- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Thursday evening urged businessmen or investors from Bangladesh to invest in this northeastern state of India by taking advantages of the incentives offered by the state government.
Industrialists from Bangladesh should utilize the opportunity as Tripura is fulfilling all necessities in becoming a new IT hub and ultimately help in flourishing of both the regions, he added.
Addressing the Digital Bangladesh IT Business Summit—2022 organized at a private hotel here in Agartala city, Chief Minister said, “Noted industrialists and businessmen from India and Bangladesh are sitting here for flourishing their business in the sector of Information and Technology (IT).” He asked all to transform these discussions and deliberations into reality, otherwise, such events are not worthy to be organized.
“To promote IT sector in Tripura, the state government is working on priority basis. In strengthening Bangladesh service sectors like banking, the neighbouring country can invest here for Data Centers. Lot of relaxations has been given by the state government for investors such as 50 percent rebate in electricity, rebate in GST for five years, reduced electricity prices for commercial use and 24 hours uninterrupted supply of electricity”, he added.
Confirming that several companies from abroad have shown interest in setting up their ventures in Tripura, Deb said “An American-based company has started their initial works at IT building here and Tripura government’s IT department is looking after all the logistic matters.”
Tripura has high-speed internet gateway with Chittagong. All the necessary steps are being undertaken from the end of the state government to ensure ease of doing business, he added.
“Today, we have airway connectivity connecting major cities of India. People from Bangladesh are boarding flights to Delhi from MBB Airport Agartala. We have other plans as well. Similarly, we have train connectivity across the country. Kisan trains are carrying state grown products in subsidized prices to national markets, railway connectivity has been extended up to Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi, Deoghar and recently Jammu Express has agreed to run a train on trial basis”, he said.
Deb also informed the gathering of officials, businessman and ministers that he had also written a letter to Prime Minister Modi seeking direct flights in Agartala-Chittagong, Agartala-Dhaka, Agartala-Bangkok routes as soon as possible. Deb also said that once North Eastern states start using Chittagong port for import of goods.
Praising Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s positive attitude towards Tripura, Chief Minister said, “I have spoken to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina as several projects that were in planning stage did not see any progress during COVID pandemic. She assured me to open the Cox Bazar international airport for Tripura-bound flights. Besides, we are also working wholeheartedly to develop another airport at Kailashahar. I have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to transform into a big-ticket airport as the Kailashahar airport was non-functional for several years. Works are in primary stage pertaining to the project. The new airport will be opened at a plot of 500 acres of land and Rs 500 crore will be spent for that.”
Meanwhile, ICA minister Sushanta Chowdhury said “A good number of delegates accompanied three ministers of Bangladesh – Muhammad Hasan Mahmud (I&B ministry), KM Khalid (Cultural Affairs ministry), and now Zunaid Ahmed Palak (ICT ministry) in last three months. This visit by the ministers from neighbouring country depicts the picture in boosting the cordial relation between India-Bangladesh and especially in terms of commerce.”
Claiming a universal friendship between Bangladesh and Tripura for several decades, Chowdhury said “This bond started since 1971 and today, Bangladesh stepped into 51 years with remarkable progress in IT, Agriculture, GDP, Education and Health under the significant leadership of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. India and Tripura is leading forward with vision and target under the leaderships of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, respectively.”
Promoting the ideology of becoming ‘Atmanirbhar’, ICA minister said “In Tripura, IT department under the guidance of Chief Minister Deb framed guidelines and the state government is inspiring youths to become entrepreneurs by employing more people as government jobs cannot be earned by all.”
Although, India had helped Bangladesh in many ways and move many miles forward at the time of need, Chowdhury said “India’s Prime Minister and Foreign minister, Tripura’s Chief Minister are making untiring efforts to strengthen the relation between India and Bangladesh. And that is why, discussion events on science and technology are being organized here in Agartala”.
Bangladesh ICT minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak remembered former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the people of Tripura during the liberation war of Bangladesh and its aftermath. “Around 7 lakh people were residents of Tripura during 1971 war, but the state gave shelter to two time of the existing population of Bangladesh. The PMs helped us with training and weapons for war”, he added.
Praising the role of Prime Minister Modi, Palak said “During the period of COVID pandemic and celebration of Bangladesh Independence’s golden jubilee, India’s PM gifted us 100 ambulances, vaccines and oxygen cylinders were sent through railways. Crossing golden chapter, Bangladesh is importing power from India while providing internet bandwidth services.”
The ICT minister further commended the roles of Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh. He also applauded the role of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb for the change that has been brought in last four years in Tripura. He added that Vikram Doraiswami is the first Indian envoy who choose roadway to reach Dhaka from Agartala via Akhaura.
In the inaugural ceremony of the summit, Principal Secretary to the IT department Puneet Agarwal, Additional Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh at ICT Division Dr Bikarna Kumar Ghosh, Assistant Commissioner of Bangladesh in Agartala Arif Mohammed were present.