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Assam industries and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary ceremoniously distributed 31 office vehicles to general managers of District Industries and Commerce Centres (DICCs) at Assam Administrative Staff College in Guwahati on Thursday.

Addressing the general managers, Patowary hoped that the new vehicles would provide the officials smooth mobility to enhance their execution of work and duties.

The minister directed the officials to connect with the rural artisans and visit the nook and corner of their respective districts and explore areas where micro, small and medium enterprises are viable.

Reviewing the district-wise growth of registration of new industries, the minister called upon the GMs to explore the possibilities of new industries based on locally available resources.

While examining the financial support being provided to the indigenous local handicraft industries like bell-metal in Sarthebari, pottery in Majuli and japi in Nalbari, the minister instructed the GMs to create societies among the craftsmen of these sectors to reap the incentives of Industries and Commerce Department.

He issued strict instructions for identifying all leftover eligible beneficiaries and to ensure that they get the required financial support at the earliest.

Minister instructed the GMs to be proactive and provide all necessary handholding support to new prospective investors who visit the DICC offices so that the industry and business-friendly image of Assam is further enhanced for attracting more investments.

“Pay regular visits to the existing industries in their jurisdiction and ensure that their issues regarding availing of incentives and bottlenecks if any are addressed,” instructed Patowary.

Patowary also held a discussion with a team from Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the need for logistics hubs in the Northeast and alternate routes to rest of India and ASEAN regions especially through Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Multi Modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) at strategic locations like Jogighapa and Silchar can help in optimization of logistics cost for multi-modal connectivity to international and domestic destinations as per ADB study.

ADB also presented their study on development of bamboo sector in the Northeast which stand as 66 million metric tons of bamboo availability but with poor commercial utilization due to lack of awareness on commercial uses of bamboo in terms of bio-fuels, compressed bio-gas, bio-plastics, incense sticks, bamboo fibers, floor panels and woven products, etc.

Meeting with industry associations on the draft National Industrial Policy, 2019: The industry minister later in the day held a discussion with the various industry associations like FICCI, FINER, CII, ICC, ABITA, FIEO, Tea Board of India, Laghu Udyog etc for their opinions on the draft National Industrial Policy, 2019.

The associations suggested that the policy period be extended to 10 years instead of five years, a user-friendly portal, eligibility for existing and expansion units instead of only new units and offline processing of claims at DICC and Commissionerate level etc.

It may be mentioned that the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India is formulating a new industrial policy.

This meeting was convened to obtain suggestions from the industry associations for finalizing the State’s Industries and Commerce Department’s submission before the Central Working Group.

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