Economic survey spots rise in new NE firms

Economic survey spots rise in new NE firms
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GUWAHATI, FEBRUARY 1: The Economic Survey, which was released in New Delhi on Friday, said entrepreneurial activity had increased in some Northeastern states.
This was mentioned in a chapter on Entrepreneurship and Wealth Creation at the Grassroots in the survey, which was released by Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian.
The chapter examined the content and drivers of entrepreneurial activity at the bottom of the administrative pyramid in over 500 districts across the country. The analysis employed comprehensive data on new firm creation in the formal sector in these districts from the MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs)-21 database.
Using the World Bank’s data on entrepreneurship, it confirmed that India ranks 3rd in the number of new firms created and it had gone up dramatically since 2014.
“States in the highest quintile of relative entrepreneurial activity in the agriculture sector are Manipur, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tripura and Odisha. Establishments in the Northeast are more likely to be private enterprises in the food business such as organic produce farms and tea plantations,” it said.
A quintile refers to a population or sample divided into 5 equal groups.
Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (Finer) president Pabitra Buragohain said though entrepreneurial activity by the private sector in Assam was still in the nascent stage, it was picking up. “New firms have come up.”
He said there is only one mega food park in the state, which does not have any major food processing unit, but efforts must be made to attract people to do business.
The Agri Export Policy says the Northeast has the potential to produce exportable organic produce. The Centre has identified a tea cluster in Assam and a turmeric cluster in Meghalaya for export promotion. The tea cluster comprises Tinsukia, Sivasagar and Dibrugarh districts, which produce the highest quantity of tea in Assam. The turmeric cluster in Meghalaya is in West Jaintia Hills.
A recent World Bank report said the Northeast can play a significant role in India’s quest to become a global player in fresh fruits and vegetables.
A number of companies are doing business in organic produce. “Organic tea has a lot of scope and gets premium price if marketed well,” a tea planter said.
On the infrastructure sector, the Survey said entrepreneurial activity in infrastructure was the highest in Jharkand, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Jammu & Kashmir and Bihar, some of which are characterised by poor levels of extant infrastructure. “Not surprisingly, new firms in these states are largely engaged in construction, logistics and transport, utility generation, transmission and distribution, alternative energy distribution, and infratech,” it said. Sources said the increase of infrastructure projects in the Northeast had helped in setting up firms, especially in the construction sector.
Buragohain said the infrastructure development in Arunachal Pradesh was mainly roads built by the defence. “There is little involvement of local people in infrastructure development in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram,” he said. (Courtesy: TT)