Govt mulls slew of steps to reboot economy

SHILLONG: In a bid to reboot the fragile economy of Meghalaya, battered by the current lockdown, the state government is eying a slew of fresh initiatives to attract investments in four core sectors — agriculture, animal husbandry, tourism and IT.
The government has entrusted the onus of formulating road map to a cherry-picked Task Force comprising economists, academic and bureaucrats.
Addressing a meeting of the working group of the Economic Task Force here on Friday, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma laid the basic policies and approach that would lead to creation of infrastructure and environment for promotion of trade and businesses.
He underlined the value of ease of doing business leading to attracting investments, creation of job opportunities and promotion of local business entity.
“We have to think of attractive industrial policies vis-à-vis streamline the single window clearance and ensure that investment are made in areas that would leverage the opportunities of business in sectors like agriculture, animal husbandry, IT and Tourism,” said the chief minister.
He also suggested that the six working groups of the Economic Task Force should work in tandem to draw up a systematic and synergistic plan for reviving the economy of the state and create an enabling environment for trade and businesses to flourish.
“We have to enable that our rural economy kick starts that would sustain livelihood of our people and ensure grass root economic growth,” Sangma said, while completing the ongoing projects.
The meeting also discussed on mechanism to empower small businesses with loans from State owned banks like Meghalaya Cooperative Apex Bank (MCAB) and Meghalaya Rural Bank (MRB).
The working group will be presenting a model on this in the upcoming sittings.
To attract investors the meeting also discussed on “plug and play” model for promotion of different business including Start Ups. The Techno Park in Shillong is in final stage of completion and the meeting discussed on how the infrastructure can be made available for business in the field of IT enabled services.
Another area of priority of the chief minister is to harness energy and attract investment in the sector. He also said that Meghalaya has the potential to general about 3000 MW, which is the key element for infrastructure development in the State.
Principal Secretary DP Wahlang, who is the chairman of the working group, said that professionals and experts from different fields have been roped in to devise a strategy for short, medium and long term business model for creation of job and opportunities.
It is expected that in a month’s time a “vision document” on investment will be tabled before the task force that would prioritise infrastructure projects that would primarily linked to attract investors from rest of the country and the world.
Others who attended the meeting were Chief Secretary MS Rao, Commissioner and Secretary MR Synrem, D. Vijay Kumar, former Chairman of UPSC David Syiemlieh, Chairman of Farmers’ Commission KN Kumar, Shishir Bajoria, Gaurav Gupta and NEC Secretary K. Moses Chalai.

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