Assam to transform North East of India as 'New Engine of Growth’ for the country

Guwahati, December 16, 2017:

 Promotion of IT & ITES through new IT & Electronic Policy Assam 2017 t
Promotion of IT & ITES through new IT & Electronic Policy Assam 2017

Assam to transform North East of India as 'New Engine of Growth’ for the country
~ Promotion of IT & ITES through new IT & Electronic Policy Assam 2017 to be among key focus areas for the Government ~

Assam is the largest economy in North-Eastern India and is rapidly making strides towards employment generation and inclusive growth by a balanced pattern of industrial investment. It embarks upon a new charter in the path of development, laying emphasis on new capital formation through the creation of ecologically compliant assets in a sustainable manner. The focus of the growing investment climate today is to build the economy on the core strengths of this region so that resources can be managed efficiently. Its resplendent nature, water resources, human resources, geographical location and agriculture are recongized as the primary assets of the state.

The Government of Assam has been making constant efforts to enhance investments in the state, and with the cabinet’s recent approval of seven sectorial policies and procurement policy, in areas of IT and Electronics, Start-ups, Bio-technology, Sugar, Tourism, and Handloom and Textiles, the state is all set to attract investment and harness resources available in the state. In order to attract investments into the state, the Government initiates for the first time ‘Advantage Assam – Global Investors Summit 2018’ – an investment promotion and facilitation conclave. The summit is being organised in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on February 3-4, 2018, in Guwahati to cast the spotlight on the state’s readiness to become an ideal destination for investments that would cater to the North East as well as the rest of India.

The Summit will highlight the state’s geostrategic advantages for investors and showcase the manufacturing prowess and opportunities offered by the state in terms of export-oriented manufacturing and services to growing economies viz. ASEAN and BBIN countries. the strategic location of Assam in proximity to the growing ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) economies provides easy access to a market of over 800 million consumers. All major ASEAN cities are located geographically closer to Assam as compared to other states in India.

As a precursor to the main Summit, the Government of Assam conducted sectoral seminars at various locations to showcase the business potential and investment opportunities in the state. The seminar in Guwahati today which was organised in association with Federation of Industry & Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER), witnessed a session on various aspects of IT & ITES Sector. The Seminar was graced by the august presence of Shri Nitin Kr. Shivdas Khade, IAS, Secretary - IT Department - Govt of Assam, Shri Bijoy Bora- Founder of Zaloni Technologies, Shri Abhijit Baruah- Founder of MiFon, Shri P.K. Das- Director, STPI and Shri M.K. Yadava- Managing Director, AMTRON. The congregation covered some wide-ranging views from policy makers, associations and industry experts that provided a unique platform for sharing knowledge and best practices in the sector with a presentation on Investment opportunities in ESDM & IT/ ITES Sector by the Secretary to the Government of Assam, IT Department.

Speaking over video conferencing from USA at the Seminar, Bijoy Bora, COO and Co-Founder of Zaloni Technologies spoke about challenges of setting up business in Assam and how things have changed over the years. He added, “The present scene is very exciting. We are working with top global companies from our offshore setup at Guwahati. The infrastructure in Assam is five times more reliable today, than the time we started office in Guwahati back in 2007.”

MK Yadava, MD Amtron said, “We have come a long way in making things easier for businesses to perform in the region.”

Assam in Facts and Figures: Assam’s GSDP at current prices during 2014- 15 was approx. USD 28.28 billion (approx. USD 918.74 per capita) and grew at 13% CAGR from 2004 – 05. During the period 2004- 05 to 2015 – 16, the state’s tertiary sector grew at CAGR of 15.07% driven by trade, hotels, real estate, finance, insurance, transport, communications and other services The primary sector grew at CAGR of 11.62 % and secondary at 10.31%. Assam aims to maintain an overall GSDP growth rate of over 10%, with industrial growth at over 9% and growth in services at over 13% over next 5 years.

