Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal greeting Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar at CM's conference room at Janata Bhawan.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal greeting Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar at CM's conference room at Janata Bhawan.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal during a meeting with Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar at the CM’s Conference Room at Janata Bhawan on Monday drew the attention of the NITI Aayog to the perennial problems of flood and erosion in the State.

During the meeting, Sonowal stressed upon the need to find a permanent solution to the devastating floods and erosion every year by constituting a multi nation mechanism and by allocating fund to build road cum embankments like the one in Dibrugarh in different parts of state.

A presentation was also given to the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman seeking help in important matters of the state and to give impetus to the state’s economy.

He also stressed on the need to prevent erosion by rivers as it causes loss of nearly 8000 hectors of land in the state every year. The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman assured of taking action in this regard and informed that a meeting under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently decided to set up Northeast Water Management Authority where all the NE states would be stakeholders in managing the menace of flood.

The Chief Minister suggested taking along Bhutan for making the purpose of the Authority fruitful to which Dr Kumar responded in the affirmative.

Another key matter that came up for discussion during the meeting was implementation of an industrial policy for the region on the lines of North-East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIPP), 2007 which expired in March 2017.

The Chief Minister urged the NITI Aayog to expedite the process of implementation of a new industrial policy to sustain the momentum of business and investment in the aftermath of Advantage Assam: Global Investors’ Summit.

The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman assured of intervening in the matter of formulating a new industrial policy soon and he also requested the state government to submit a proposal of an industrial policy in the region taking into account ASEAN countries’ proximity. Other measures requested from NITI Aayog for industrial growth of the state are keeping no cap on refund of Income Tax and CGST/IGST, period of refund to be kept at 10 years, etc.

Boosting internet connectivity and increasing bandwidth in the state through the Internet Gateway at Coxbazaar in Bangladesh so that IT based industries can grow at a fast pace and augmenting digital payment infrastructure in the state for Direct Bank Transfers (DBT) to beneficiaries like job card holders under MGNREGA, tea garden workers, selected beneficiaries of PMAY etc were some of other issues where help from NITI Aayog was sought, stated a government press communique.

The NITI Aayog was also urged to increase the allocation of central assistance in drinking water projects, rural livelihood, education, health, skill development etc to which the vice chairman of the Aayog responded positively.

Minister of State for Power Pallab Lochan Das, Legal and Media Advisers to the Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali and Hrishikesh Goswami, Chief Secretary TY Das, State Innovation & Transformation Aayog (SITA) Vice Chairman Dipok Kumar Barthakur, Additional Chief Secretary of PWD Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary to the chief minister Sanjay Lohia, Principal Secretary of Finance Samir Sinha were also present in the meeting among others, it added.

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