Piyush Goyal
A view of the virtual event.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said the Centre has planned rubber plantations on 2 lakh hectares of land in the Northeast in 5 years.

The Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution said the Northeast can emerge as a hub for rubber production.

Addressing the ‘Destination Tripura – Investment Summit’ through video conferencing on Thursday, Goyal said, “Tripura is the second-largest producer of rubber in the country with 30,000 hectares cultivation.”

The Union Minister called upon the state government to be the first off the block and take advantage as the early harvester to expand rubber plantations in the state, said a statement issued by the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Four major tyre companies represented by Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) have together undertaken to contribute Rs.1,000 crores for rubber plantation development in 200,000 hectares land in the seven states of Northeast India, over a period of five years.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Rubber Board and ATMA on 1 March 2021.

Participating tyre companies together transferred Rs 12 crore to the account set up by Rubber Board on May 20,  2021.

Funds provided by the tyre companies are being used for procuring planting materials for commencing planting in 2021.

Observing that bamboo cultivation is another major resource in the Northeast region, Goyal said Tripura is home to the largest bamboo flooring unit.

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“Tripura has the potential to emerge as the country’s hub of Agarbatti Industry and make India Aatmanirbhar in Bamboo, often called as Green Gold, Industry,” said Goyal.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of ‘Transforming North-East into (Ashth Lakhsmi) of India, Union Minister Goyal said the PM has accorded priority to the ‘Focus Northeast’ programme and the ‘Make in India’ programme has been implemented here as the ‘Make in North-East’ programme.

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“A dedicated Northeast Desk of Invest India has been set up, improved infrastructure and promoted industry,” Goyal added.

Goyal applauded the development journey of Tripura under the able leadership of Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

“The state government has been working tirelessly giving priority to 3 ‘N’s in administration, namely Niyat, Niti & Niyam,” said Goyal, adding, “Tripura is the 4th literate state in the Northeast, has a thriving handlooms industry, 1.36 lakh weavers in Tripura, Tripura jackfruit has been exported to London.”

Goyal said the Centre is encouraging usage of Agro-textiles & Geotechnical textiles in the Northeastern region through its dedicated schemes.

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“With improved connectivity through Air, Rail, Road & Waterways, the so-called geographical isolation of the State is a thing of the past. The state is an integral part of multimodal connectivity now,” Goyal said.

Goyal said the cross-border Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) rail project worth Rs.972 crore will help promote exports.

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“With Agartala airport emerging as the 2nd busiest airport in the NE region, Tripura will act as a gateway to the Northeast,” he said.

Lauding the Tripura government’s initiatives for Investment Promotion including the single window portal- SWAAGAT, Capital subsidy (30%), Power subsidy (50%), full reimbursement of State GST and 4% interest subvention, Shri Goyal termed it as “one of best investment packages in the country.”

Image credit – www.srgfarms.com

Stating that the Investment Summit will help Tripura realise its true potential, Goyal hoped the Conference will help investors become partners in the development journey of the state.

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