Mokokchung, 19 September (MTNews): In a significant address at the 1st Northeastern States Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NSCCI) Business Conclave, Hekani Jakhalu, MLA and Advisor to the Department of Industries, Government of Nagaland, emphasized the need for economic reforms and support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Northeast India.


Hekani Jakhalu
Advisor Hekani Jakhalu opening the Business Session of the Conclave by beating the gong at Niathu Resort, Chumoukedima on 19 September, 2023. (DIPR photo)


Jakhalu raised several key points during her speech, starting from the decline in investment. Jakhalu expressed concern over the decline in investment in the Northeast, attributing it to the outdated North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2007. She called for the development of a new industrial policy with extended incentives, especially focusing on the MSME sector.


She also highlighted the Standing Committee on Commerce’s comprehensive report titled ‘Development of Trade and Industries in North Eastern Region (NER).’ This report covers essential areas such as connectivity, trade enhancement, trade with ASEAN nations, industrial land use, Special Economic Zones (SEZs), bamboo industry, tourism, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and food processing. Jakhalu recommended the establishment of a dedicated agency to nurture the region’s agriculture and indigenous horticulture products.


Jakhalu emphasized the significant role played by MSMEs in the Northeast’s economy. She called for collective attention and support for MSMEs, given their substantial contribution to the region’s employment, output, and exports.


Pointing out that the Northeast accounts for around 3% of the total MSMEs in India, Jakhalu recommended an increase in the budget allocation under the North East Entrepreneurs Development Scheme to provide financial assistance to MSMEs at concessional interest rates.


Jakhalu highlighted the shared aspiration among Northeastern states for economic growth and prosperity, transcending their diverse backgrounds. She stressed the importance of collective progress and teamwork in addressing common challenges and aspirations.


Addressing the underutilization of the region’s vast potential and resources, Jakhalu emphasized the need not only for infrastructure development but also for equipping the local population with the necessary technical skills to effectively utilize these resources.


To address trade imbalances in the region, Jakhalu called for collaboration, awareness-building, and policy development. She endorsed the “Made in NorthEast” concept, envisioning it as a catalyst for stronger regional and international trade relationships.


Jakhalu concluded her address by underscoring the rich heritage and untapped potential of the Northeastern states. She encouraged collaboration among stakeholders to pave the way for sustainable economic growth and thanked the Northeastern States Chamber of Commerce and Industry for organizing the conclave.


The NSCCI business conclave included discussions on various topics, including business convergence in the Northeastern states, investment opportunities, and India’s Act East Policy.


Stakeholders from all eight Northeastern states participated, sharing their concerns and challenges as they collectively strive for economic revival.

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