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Resurgence In Assam Economy Post Act East Policy

Globally Assam is considered and accepted that Assam possess vast resources which can be tapped for the development of the entire SE Asian region including BBN countries


Assam is considered to be the gate way to South East Asian countries needs various measures to interface with these countries - physically, digitally and emotionally in order to attract investments and prosperity to the region. Globally it is considered and accepted that Assam possess vast resources which can be tapped for the development of the entire SE Asian region including BBN countries.

Act East is certainly placing Assam as the spring board creating momentum towards exploiting opportunities and making it as a main hub through India can reach out to ASEAN and BBN countries. Various remarkable developments can been seen viz., widened roads, long distance bridges, improved infrastructure at airports and railway stations, development of river ports, education institutions, skill development centres, center for excellence in technologies for entrepreneurs et al. Major development is declassification of bamboo as a forest product which will boost the economy with recent restructuring of national bamboo mission with an outlay of Rs. 1,300 crores.

Notably, Act East policy has given impetus to various development activities of Assam for rapid industrialization generating employment opportunities in the region. The policy emphasis on increase people to people contact to increase trade ties with neighboring countries.

Under the banner of Act East policy, recently concluded Advantage Assam summit at Guwahati has created comprehensive vision for all round developments of its people and the region. The summit highlighted Assam's core competencies in different major sectors along with the development initiatives taken by the government. As per government report, Assam's GDP at current prices during 2015-16 was USD 30.72 billion (approx. USD 985 per capita) and grew at 9 percent CAGR from 2004-05 to 2015-16. The state aims to maintain an overall GSDP growth rate of over 10 per cent, with industrial growth at over 9 percent and growth in services at over 13 percent over the next 5 years.

On positive note, the state has favorable situations for investment in various sectors. Over 4000 acres of land bank is available including Plastic Park, Bamboo Park and Biotech Park etc. for allotment to industries. The state has three border trading centers for easing business activities with Bangladesh and Bhutan.

Assam enjoys global monopoly in terms of Muga or golden silk production. The state accounts for around 95% of global Muga production. Moreover, Assam is the country's major Eri silk producer (accounts for 65% of the country's Eri silk production). Raw silk production in the state during 2015-16 was recorded to be 3,325 MT whereas during 2016-17 (up to May 2016), raw silk production in the state stood at 1,137 MT. Seneh Jori, an Assam Silk Outreach Mission, aims to produce 1 million kg of Muga silk and 10 million kg of Eri Silk by 2025.

The state has one Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), one Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) , 13 engineering colleges / universities (public & private sector including NIT) offering 21 graduate courses with an intake capacity of 3,737 students per annum. The State has eight polytechnics and twenty three industrial training institutes (ITI) which offer specialization options in various disciplines. In addition to it, Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET) & National Tool Room are also established in the state which offers diploma and certificate courses.

With of 1.3 billion tonnes of crude oil and 156 billion cubic metres of natural gas, Assam accounts for 15% of India's crude output. The state is positioned strategically to take advantage of the proximity to BBN & ASEAN countries which account for approximately 10% of total Plastic exports of India. Currently, 31 industrial units are engaged in manufacturing of plastic products with annual installed capacity 3,20,000 MT.

The state has taken various initiatives on positive note to establish business relations with ASEAN & BBN countries based on Act East Policy mandates to achieve goals. Initiatives have also been taken by central government to increase connectivity by road, air and water in the region and steps for modernizing Guwahati Airport as connectivity hub to neighboring countries.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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assam economy opinion

Dr. Pranjal Kumar Phukan

The Author is Global Mentor, International Supply Chain Education Alliance SC Next India.

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