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Push for industrial growth

Imphal, Dec. 30: A daylong industrial development dialogue on state of industrial potential in Manipur and Look East Policy has recommended setting up of an industrial advisory board and a vision document to give a major thrust to the state’s industry.

Commerce and industries minister Govindas Konthoujam today released the recommendations of the dialogue which was held on June 10 in Imphal.

The dialogue was organised by the All Manipur Entrepreneurs’ Association.

Former member of steering committee of the North Eastern Region Vision 2020, N. Mohendro Singh, principal secretary, Manipur commerce and industries, O. Nabakishore Singh, professor of economics, Manipur University, E. Bijaykumar Singh, and branch manager of NEDFi, Kh. Rajiv, discussed and analysed issues pertaining to industries and made suggestions to give a boost to the state’s industry.

The meet came out with six important recommendations that include a separate department for commerce and investment.

Underlining the importance of hearing the problems and suggestions of entrepreneurs periodically, the dialogue recommended setting up of an Industrial Advisory Board with a mandatory quarterly meet.

It said a “new article” of better “industrial governance” is the need of the hour in the wake of Look East Policy.

The dialogue, which was designed to explore new realities and generate deeper insights into the working of industrial units in Manipur, also suggested that the government should follow an entrepreneur-guided government-led policy at all levels.

“While entrepreneurs depend on government, the government, too, should depend on the experience and wisdom for any initiative. The principle of a two-way traffic should guide policy intervention,” it said.

It stated that as business perception in the state is “very low”, many applications of investment and government help remain unattended. The dialogue recommended setting up of separate cells, including technology cell, marketing cell, subsidy sell, credit sell and industrial counselling centre.

Another important recommendation is a formulation of a long-term plan under a policy document named Vision Industries, 2025, Manipur.

It also recommended revamping of the Manipur Industrial Development Corporation that has not been able to function properly because of “investment gap” and “under finance.”

Strengthening the corporation would enhance flow of credit to industrial sector, the dialogue felt.

Mohendro Singh, who had chaired the technical sessions, expressed confidence that with backing of the government the state’s entrepreneurs could compete globally.

At present, the industrial sector can contribute only 1 per cent of the state’s GDP of 7.13 per cent.

Government officials and industrialists termed the recommendations as a first step towards ensuring growth of the industry, which is now “stagnant”.

Releasing the recommendations today, Konthoujam assured industrialists of the state that he would place the recommendations before chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh.

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