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Budget to boost connectivity in NE : Industry body

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Guwahati, Feb 1 (IANS) The North East Advisory Council Chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Monday, welcomed the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for focusing on infrastructure.

The industry body hoped that the proposed infrastructures would include rail, air and water transport connectivity projects in the region.

FICCI North East Advisory Council Chairman Ranjit Barthakur welcomed the focus on infrastructure, particularly the decision to set up a Development Financial Institution (DFI).

“We are hopeful that the proposed infrastructure plan would include major infrastructure requirements of the northeastern states like inland water transport, rail connectivity and air connectivity to remote locations,” he said.

Barthakur said that over the last few years FICCI has made several recommendations for improvement of connectivity in the region through inland water transport, rail, road and air connectivity.

“While substantial progress has been achieved in road and air connectivity, but inland water transport and rail connectivity in the region need a renewed focus.”

Barthakur said that the enhancement of budgetary outlay for health and wellbeing by 137 per cent to over 2.23 lakh crores is an important decision. “This will give a much-needed boost to health care delivery in the country and I hope many remote parts of the northeast will benefit from this.”

Barthakur said that with innovation and R & D being the key differentiator for determining growth, there was a need to incentivise R & D in the country.

“While FICCI appreciates the government’s decision to set up a National Research Foundation with an allocation of Rs 50,000 crore, we reiterate the request to bring back weighted deduction of 200 per cent for investments made by private sector towards innovation and R&D,” he added.

–IANS

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