Advisor Hekani Jakhalu advocates for new industrial policy to drive NE growth

Advisor Hekani Jakhalu opening the Business Session of the Conclave by beating the gong at Niathu Resort, Chumoukedima on 19th September, 202.(DPRO Dimapur)

Advisor Hekani Jakhalu opening the Business Session of the Conclave by beating the gong at Niathu Resort, Chumoukedima on 19th September, 202.(DPRO Dimapur)

DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 19 (MExN): Advisor to the Department of Industries, Hekani Jakhalu today took part in the business session of the 1st Northeastern States Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Conclave (NSCCI). The event took place at Niathu Resort, Chumoukedima, on September 19.

In her address, Jakhalu highlighted the significance of the gathering in the economic development of the Northeastern states, often referred to as the "Seven Sisters." She emphasized that despite the region's diversity, there is a shared aspiration among the states to foster economic growth and prosperity. Jakhalu spoke about the need for collective progress and teamwork, stating that the challenges and aspirations faced by this group are shared.

One of the key challenges discussed by Jakhalu was the underutilization of the region's potential, resources, and opportunities for economic growth and development. She stressed the importance of not just establishing infrastructure but also equipping the people with the technical skills required to make use of these resources effectively.

Jakhalu underscored the vital role played by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the region's economy. Despite comprising only 1.5% of India's MSMEs, MSMEs in the Northeast contribute nearly 62% to the region's economy in terms of employment, output, and exports. She emphasized the need to focus on MSMEs and convert the region's potential into strength by addressing challenges and issues collectively.

The special guest also addressed the trade imbalance in the region and called for collaboration, awareness-building, and the development of policies to facilitate trade. She mentioned the ‘Made in NorthEast’ concept introduced five years ago, which can serve as a catalyst for strengthening relationships and boosting the regional economy through inter-state and international trade.

Jakhalu highlighted the decline in investment share in the Northeast under the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2007 and called for the urgent development of a new industrial policy with enhanced incentives for at least ten years, with a focus on supporting the MSME sector.

She mentioned the Standing Committee on Commerce's report on 'Development of Trade and Industries in North Eastern Region (NER),' which covers various aspects, including connectivity, enhancing trade, trade with ASEAN, industrial land use, SEZs, bamboo industry, tourism, FDI, and food processing. Jakhalu stressed the need for a dedicated agency to develop the region's agriculture and indigenous horticulture products.

On the topic of MSMEs, Jakhalu pointed out that the NER accounts for around 3% of the total MSMEs in the country. She recommended increasing the budget allocation under the North East Entrepreneurs Development Scheme to provide financial assistance to MSMEs at concessional interest rates.

In conclusion, Jakhalu highlighted the rich heritage and potential of the Northeastern states and called for collaboration among all stakeholders to chart a path toward sustainable economic growth. She expressed gratitude to the Northeastern States Chamber of Commerce and Industry for organizing the conclave and encouraged participants to work together to transform their shared vision into reality.

The business session of the conclave included discussions on various topics, including the prospect of business convergence in the Northeastern states, investment opportunities, and India's Act East Policy. Stakeholders from all eight Northeastern states attended the conclave and shared their concerns, issues, and challenges.