The North-Eastern region has traditionally been industrially backward because of its topography. Joined to the rest of India by a thin strip of land, the area was neglected by most companies as it lacked rail and road infrastructure. Setting up an industry in this region entailed a lot of hurdles, including payments to assorted insurgent groups, and was not economically viable. But with NEIIOO, a lot of things changed and many units were set up in Guwahati and other areas of Assam and some in other states. The main reason was that with excise duty exemption allowing them to set off higher transportation costs, higher labour costs and other âincidentalâ expenses, these units could compete with the rest of India.
Hence it is that after the government clarification, The Federation of Industry and Commerce of North East Region (FINER), has said that with this, the confusion in the minds of investors will get dissipated and the approximately Rs 30000 cr in investments that was kept in abeyance, will be fast-tracked. Of course there have been rumours about ghost units being set up only to avail of the incentives, but those are few and can be eliminated with tighter monitoring. Overall, it is a welcome move by the government that will continue to promote setting up of industry in the region.