Guwahati News Desk: The State government did give an impression in 2018 that the ‘Advantage Assam’ would lead to a massive flow of investment to the state – both domestic and foreign. The ground reality, however, is quite different.
According to official records, from February 2018 to August 2021, FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the state is around Rs 105 crore only.
After the summit, the then Industries Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that various departments had signed MoUs (Memorandums of Understanding) worth around Rs 7,000 crore for FDI. That included mainly the IT (Information Technology), Health and Infrastructure sectors. Various departments reached 176 MoUs worth around Rs 65,186 crore with 160 domestic and foreign companies at the summit.
Apart from that, the departments reached agreements worth around Rs 34,000 crore with OIL, ONGC, NRL, BCPL etc. Of course, the oil and refinery sectors did invest much to expand their businesses in the state. However, the picture is not impressive in private investment to the state.
A few hundred crore domestic investments came to the state since the summit. Most of the MoUs signed have not been materialized. The main aim of the summit was to increase trade and other relations with South East Asia. The summit focused on India’s Act East Policy. Delegates from around 23 countries did attend it.
Sources said various departments reached MoUs with domestic and foreign companies without studying their viability. There was no clear-cut roadmap for materializing the MoUs after the summit. Official sources show a lame excuse that the outbreak of the Covid-19 in the past two years did block investment to the state, especially from foreign countries.
However, the Government of India’s records of the past three years show foreign investment to the tune of Rs 623 crore in Goa, Rs 5,533 crore in West Bengal, Rs 5,211 crore in Uttar Pradesh, Rs 2,577 crore in Andhra Pradesh and Rs 19,200 crore in Jharkhand. How come this is possible during the pandemic?