Advantage Assam, Global Investors Summit

The film fraternity represented by Producer and director Subhash Ghai, Manmohan Shetty, Rahul Rawail, Janu Barua-Filmmaker from Assam, Mr. Kulmit Makkad, CEO of Producers Guild, Hansal Mehta – Director, Sandeep Bhargava, CEO, Purple Pebble, Sunil Aggarwal, CEO of Yashraj, Nitin Ahuja Editor of Box Office among the others from the film Industry met the Chief Minister and held wide ranging discussions on the opportunities for film making in Assam.

Industry leaders suggested that Assam may consider constituting a film commission like Maharashtra and the Government of Assam is already taking steps towards this end. Suggestions were given to also set up a film school, post production houses in Assam so people do not have to depend on Mumbai for Trained personnel.

Shri. Subhash Ghai, Producer, Mukta Arts, said he would like to replicate what he did in Mumbai ie. to set up a film institute, like Whistling Woods.

The Film fraternity also spoke about changing the perception about Assam’s Law and order situation.  The government is willingly, openly and actively considering the suggestions made by the producers. The Government of Assam has committed to strongly work towards accelerating infrastructure support for film producers like accommodation, transport and roads. The Government of Assam has extended an invitation to the film producers for an assessment tour.

During the two days visit the Chief Minister held one to one meetings with top industrialists and invited them to invest in Assam. The Top Industry Leaders who met the chief minister included, Mr. Ratan Tata, Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Essel Group Chairman – Mr. Subhash Chandra, Mr. Dilip Sanghvi, CMD, Sun Pharma, V K Saraswat, Hon. Member, NITI Aayog and 6 organisations (Catalytic Think Tank Forum, Bangalore, Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited, Thermax, Praj Industries Limited, Volvo India, Deepak Fertilizer Limited and a number of other top industry leaders like the Mahindra’s and the Hinduja Group apart from top leadership of sectoral associations like the Plastic Manufacturers Association.

REGULATORY POLICY INITIATIVE

INCENTIVES FOR FILM PRODUCERS

  • Assam Gears up to become a frontrunner among states in driving the Indian economy and the state is strengthening trade and industry relations with ASEAN nations
  • In its endeavour to attract film tourism,  the Government of Assam is initiating for the first time ‘Advantage Assam – the Assam Global Investors Summit 2018’ – an investment promotion and facilitation summit in association with the FICCI on February 3-4, 2018 in Guwahati.
  • The Summit will cast the spotlight on the state’s readiness to become an ideal destination for Film Tourism capable of catering to not only the North East but the rest of India.
  • The summit will witness primary focus on sectors such as Agriculture and Food processing, Handloom, Textile and Handicraft, Tourism, Hospitality and Wellness, Plastics and Petrochemicals, Power, Pharmaceutical and Medical devices, Heavy Industries, Inland Water Transport, Port Township and River Front Development and IT & ITeS, Civil Aviation, Petroleum and Natural gas.
  • The tag line of the initiative “Indias Expressway to ASEAN” is self-explanatory as it suggests the geo-strategic advantage it enjoys with various South East Asian countries such as the ASEAN countries including Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, which are potential investors for the state’s growing sectors like IT & ITES, Tourism, Agriculture, River Transport, Plastics and Petrochemicals, etc.

  • Financial grant of 25% of cost incurred in Assam to Hindi/ English/ Foreign language Cinema makers who have produced minimum 5 feature films with country wide audience and minimum 25% of the entire shooting of the feature film in Assam subject to a maximum limit of Rs. 100 lakhs.
  • Additional rebate of 10% on QPF for film having storyline on Assam’s culture/ tourism/ heritage.
  • Additional rebate of 10% on QPF for shooting more than 50% of the entire shooting in Assam.
  • The producers who have produced minimum 10 films in Hindi/ English/ Foreign language will be provided free accommodation and transport for their important casts during the period of stay for shooting of films in Assam.

INCENTIVES FOR FILM CITY

  • A new tourism unit which commences its commercial operation during the validity of this policy i.e. from 1/1/2018 to 31/12/2011 with a minimum investment of Rs. 100 lakhs in the Tourism locations, shall be entitled to reimbursement of 50% of net SGST paid for a period of ten years from the date of such commercial operation subject to maximum of 100% of fixed capital investment.
  • A capital investment subsidy at the rate of 30% of capital investment subject to a ceiling of Rs. 1 crore shall be available for Tourists lodges, Hotels, Resorts, Houseboats and floating restaurant and location in tourism locations.
  • 25% of the cost payable to Assam State Power Distribution Company (APDCL) for drawal of power line to the eligible units including the cost of transformer subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10 lakhs.
  • 75% of the cost of construction of approach road to the premises of eligible units shall be reimbursed in the form of a subsidy subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10 lakhs.
  • Additional 10% capital grant upto Rs.25 lakhs for investment in remote/ potential tourist destination of Assam.
  • For private properties in Tourism sector, both existing and new, 25% of investment on renewal sources of energy will be reimbursed subject to maximum of Rs. 10 lakhs.

