Manipur Situation Not A Biz Deterrent

IMPHAL, April 27: The grave law and order situation in Manipur has not deterred investors, though a majority of them are still hesitant to do business in the state.

Representatives of more than 20 companies explored business possibilities by interacting with ministers, government officials and local entrepreneurs during a daylong Northeast Investors’ Meet here today. The representatives attended the event, organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and DoNER ministry across the country. It was a follow up to the sixth Northeast Business Summit in Mumbai recently.

The ICC will hold a similar business meet in Agartala on Friday and more meetings are likely to be held in other states of the region in the coming days. The main idea behind the meet is to provide opportunities to corporate houses to know about the prospects offered by Manipur and give the state government a chance to know about the areas the investors are keen on.

Though Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has appealed to the investors during business meets and appropriate forums outside the state to take up projects in Manipur, only a few have shown interest.

Tourism minister T.N. Haokip, who took part in the interactive sessions, told The Telegraph that most of the investors were hesitant to come to Manipur because of the prevailing law and order situation. “Yes we can invest here, provided the Manipur government gives us the security for our manpower and machinery. Law and order is a matter of concern,” R.K. Sharma, a representative of the Shyam Group of Industries, which deals in power, cement manufacturing and steel, said.

When the investors were asked to announce their proposals, only one of them obliged.

Satish Lakhotiya, managing director of the Calcutta-based Larica Estates, was the only person from the corporate sector to announce that his company was keen to take up ventures in Manipur.

“We are currently developing two townships in Guwahati and we would like to develop a township, comprising 500 flats and bungalows with affordable housing facilities and all the basic amenities of a town, in Imphal,” he said.

He said 35 acres of land would be enough for a township and anyone keen on the project could get in touch with him.

Earlier, commerce and industries minister Y. Erabot Singh, tourism minister Haokip and chief secretary D.S. Poonia told the investors that Manipur had a huge potential in the sectors of power, horticulture, agro-based industries, food processing, tourism, IT and mineral resources.

Nakib Ahmed, adviser, Northeast Initiative of the ICC, assured the Manipur government that the investors were keen on doing business in the state.

(Courtesy: Telegraph India)

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