Modi calls for value addition to create jobs
Seeking to create more jobs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for value-addition of natural resources and creation of ancillary units that will help reduce imports as well as generate employment.
Inaugurating a Rs 10,000-crore petrochemical plant that will make raw material for manufacturing plastic and a wax making unit at an oil refinery here, Modi said his government’s priority is to develop Northeast as it believes in “all-round development” of the nation. He exhorted the youth of the states to take advantage of these two projects and set up small factories that will add value and generate wealth for the country.
“Today two major projects are being inaugurated in Dibrugarh. This is important because it will lead to value addition of natural resources and generate many employment opportunities for the youth,” he said. The Brahamputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd was conceived as part of the Assam peace accord signed during the tenure of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and its foundation stone was laid in 2007 by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Modi rued about delays in first conceiving the projects, then in announcing and foundation laying and further delays in completion, all of which result in cost escalation.
“I should not have got the opportunity of inaugurating the project if this unit was set up 25 years back by the then Prime Minister, he said. Many jobs would have been created and there would have been an atmosphere of ‘Sarbananda’, he said in an apparent reference to the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate and Union sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
“But, I sometime feel it is my good fortune to do all these good work (inaugurating projects started previously),” he said. Prime Minister said his government has unshackled several stalled projects across the country and he has been personally interacting with state chief secretaries on a monthly basis to monitor progress and remove hurdles.
Modi said with the dedication of these projects to the nation, there was ‘Anand’ (joy) across the country and ‘Sarbanand’ (all-round joy) in Assam. Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd’s petrochemical complex is established with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore and has a capacity to produce 2.80 lakh tonnes of polymers per annum.
GAIL is the main promoter with 70 per cent stake, while Assam government, Oil India and Numaligarh Refinery have 10 per cent stake each in the company. Besides, Prime Minister’s also inaugurated Numaligarh Refinery’s wax producing unit in Assam with an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes per annum.
“Our government is making efforts to complete all stalled projects and fulfil the dream of people,” Modi said.
Emphasising on the development of Northeastern states, Prime Minister said the government is focusing on the development of Odisha, Eastern UP, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, and other north-eastern states. “... if they (eastern region) are not developed then the progress of India is incomplete,” he said. Modi said therefore the government has framed “Act East policy” to incentives trade relations with the neighbouring countries including Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia among others which will be provide a great boost to trade opportunities in the eastern states.
Stating that the lack of connectivity in north-east states create hurdles for its progress despite having great potential, Modi said, infrastructure development in eastern states is government’s prime objective and the record railway budget for north-east was sanctioned.
Prime Minister exhorted youth to set up small ancillary units for plastic processing in the states as per capita plastic consumption in India is very less, hardly at 10 kg per person. If we have to match global average, there is vast potential in this sector.
He also assured that raw material produced in the states from these projects, the first priority would be given to Assam youth.