  • Gist of Key sectors are as follows:

SECTORAL PERFORMANCE AND DEVELOPMENTAL HIGHLIGHTS
Agriculture and Food processing Assam plans to transform its cropping intensity from 150 percent to 200 per cent. Apart from paddy, Assam is expanding in other areas of cultivation such as horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry and other plantation crops. Assam is the single largest tea producer globally, and  contributes towards  50% of the total tea produced in India. Assam  tea is exported largely  into markets such as Europe, Australia and the Middle East. A tea park is being set up at Chaygaon in Kamrup district in an area of approximately 100 acres of land. The park would provide facilities for blending, storage  and transhipment of Assam Tea for the world market. The Govt. of Assam has also proposed a Tea Museum in Dibrugarh.

 

The Govt. of Assam has developed an organic produces market complex in Guwahati. Bamboo, one of the major agricultural crops can make a huge difference in the economy of Assam. 66% of the growing bamboo stock of the country is located in North-East Assam. A bamboo park has been set up at Chaygaon with an investment of rupees 62.28 crore. The State has one of the best turmeric and ginger produced in the region. Ginger productivity in the state is almost 7000 Kg/Ha

 

The fisheries sector contributes around 3 percent to the State Domestic Product. The existence of vast water resources suitable for pisciculture in the state covering an area of 4.77 lakh hectares justifies greater investments in the sector to bring the productivity levels to self-sufficiency and further add value for export competitiveness.

Handloom, Textile and Handicraft Assam contributes significantly to India’s foreign exchange through textile trade. The Government of Assam has been following a handloom policy which has been revised in 2017. The State has been encouraging and highlighting the handloom sector through a lot of initiatives and trade conducive policies.

 

Assam has a unique textile tradition. Presently this sector is generating significant employment. The 3rd Handloom Census in 2009 showed that the total weaver household units had recorded a decline. However, it is not the case with Assam. On the contrary it has shown an increase in the number of households from the second to the third census. The state does not produce much cotton but it leads way through production of silk, jute, ramie, bamboo etc. 28% of area and 66% of growing stock of bamboo in NE region, especially Assam. Assam is also the only area which produces all commercially viable silk. Assam is famous in the textile market for its production of Muga – The golden silk. Raw silk production in the state during 2015-16 was recorded to be 3,325 MT whereas during 2016-17 (up to May 2016), raw silk production in the state stood at 1,137 MT. Seneh Jori, an Assam Silk Outreach Mission, aims to produce 1 million kg of Muga silk and 10 million kg of Eri Silk by 2025.

 

Tourism, Hospitality and Wellness The Government of Assam has geared up to unravel new destinations in the state, expand overall tourism infra development that will further accelerate its growth. The State Govt. of Assam has since worked ardently towards promoting and setting up the Corporation for growth and development of tourism in Assam.

 

The tourist contribution to GDP is around 5.5 percent. India has a budding market in rural tourism. The government announced an ambitious tourism policy by declaring the sector an industry with an aim to increase tourist inflow by at least two to three times within next five years. The ‘Tourism Policy of Assam 2017’, effective from January 2017 till December 2022, lays special emphasis on making the state a destination of film making by offering a range of incentives to movie producers. This tourism policy paper was aimed at creating a policy framework to move tourism into a major economic sector of Assam increasing the inflow of tourists within the next few years.  The government envisions development of quality, reliable, sustainable & resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development & human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all. The govt. believes that private sector investing in Assam’s Tourism market can make this possible.

Plastics and Petrochemicals Assam shares it borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh and is also connected to Myanmar. Assam is also well connected to Bangladesh and South East Asian countries through the

AH-1. The state therefore has an advantage of being a base for the plastic and petrochemical industries looking to expand their business in the ASEAN countries or BBIN. Assam also has the Tinsukia Plastics Park which is just 5 kilometres away from the nearest railway station producing High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) and Poly-Propylene (PP). Brahmaputra Crackers and Polymers Ltd. (BCPL) produces 2,20,000 TPA of polymer grade Ethylene, 60,000 TPA of polymer grade of Propylene and 60,000 TPA of various grades of polypropylene. The state is also working towards achieving the Hydrocarbon Vision for North East Region for 2030 which aims to have the North-East Region atop the Indian Energy map.

Power Assam had a total installed power generation capacity of 1599.65 MW, of which 364.7 MW is produced by State Utility. The present handling capacity of the Assam Electricity Grid Corporation is approximately 1650 MW. Assam has an identified potential of generating 14000 MW of Solar Power.
Pharmaceutical and Medical devices Assam is a potential base for manufacturing of generic drugs with focus on exporting to neighbouring countries. In alignment with India’s ‘Act East’ policy, the enormous trade and commerce co-operation potential that exists between India and its eastern neighbours, and the ASEAN countries should be exploited further. Considering Assam’s proximity to the growing pharmaceutical markets in India’s eastern neighbourhood. It is logical for established Pharmaceutical companies to set up manufacturing units in Assam. On completion of the upcoming connectivity linkages with SE Asia and ASEAN, Pharmaceutical manufacturing units located in Assam will have tremendous cost savings in logistics while serving the markets in India’s eastern neighbourhood.

