|Headlines Vol. 2 Issue No. 14||January 20, 2012|
Arunachal demands special package
The Arunachal Pradesh government has requested the Centre to provide a special package to the state during the 12th Plan period to boost the agriculture sector.
Participating in a pre-budget meeting convened by
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in
Mein urged the union government to evolve a special mechanism to promote industry in the North-East and create a tourism development fund for growth in the states of the region. “One of the special category states, Arunachal Pradesh is solely dependent on central assistance for plan investment because of its poor resources base, besides several other constraints such as lack of adequate private investment, long border area, weak market economy and inadequate infrastructure,” the minister said. “The presence of industries in our state is negligible. Due to lack of road, rail and air connectivity in the state as well as remoteness, hilly, rugged and inaccessible terrains, the cost of materials to be used for creation of infrastructure is much higher as compared to other states in the plain areas,” Mein pointed out.
“I, therefore, suggest the central government to consider evolving a special mechanism through fiscal incentives in the Union Budget 2012-13 to support the special category states including Arunachal to encourage industrialisation in these states,” he added.
Stating that about 70 per cent of the state’s population depends on agriculture, horticulture and allied activities for livelihood with the government’s efforts were on to make the state self-sufficient in food grains and major exporter of fruits and medicinal plants etc, he urged the Centre to consider fiscal incentives to spur investment in agriculture and allied sectors in order to achieve the goal.
“Provide us a special package during the 12th Five Year Plan which will help in economic growth of my state,” he pleaded affirming that the state government has been maintaining fiscal discipline within the framework of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act. Mein urged the finance minister to make a generous proposal in the forthcoming Budget for debt relief to reduce the burden of debt servicing for north-astern states, including Arunachal, which have weak resource base.
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