GUWAHATI, Oct 19 - Admitting that the State is in need of rapid industrialisation, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that to attract investors to the State the tax regime has to be adopted around the new GST regime.
�We must send a signal to industrialists and prospective investors that the government is very serious in providing a business-friendly environment in the State for business and commerce to flourish,� Sonowal said at a meeting held on Tuesday in his office conference hall.
He said the government would try to exploit the special provision for Himalayan states under the GST regime and the matter would be taken up with the Union government that it would be wrong to club Assam with other developed states of the country as far as economic policies are concerned.
�As the North East, along with J&K, falls in the special category states bracket, there must be ways to provide certain exemptions to investors in the tax structure so that they feel attracted to come here and set up businesses ignoring the perceived socio-political condition of the State,� Chief Minister Sonowal said. He also said that he would write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the matter so that Assam�s case is considered from a different perspective by the Centre.
Citing examples indicating a positive trend in the economic sector of the State, the Chief Minister said Baba Ramdev is going to invest in a big way to set up his successful business module in the State and a major player like Dabur has also decided to establish a manufacturing plant for their different products, in the State. Automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra has also expressed interest in setting up a vehicle manufacturing plant in the State, which could give a major fillip to the employment scenario of the State. The tea sector is a good example of how business houses can make profit and contribute to the State�s economy by being steadfast in the supposedly adverse socio-political environment, he said.
Expressing concern at the 23rd position held by Assam among the states of the country in the �ease of doing business� index, Sonowal set the October 31 deadline for 11 key departments of the government � Revenue, Finance, Urban Development, Law and Judiciary, Forest and Environment, Taxation, Pollution Control, Industry and Commerce, Fire and Emergency, Labour and Employment and Power to achieve 100 per cent ease of doing business compliance from the present 72 per cent. He said there would be a single window for granting necessary permission to business houses so that transparency and swiftness can be maintained in facilitating a business-friendly environment.
Chief Minister Sonowal also said that a land bank is planned to be set up in the State so that lands can be leased to prospective investors and also lands lying unused by defunct public enterprises would be taken back by the government so that those can be placed under the land bank. He reiterated his government�s commitment to make Assam the number one destination for investment and business by speeding up ease of doing business processes.
Minister for Industry and Commerce Chandra Mohan Patowary, Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia, Commissioner and Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia along with top officials of various departments were present at the meeting.