The State has already developed key infrastructure to promote and support the pharma sector further. It has a 35-acre Pharmaceuticals Hub at Balipara, a biotech park in Guwahati and a 120 –  acre proposed Pharmaceutical Park at Chaygaon, Kamrup. The state has received more than $1 billion worth of investments over the past one year. The government has attributed these investments from companies such as Unilever, Dabur and Sun Pharma, to Assam positioning  itself as a hub of trade servicing the mega markets of the Southeast Asian nations.  The State plans  to secure further investments from private players in the pharmaceutical sector. During 2016-17, more than 9 pharmaceutical units have started their production with a cumulative investment of INR 921 Cr. The major players are Sun Pharmaceuticals, Ajanta Pharmaceuticals, Pure & Cure Healthcare. Hetero Lab, Hetero Healthcare and Natco Pharma etc.  Assam is home to 300 types of medicinal herbs and plants. The Brahmaputra valley alone houses 150 varieties of herbs and plants of commercial value.  An estimated 5-10% of Assam’s plants and herbs have been commercially used for medicinal purposes.

Inland Water Transport, Port Township and River Front Development  

The Govt. of India’s Ministry of Shipping has taken up projects such as the Integrated National Waterways Transportation Grid (INTG) Jal Marg Pariyojana. The Govt. of India is also providing assistance for creating inland waterways transportation in North Eastern States including Sikkim under the Central Sector Scheme (with 100% grant from Ministry of Shipping for Infrastructure Development). Increased industrialization in North East Region has lead to significant movement of raw materials, export of cargo to countries like Bangladesh and Myanmar coupled with low cost of transportation through Inland Water Transportation, increased tourism potential and establishment of port townships and industrial hubs along  the Brahmaputra and Barak.

 

With 15 National Waterways (NW), Assam has nearly 10% of cumulative length of all 111 NWs in India. 24 hour night navigation facilities are put in place by IWAI (Inland Waterways Association of India) from Dhubri to Dibrugarh. Inland waterways provides an energy efficient, cost effective alternate mode of transportation for bulk commodities. It is estimated that 1 liter of fuel can move 105 MT on inland water compared to 24 MT on road and 85 MT on railways. In order to modernise and transform inland water transport in Assam,  the World Bank has pledged to assist Govt. of Assam through a phase wise project which includes comprehensive studies for institutional restructuring, long term planning, restructuring of regulatory department of IWT, design of SAR organisation, fleet modernisation, procurement and local assembly of RoRo passenger/ cargo catamarans for trade at selected routes, development of aids to  navigation for 24 hours service, inventive scheme for local councils and country boats.

 

The State envisages huge scope for development of river fronts and operation of river taxis from major locations like Guwahati  to North Guwahati – Darrang to Morigaon, Guwahati to Umananda, Palasbari to Sualkuchi, Guijan to Dibru Saikhowa,  Bogibeel to Dhemaji, Neemati Ghat to Kamalabari- Guwahati to Bogori, Guwahati to Sualkuchi, Neamati Ghat to Majuli and Dhubri.

 

Ro-Ro terminal has become operational at Dhubri and IWT Dept, Govt. of Assam has identified four ports namely – Silghat, Pandu, Karimganj and Dhubri  which will be used  as immigration checkpoints.

 

IT & ITeS The promotion of IT & ITES through new IT & Electronic Policy Assam 2017 to be among key focus areas of the Government of Assam. Assam has a large domestic and regional market share waiting to be tapped. Proximity to BBIN & ASEAN markets can be a growth driver for the IT & ITES industry. A 10 GBPS international internet gateway in the neighbouring state of Tripura is infact India’s third IIG after Mumbai and Chennai. Today, Assam is on the threshold of becoming a valued destination for ICT Industry, and to acknowledge this aspect, the State has decided to notify a new IT & Electronics Policy 2017 to promote Assam as one of the pioneer ICT hubs. The idea is to enhance the capacity and skill sets of the new generation for employment in IT/ITeS/ESDM sector, promoting innovation and start-ups. This Policy is applicable from the date of notification and shall remain in force from 1.1.2018 to 31.12 2022. Thrust will be given for creation and improvement of civil infrastructure, connectivity among IT Hubs and ancillary facilities. IT Parks, High tech cities, Research and Innovation hubs for Start-ups, Incubators and accelerators, ESDM clusters, Prototyping, Testing and quality labs, High Performance & Supercomputing infrastructure, Data Centres, Business Process Management (BPM), Centres of Excellence etc.

 

Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) is the fastest growing segment of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. The State Government has taken a holistic view of the challenges and fiscal disabilities faced by the ESDM industry and these are addressed using a combination of promotional initiatives, post-performance incentives, fiscal measures, capital subsidies and other capacity building measures. Government of Assam outlines the Promotional initiatives under this Policy, which will enable the State to be a leading contributor in India’s ESDM sector and make the State a preferred destination for investments in ESDM. The policy devised by the government provides most attractive incentives to investors in IT and IT enabled services.

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