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Government Denies Allegation; Tribal Belts, Reserve Forests Will Not Be Touched

News Desk: The Assam government on Friday denied all the allegations that the government was planning to ‘sell-off’ the State’s land resources. The state government was facing widespread protests as they were accused of making plans to ‘sell-off’ Assam’s land resources through an ‘anti-indigenous people’ ordinance allowing industrialists to set up shops without seeking clearance.

On June 29 the Sarbananda Sonowal cabinet approved an ordinance to provide hurdle-free land for investors to set up Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs). Soon after various tribal and social organizations, many political parties and students’ bodies went offensive and started widespread protests.

The Governor of Assam, Jagdish Mukhi has not yet approved the ordinance.

Assam’s Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary told journalists in a press meet that, “We appreciate the genuine concerns of the people. The reactions are probably because no one has seen the blueprint of the ordinance, which will not touch the tribal blocks and belts, reserve forests, and eco-sensitive belts.”

He added that Hazardous industries would not be allowed to be set up through the ordinance to promote MSMEs.

He also said that the ordinance was aimed at generating jobs to the State’s 20 Lakh registered unemployed as well as to some 3.5 Lakh people who became jobless after returning to Assam from various parts of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the press meet, Chandra Mohan Patowary added that the government intends to use non-farm patta (legally owned) land lying idle. The highest investment is ₹ 50 Crore for medium, ₹ 10 Crore for small, and ₹ 1 Crore for micro industries.

To ensure ease of business, entrepreneurs would be allowed to start operations with a self-declaration and safety certificates from the fire and electricity departments. They need not submit any other documents for three years. After three years of running the MSMEs.

The Minister added’ “he or she will have to possess all necessary documents within six months.”

Image Source: Internet

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Written by admin

A multimedia journalist based out of Guwahati, covering public policy, healthcare, and social issues.

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