Union minister reiterates govt's commitment to peace

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Guwahati, Apr 18 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Industries Dr Aswani Kumar today reiterated the government's commitment to take forward the peace process with the outlawed ULFA in Assam.

The Union minister, who is on a visit to the city, said the government's door for talks was always open, though no pre-conditions could be set for the dialogue.

He appealed to the ULFA and other militant outfits in North East to sit for negotiations and hammer out solutions to their demands through talks.

Dr Kumar underlined the need for peace for growth and development of the region on all fronts, including industrialization.

Yesterday, Dr Kumar had announced sops for the industry-starved North eastern region in a bid to promote industry but ensuring that rules are not manipulated like past.

He said that capital subsidy had been increased from 15 per cent to 30 per cent while the entire backlog of transport subsidy amounting to Rs 770 crore had been released.

He further announced that excise duty exemption would be offered if any existing industry expanded by 25 per cent, reducing it from the previous 30 per cent.

'' We will ensure that the industries get all these soaps provided they do real value addition in the North east India, generating employment,'' he said.

He had also announced that there would be no upper limit of size of industries for claiming the capital subsidy. ''Only those industries which are beyond Rs 30 crores, are to be cleared by Union Cabinet'' he said.

He announced that by 2012 the Gas Cracker project of Upper Assam would be operational and by then 100,000 jobs would be available in the ancillary industries.

UNI SG KK RN1610

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