Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to hold global investors’ summit to boost investment in Assam has failed to make any impact on the prevailing scenario in the BJP-ruled state in the Northeast as frequent unrests continue to play on the minds of prospective investors.
If reports of the department of industrial policy andpromotion (DIPP) of the ministry of commerce and industries is any indicator, the investment intention forms filed by companies with the Central government have come down as compared to the last couple of years.
The investors, who are interested to invest more than Rs 10 crore in plant and machinery, have to submit investment intentions with the DIPP, and according to records available with the DIPP, the scenario in Assam and other states of the Northeast is dismal as compared to the other states of the country.
Leading industrialists, on condition of anonymity, said that frequent “social unrest” and failure of the state to addressing their grievances in a realistic manner has been discouraging private businesses who do not want to take any risk. Pointing out that state administration remains ignorant whenever industries approach the administration for relief from local groups, said one investor.
Another industrialists pointed out that poor infrastructure, limited connectivity and stringent policy measures are a few reasons for which Assam has failed to attract industries.
According to records, the investment intentions filed for setting up industries in Assam have been coming down gradually in the last three years and it is now negligible compared to the proposals received by the advanced states of the country.
A total of 55 investment intentions were filed for Assam with a proposed investment of Rs 3,664 crore in 2016, which was just 0.89 per cent of the proposed investments in the entire country. In 2017, Rs 39 investment intentions for Assam were filed with a proposed investment of Rs 1,437 crore, which was 0.36 per cent of all proposals received for the country.
This year, between January and August, only nine investment intentions for Assam were filed with a proposed investment of Rs 239 crore, which is only 0.08 per cent of the investments proposals filed for the entire country. It is significant that after the mega global investors summit in February this year, the state government claimed attracting investment worth Rs 8,020.21 crore.
The situation in the other northeastern states is even worse as no investment intentions were filed in the DIPP for Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram in the last three years, while the scenario is slightly better in Sikkim and Meghalaya.