Guwahati, Feb 1 (IANS): The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's (FICCI) northeast chapter on Wednesday suggested a Gujarat's GIFT City-like industrial zone in the region to attract business and investment from the neighbouring countries.
FICCI Northeast Advisory Council Chairman Ranjit Barthakur suggested that the government can consider establishing a similar model of GIFT City in the northeast with the goal of attracting business and investment from Southeast Asian countries, including the ASEAN region.
"This would give a major boost to India's Act East Policy," he said.
He also applauded the government's decision to extend Rs 20 lakh crore in agriculture credit, target sectors like animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries, and launch initiatives like the Horticulture Clean Plant Programme to increase the production of high-value crops. "This will provide a much-needed boost to the livelihoods of farmers in the region and help ensure food security for the country," Barthakur told the media.
Praising the allocation for the Amrit Dharohar scheme, he said: "Preserving our biodiversity is extremely important and wetlands are a major component of our biodiversity particularly in the northeast. These efforts will help in achieving the net zero target and also facilitate more green job creations in the long run."
The FICCI Northeast Advisory Council has lauded the Union Budget 2023-24 as a forward-thinking budget that prioritises inclusive growth. "The Budget takes a comprehensive approach to development, and the proposed investments in key areas like infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and digitalisation are a positive step forward," said Barthakur.
The budget's focus on improving infrastructure, including roads, railways, ports, airports, and urban transport, is expected to drive job creation and enhance connectivity in the northeast region.
According to Barthakur, the 33.4 per cent increase in the capital investment outlay is particularly noteworthy.
"This will be a major boost to the economy nationwide, but particularly in the northeast where we see a significant emphasis on infrastructure. We are confident that these investments will lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life for the people in the region."
Welcoming the green initiatives outlined in the budget, Barthakur said that the government's commitment to sustainable growth and reducing carbon emissions is commendable.
The increased allocation for the National Clean Energy Fund and tax incentives for electric vehicles are important steps in supporting the growth of renewable energy and promoting clean technologies," he said.
"Improved access to healthcare services will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the people in the northeast region, and this is a key priority for the FICCI Northeast Advisory Council," said Barthakur.