Assam lost over Rs 91k cr due to NDA’s industrial policy: Gogoi
Guwahati, March 17
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ssam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday said the state lost huge investment opportunities to the tune of about Rs 91,565 crore due to dilution of North East Industrial Policy 1997 by the then BJP-led NDA government.
Releasing the ‘White Paper on Contributions of NDA and UPA Governments in Assam During Their Respective Periods’, Gogoi accused the NDA regime of doing nothing for the state.
“The North East Industrial Policy 1997 that offered a slew of incentives were diluted by the then NDA government, whereas it extended the same to other states. As a result, industrial growth in Assam in particular and the North East in general suffered a major setback,” he added.“Thousands of youths who would have got employment were deprived and the state suffered a huge loss of Rs 91,565 crore worth investments,” Gogoi claimed.
The Congress-led UPA government restored the incentives offered by the old policy through The North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2007 to provide the much- needed impetus to the industries in the state and the region as a whole, he said.
He, however, did not mention the projects and investments that Assam lost to other states due to dilution of the policy.
“When the Congress-led UPA government took the reins of power in 2004, Assam bagged several mega projects and schemes. There has been a sea change on the road, rail and air connectivity.”
Tarun Gogoi also questioned why BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi needed a ‘safe seat’to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
“If Modi is so sure about his win and there is a Modi wave in the country, then why is he looking for a safe seat? He can contest anywhere in India and win,” he told reporters here.
Gogoi also accused Modi of spreading divisive politics and said he was not suitable for the Prime Minister’s office to lead a pluralistic India.
“As Rahul (Gandhi) said, NDA and BJP is good at marketing themselves. But Modi is now getting exposed by everyone. Mamata (Banerjee), Akhilesh (Yadav) and Aam Aadmi Party are exposing Modi,” he said.
On the foreigners’ issue, Gogoi said that the NDA government had decided to close the office of the Commissioner of Border.
“He (Modi) always says that we are not doing anything to evict illegal migrants … The number of Foreigners Tribunal was 11 in 2003 from 4 in 1998. However, we increased it to 100 in last year from 36 in 2004,” Gogoi said.
Asked about Congress’ performance in Assam, Gogoi said, “We are targetting 12 seats, but 10 is sure. Rahul even said if we try hard, we can win all the 14 seats.”
According to the white paper, Assam attracted a whopping Rs 1,90,620.38 crore of central funds during Manmohan Singh-led UPA government since 2004 compared to Rs 32,088.33 crore provided by the previous Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA regime.