Agartala, March 9: Industry minister Jiten Chowdhury has said he wants to make Tripura the most developed state in the Northeast.
Speaking to the media today in his office here, Chowdhury said, “In the run-up to the Assembly election, my party had made pledges to the people and now it is time to redeem them. Tripura’s major problem is unemployment among educated youths and only the establishment of private-owned industries can solve this problem. So our priority will be to ensure proper industrialisation so that employment can be generated.”
He said the government would “finetune” its package of incentives for investors from outside the state and country. “We will be banking on our rapidly expanding rubber cultivation and availability of natural gas to attract investments. Already some industrial groups have evinced keen interest in investing in rubber and gas-based industries,” the minister said.
Describing the current infrastructure and insurgency-free situation as conducive to investment, Chowdhury said the establishment of rail connectivity up to Agartala since October 2008, improvement of roads, prospect of transit facilities across Bangladesh and the growing volume of international trade and commerce have “greatly improved” the investment climate.
He, however, said the “scarcity of land” was a major problem because most industrial houses demand large tracts of land free of cost. “In Tripura, land scarcity is severe. We have the autonomous district councils, which encompass 68.10 per cent of the state’s geographical territory where you cannot take over or acquire land at will. In the plains, land is also scarce but within this limitation, we are building up a land bank for industries, which should help,” Chowdhury said.
He expressed hope that by end-2020, Tripura will emerge prominently in the industrial map of the country. “We are hopeful that sooner or later, Bangladesh will allow transit facilities and access to Chittagong sea port and Ashuganj river port. This will be a gain for us as far as securing industrial investment is concerned,” the minister said.