Agartala, Jan. 3: A major initiative is being taken by the Northeast to pave way for investment in the region.
A two-day business summit would be organised in the national capital on January 9 and 10 to attract investment to the industry-starved northeastern India, Tripura industry and commerce minister Jitendra Choudhury told reporters here today.
Organised under the auspices of the DoNER ministry and the Indian Chamber of Commerce, the 8th Northeast Business Summit is expected to see participation from investors and experts from abroad and various parts of the country.
“Investors, businessmen, exporters and policy makers from different parts of India and abroad want to harness the region’s untapped resources,” Choudhury said in an informal interaction with the media at his official chambers in the state secretariat this morning.
Bangladesh industry minister Dilip Barua and some other foreign dignitaries are likely to attend the summit, he said.
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid, DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, several chief ministers and ministers of northeastern states and top officials of various government departments are slated to attend the summit.
“Mineral, forest and human resources of the Northeast still remain untouched. Tourism, healthcare, handloom and handicraft, agriculture, horticulture, food processing and infrastructure development are also high potential investment sectors in the region,” Choudhury said.
Investment and development of information technology, education, energy and border trade in the region will also be highlighted during the summit so that adequate investments in these vital sectors pour in.
The region is adjacent to China, Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh, which Choudhury said was “an advantage for attracting foreign investment”.
During the summit, seminars, one-to-one meetings and exhibitions highlighting the scope for industries and resources offered by the region would also be held. The Union and state governments are providing several incentives, subsidies and tax holidays for ventures in the northeastern region, considering its isolated geographical location and need for investment for neutralising backwardness.
Chowdhury said the Centre’s incentive package scheme, first implemented in December 1997, had been re-introduced as the Northeast Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy in April 2007.
He added that plenty of natural gas availability in Tripura and the state’s upcoming status as “power-surplus” should also act as major incentives for investment.