Former Assam Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi on Monday said, the two-day Advantage Assam-Global Investors’ Summit held in Guwahati was an attempt to create a monopoly of corporate houses in the State.
Addressing media persons in Guwahati on Monday, Gogoi said, “Of the Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth Rs 1 lakh crore, signed during Advantage Assam, there is doubt that even one-fourth of it would be implemented.”
“I am not in favour of the twin towers in Guwahati. What is the point of developing the capital alone if development cannot be spread across Assam?” Gogoi added.
He also said, “The government has not disclosed the details of the projects to be undertaken. Moreover, there are no details regarding what the State government has promised the investors in return.”
“The businessmen will invest in sectors where there is profit for them. A red carpet welcome for the corporate houses is a wrong concept. If the present government does not provide incentives to small industries, how will they thrive?” Gogoi asked.
He further questioned the closing of the age-old Beltola market during the Advantage Assam event.
“A lot of Assamese youth have also opened hospitals, restaurants and are engaged in the transport sector. Why did the government not help them form tie-ups with the corporate houses?” Gogoi said.
A latest report titled ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth’ by Oxfam highlighted that India’s richest, that is 1 per cent of the population, owns 73 pc of the wealth which was 43 pc prior to 2014.
Alluding to this report, Gogoi said, “The divide between the rich and the poor is ever-increasing under the NDA government. There has been growth of the jobless and even if jobs are provided, timely salary is not disbursed.”
“While Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized on Bamboo Mission, why were there no talks regarding the revival of paper mills?” he asked.
Gogoi added that the government should have given importance in sectors like food processing, agriculture and education during the Summit.
During the first day of Advantage Assam, Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative of JICA India Office, had pointed out some problem areas in the execution of projects like permission procedures and security.
Referring to Sakamoto’s concerns, Gogoi said, “Though the present BJP-led government projects an improving ease of doing business in Assam, the situation has not changed much.”