Invest in northeast, Gogoi tells Mumbai businessmen


Mumbai : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Saturday called upon businessmen in Mumbai to invest in industries, agro processing, tourism, hotels and infrastructure in his state as well as other areas of the northeastern region.

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Gogoi was addressing a meeting organised jointly by Indian Merchants' Chamber (IMC) and Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Kolkata, here.

The chief minister, who was accompanied by senior officers of the state government, said that the northeastern region was isolated as it shares only 2 percent of its borders with mainstream India and 98 percent with foreign countries.

"The entire northeast (NE) region represents a huge special economic zone, enjoying unparalleled fiscal facilitation," Gogoi said.

"The central government's NE Industrial Policy 1997 offers capital investment subsidy of 15 percent, transportation subsidy of 90 percent, working capital interest subsidy of 3 percent, excise duty and income tax holiday for 10 years," he added.

Welcoming Gogoi, IMC president Niraj Bajaj said Assam and its seven sister states (of northeast) had 38 percent of India's hydropower potential.

The region had 190 billion cubic metres of natural gas, 900 million tonnes of coal deposits and 49,000 MW of hydro electric potential in addition to 500 million tonnes of oil reserves, he said.

Bajaj assured the chief minister that IMC would be prepared to act as the nodal agency for providing information on the business and tourism potential of the northeastern states to investors in Mumbai.