300 bn investments to turn around Assam economy

Friday, 29 September 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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GUWAHATI: Four top Indian corporate honchos are expected to invest a whopping 300 billion in the development of rural infrastructure, promoting agriculture, setting up power plants, IT parks, and bio-diesel facilities in Assam.

Reliance Industries, Tata Group, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) and Videocon Industries Ltd have agreed in principle to invest in Assam either independently or in partnership with the state government.

"I have met Mukesh Ambani of the Reliance Industries, Ratan Tata, V.N Dhoot of Videocon, and top managers of IL&FS in Mumbai earlier this week and the response has been overwhelming with all these giants willing to invest in the state in various sectors," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told IANS.

Gogoi led by a team of industry officials was in Mumbai on a two-day business summit to showcase the state and attract investments.

The Reliance Industries has expressed interest in developing rural infrastructure, promoting agriculture, and setting up power plants, besides a bio-diesel facility in Assam.

"The investments in the rural infrastructure and agriculture sectors would help change the economic face of Assam and if the plans materialise then the income of our farmers would double in no time," the chief minister said.

"Reliance would even buy the produce and farmers will have no problems for a market."

A jubilant Gogoi said most of the deals were almost finalised and just required formal endorsements. "We were able to sell the state and at least 80 percent of the assurances would materialise soon," he said.

The Tata group is interested in constructing budget hotels, a big mall in Guwahati that would exclusively deal with the latest electronic gadgets available in the world, setting up a manufacturing unit of advanced building materials, besides investing in the IT sector and educational institutions.

"Tata assured me they would train 200 students from engineering colleges in Assam annually in different fields, besides campus recruitments from our colleges and universities for his group of companies," said Gogoi.

IL&FS and the Assam government has decided to have a joint partnership in developing Guwahati, road construction works, solid waste and sewerage management, IT and power generation.

Videocon Industries Chairman Dhoot, on the other hand, has expressed willingness to set up a cement plant, invest in the power sector, and textiles. "We have assured all the companies that the state shall provide support like allocating land and help process papers without any bureaucratic red tape to execute the projects immediately," Gogoi said.

The chief minister's office would personally monitor implementation of the projects. "I shall personally look into all things to ensure that the companies do not have any problems in their ventures," Gogoi said.

"I have assured all the company heads that we shall provide all security and other help without fail."

Source: IANS
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