The North East has always been somewhat ignored by the Central Government and the states here have always been forced to carry on, on their own.
The Union budget of 2018- 19 has again shown that this attitude has not changed much. The budget presented this year has almost no mention of anything regarding a fiscal package for the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy.
The states here have to rely on the Global Investors Summit held in Assam on the first week of February. It is quite a harsh reality to except that a central government of a country can be so completely unconcerned about such a large area of the country they have set out to rule and administer.
The Government of India has been implementing the NEIIPP 2007 for the North Eastern States, including Sikkim and the package for the special category states like that of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh so that industrialization and employment can be promoted here.
These schemes had expired in 2017 but the present government had promised that a new fiscal package was being drafted for the North East. However, with no mention of the package in the budget, the people have started to speculate whether there was at all such package.
According to the people, they have been waiting patiently for some kind of a hint for the revival of the policy but since that has not happened, they are now looking forward to the investor’s summit where the PM Modi, who is supposed to inaugurate the summit is expected to make a speech.
Perhaps, that is where he might make an announcement, they are hoping is what the member of the Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region, RS Joshi had to say.
Experts have noticed that there is this new trend where the present government has hardly made any region-specific announcements in the Union Budget and so the PM’s visit is the only thing to look forward to.
The Assam Industry Minister, Chandra Mohan Patwary also said that the GOI might have drafted a new policy to attract investors in the region but when is that going to see the light of day is anybody’s guess.
The GOI should do something effective, and quickly enough if they are to win the support of the people in this region.