IT & ITeS in Assam : Assam has a large domestic and regional market share waiting to be tapped. Proximity to BBIN & ASEAN markets can be a growth driver for the IT & ITES industry. A 10 GBPS international internet gateway in the neighbouring state of Tripura is infact India’s third IIG after Mumbai and Chennai. The state is home to 20 engineering institutes including IIT, IIIT, NIT which ensures availability of highly skilled and trained human capital for the Industry. Assam has witnessed significant growth in the ICT sector in the past one decade, due to the proactive initiatives taken by the State Government in terms of creation of state-of- the-art physical infrastructure, provision of basic amenities such as roads, water, sewerage and power to the doorsteps of IT layouts, availability of large English speaking and technical talent pool, lower cost of operation and innovative e-Governance programmes. Today, Assam is on the threshold of becoming a valued destination for ICT Industry. To acknowledge this aspect the State has decided to notify a new IT & Electronics Policy 2017 to promote Assam as one of the forerunners among ICT hubs.

The Vision of the IT & Electronics Policy 2017 : To transform Assam into a sustainable and innovative economy of excellence in ICT with focus on enhancing the quality of governance for the benefit of common citizens through digital empowerment and deployment of emerging technology solutions in all aspects of socio-economic life. The idea is to enhance the capacity and skill sets of the new generation for employment in IT/ITeS/ESDM sector, promoting innovation and start-ups. This Policy is applicable from the date of notification and shall remain in force from 1.1.2018 to 31.12 2022

Digital Empowerment Initiatives: Government of Assam encourages adoption and use of digital payments by all citizens, merchants, traders etc. in all sectors and develop applications towards this end. The Government will setup an Integrated Government Call Centre (IGCC) to enable the citizens to interact with the Government for accessing various services and to expedite grievance redressal. It will also act as a centralized help desk providing the citizens with guidance/information on various services and schemes offered by the Government.

Business Initiatives: Thrust will be given for creation and improvement of civil infrastructure, connectivity among IT Hubs and ancillary facilities. IT Parks, High tech cities, Research and Innovation hubs for Start-ups, Incubators and accelerators, ESDM clusters, Prototyping, Testing and quality labs, High Performance & Supercomputing infrastructure, Data Centres, Business Process Management (BPM), Centres of Excellence etc.

Electronic System Design & Manufacturing: Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) is the fastest growing segment of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. The State Government has taken a holistic view of the challenges and fiscal disabilities faced by the ESDM industry and these are addressed using a combination of promotional initiatives, post-performance incentives, fiscal measures, capital subsidies and other capacity building measures. Government of Assam outlines the Promotional initiatives under this Policy, which will enable the State to be a leading contributor in India’s ESDM sector and make the State a preferred destination for investments in ESDM. The policy devised by the government provides most attractive incentives to investors in IT and IT enabled services. The IT and ITeS units will get qualified employees amongst talented youth of Assam and entire North-East

Advantage Assam

o Assam is geo-strategically located closer to the growing ASEAN economies. Assam’s existing and ongoing infrastructural initiatives makes it a suitable podium for new and emerging businesses where the target audience will be the ASEAN and BBIN markets.
o Assam is home to a plethora of natural resources viz. Petroleum, Lime stone, Coal, Water etc. Today the State is the largest on-shore producer of Petroleum and Gas. The proven reserve of coal in this belt is about 340 million tonnes. Assam has over 1.3 billion tonnes of crude oil and 156 billion cubic metric tonnes of natural gas reserves.
o Good quality cement-grade limestone is found in the central Assam districts of North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong, where a total reserve of about 670 million tonnes is available
o Assam is famous in the textile market for its production of Muga – The golden silk. 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
o In 2015-16, the total production of rice was recorded to be 5,123 thousand MT.
o Assam is the single largest tea producing region globally and contributes to over 50 per cent (6,31,220 MT Jan – Dec 2015) of India’s total tea production

* This Press Release was sent to by Rooplin Sharma who can be contacted at sharma(DOT)rooplin(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on December 17 2017

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