- NET Web Desk
In an attempt to expand rubber plantations across the northeastern state of Tripura, the Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on Thursday asserted that Northeast India can emerge as the hub for rubber production.
Addressing the ‘Destination Tripura – Investment Summit’ virtually, Goyal claimed that Centre has planned to expand rubber cultivation on a total of 2 lakh hectares across Northeastern regions over 5 years.
The 2-days long summit was attended by more than 80 industrialists and representatives of different companies from various states of India and neighbouring country Bangladesh.
Goyal further referred Tripura as the second largest producer of rubber in the country with 30,000 ha cultivation – as informed by PIB report.
He called-upon the state government led by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb to emerge out-of-the-crowd, thereby taking advantage as the early harvester, associated with the expansion of rubber plantations across the state.
According to PIB report, four major tyre companies represented by Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) have collaboratively undertaken to contribute Rs.1,000 crores for rubber plantation development in 200,000 hectare land across the seven states of North East India, over a period of five years.
Responding to the same, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Rubber Board and ATMA on March 1, 2021.
All these participating tyre companies together transferred Rs 12 crores to the account set-up by Rubber Board on May 20, 2021.
These funds provided by the tyre companies are being used for procuring planting materials for commencing the rubber production.
Observing that Bamboo cultivation is another major resource in the NER, Goyal said Tripura is home to the largest bamboo flooring unit. “Tripura has the potential to emerge as the country’s hub of Agarbatti Industry and make India Aatmanirbhar in Bamboo, often called as Green Gold, Industry.”
Referring to the PM Modi’s clarion call of ‘Transforming North-East into (Ashth Lakshmi) of India’, the Minister said that topmost priority to the ‘Focus North-East’ programme and the ‘Make in India’ programme has been implemented here as the ‘Make in North-East’.
“A dedicated Northeast Desk of Invest India has been set up, improved infrastructure and promoted industry.”, – he added.
The Union minister also lauded the development journey of Tripura under the able leadership of the Chief Minister Shri Biplab Kumar Deb.
“The scared mantras ‘Niyat’, ‘Niti’ and ‘Niyam’ – developed Tripura in last four years under the leadership of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb following the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, he added.
He further added that “Tripura is the 4th literate state in the NE, with a thriving handlooms industry, 1.36 lakh weavers & Tripura jackfruit has been exported to London.
“With improved connectivity through Air, Rail, Road & Waterways, the so called geographical isolation of the State is a thing of the past. The state is an integral part of multimodal connectivity now,” he said.
He further stated “The work of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at South Tripura district had already started which will open new avenues of business for entire North-East region.”
Besides, he also talked about the cross-border Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) rail project worth Rs.972 crore, which will immensely help the northeastern state in promoting exports.
“With Agartala airport emerging as the 2nd busiest airport in the NE region, Tripura will act as a Gateway to the North East,” he said.
Lauding the state government’s initiatives for Investment Promotion including the single window portal- SWAAGAT, Capital subsidy (30%), Power subsidy (50%), full reimbursement of State GST and 4% interest subvention, Shri Goyal termed it as “one of best investment packages in the country.”
Union minister said “Tripura government under the leadership of CM Deb brought several impressive transformations by increasing the budgets in IT sector, Health and Preventive Medicine, Education, Tourism, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, etc.”
Stating that the Investment Summit will help Tripura realize its true potential, Goyal hoped that the Conference will help investors become partners in the development journey of the state.
Expressing his shock and condolences on the untimely demise of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, Goyal quoted him, “We seek neither gratitude nor applause; through silence let us make ourselves known, the whole world will come at your feet on their own.”