Northeastern industry leaders are hoping for the announcement of a new industrial policy for the region in the upcoming Union Budget 2023, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday. The North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEID), which expired on March 31, 2022, has yet to be renewed and the region is eager to incentivize domestic and global investors.
“Nine months have passed and there is still no news of a new industrial policy for the northeast. We expect finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to announce a new industrial policy for the northeastern region to boost industrialization,” said Chiranjit Chaliha, President of Guwahati Management Association.
NEID 2017 was introduced as a five-year scheme aimed at promoting industrialization and boosting employment in the northeast, covering the manufacturing and service sectors, and offering encouragement to MSMEs. The Department of Promotion and Internal Trade reported that 530 new industrial units have been granted registration under NEID and a total of Rs76 crore has been released to the states of NER since its inception.
However, without a special policy, the share of investment in the northeast under the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2007 has dropped from 8.3% in 2017 to 0.13% in 2021. The Standing Committee on Commerce stated in its 175th report that the extension of the scheme is crucial for the accelerated industrial development of the region and recommends consultation with industry stakeholders and state governments.
The region hopes that the Finance Minister will address their concerns and provide a boost to industrialization in the region.