Investment projects worth Rs 7,67,518.72 crore are in arrears in Assam from 2018-19, as against Rs 6,49,313.63 crore projects implemented during the same period, a new study has found.
A report by MSME Export Promotion Council, jointly with knowledge firm BillMart FinTech, reveals that Assam is increasingly emerging as a hub for investment in both public and private sectors.
According to the report, in the current financial year, Assam could create more than one lakh direct and indirect jobs if the Kovid-19 epidemic subsides.
It also highlights the situation regarding pending projects worth several lakh crores, which delays Assam’s much-needed economic impetus.
According to CMIE, the number of outstanding investment projects in 2018-19 was Rs 2,60,675.25 crore, Rs 2,59,974.05 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 2,46,869.4.2 crore in 2020-2020 MSMEs. DS Rawat told a press meet.
On the other hand, investment projects under implementation in 2018-19 were worth Rs 2,17,511.2 crore, Rs 2,14,692.66 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 2,17,109.77 crore in 2020-21, he added.
Rawat suggested setting up a “high-powered committee” headed by the chief minister to expedite the approval and implementation of projects to avoid cost overruns.
The survey submitted to the state government said that most of the private investment flows into agro-industries such as food processing, horticulture, organic, MSME and petroleum based units.
“These sectors create more jobs, and promote start-ups, ensuring inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods,” it added.
The survey found that in 2018-19, Assam attracted new investment projects worth Rs 11,620.26 crore and completed projects worth Rs 15,335.16 crore. In 2019-20, the cost of new projects was Rs 3,233.84 crore as against Rs 7,447.83 crore for completed projects.
Jigish Sonagara, co-founder and CEO of Bilmart Fintech, said that in 2020-21, projects worth Rs 690.23 crore were received and the cost of completed projects was Rs 3,398.66 crore.
The report found that the MSME sector is the fastest growing in Assam in terms of output, investment, number of units and job creation. Compared to other north-eastern states, the sector is dominant in the state with 61.48 per cent units concentrated in Assam and the remaining 38.52 per cent in other states.
Assam has an estimated 67,000 industries, of which 88 per cent are small, 11.5 per cent small and medium. Recently, the central government has sanctioned over Rs 1,536 crore for setting up small, medium and medium enterprises under the Self-Reliance India campaign.
“There are many threats and challenges to the survival and growth of MSMEs. The growth rate of jobs and wealth in Assam cannot keep pace with this high rate of population growth, creating problems of unemployment, poverty and income inequality in the region.
“It has been observed that the biggest challenge for MSMEs is timely availability of capital and as a result, they either shrink operations or liquidate the enterprise. However, liquidity can be resolved if there is an alternative way of organizing. Timely competitive lending,” Sonagara said.
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