple, Kaziranga National Park, etc., arrangements for it would be made as the Government is keen on giving a boost to tourism industry.
The Minister said that as a prelude to the Summit, the State Government organized road shows in 14 countries, while, such shows were also organized in places like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.
Replying to a question on whether the Government is ready with necessary infrastructure including power to attract investors, Patowary admitted that though the State is facing power shortage, India now has surplus power in the National Power Grid. He said that the State Government already held talks with the Ministry of Power in this regard and the Ministry is ready to provide required power to the industries. The Government is also hopeful that the process of laying of a new pipeline from Barauni to Assam to bring in gas would start soon. It will be a Rs 4,000 crore project.
On connectivity issue, which is vital for industrialization, Patowary said that dredging of the river Barak is likely to be completed by July, which would improve water connectivity to Bangladesh, while, dredging of parts of the river Brahmaputra is likely to start soon. He revealed that the Centre has given stress on road connectivity and a substantial amount has already been earmarked for it, while, six new bridges over the river Brahmaputra would be constructed in phased manner. The IT connectivity has improved a lot and further improvements are likely soon, while steps have already been initiated for major improvement of air connectivity.
The Minister said that land for setting up industries would not be an issue any more as the Industries Department has a land bank ready, while, both sides of the National Highway from Amingaon to Tihu has been declared as an industrial corridor and the industrialists would not have to run from pillar to post to acquire land. Reacting to allegations that the Government was taking away land of the farmers, Patowary said, �the Government would not force any farmer to give up his land. If any farmer is ready to sell his land, he would be able to do so at a much higher price in the industrial corridor and at the same time, he would be able to make a deal with the industrialists to give appointments to his family members in the industries to be set up in his land. But it will be entirely up to the concerned farmer to decide whether to sell his land or not.