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Asom CM askes Centre for extra incentive to attract investment

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 25 (UNI) Asom Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said he has asked the Centre to provide extra incentives in its industrial policy for north-eastern states as the present policy was no longer ''attractive'' for prospective investors.

''I raised all these issues during my meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today,'' he told mediapersons here, adding that when the industrial policy for the North Eastern states had been announced it was attractive, but as and when those incentives were also offered to the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, it lost its sheen.

It is only for this reason that some extra incentives should be accorded to the NE States, Mr Gogoi added.

Noting that it was first time in the state's history that it was experiencing such a prolonged drought-like situation due to the absence of sufficient rainfall this year. As many as 19 out of the state's 27 districts were affected, encompassing six lakh hectares of cultivable land.

''This has adversely affected over 10 lakh farmers of the region and the Centre should provide some urgent relief to help these farmers,'' he said.

Noting that the state government, has on its own, already announced a 'Food-for-Work' programme in all those districts to avoid any starvation deaths, he said he had also ordered the irrigation department to take up the repair works at the earliest, where ever it is possible, to reduce the hardships of the poor farmers.

Apart from this, the State Government has also announced special grants of Rs five crores to encourage the farmers to take up the farming of three special varities of crops -- namely black gram, niger and one more -- as these items does not require water during the time of sowing.

Mr Gogoi said he has also invited the Prime Minister for the laying the foundation stone of the new state Gas Cracker joint venture project in November.

He said that during his meeting with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora, he had asked Mr Deora to expedite the formation of the joint venture company for the same.

Responding to a question, Mr Gogoi said that tomorrow he will be meeting the Home Minister Shivraj Patil to discuss the border issue and of the ULFA.

UNI BKS vd GC1902

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