Sikkim govt exhorts industrialists to invest in the state

12 Feb 2019

“The rating of Sikkim might be low in the EoDB ranking, but time taken to set up an industry in the state is the least in Sikkim, said Dr Thomas Chandy, IFS, Principal Secretary, Department of Commerce & Industries, Government of Sikkim while delivering a Special Address on the Paradox of Ease of Doing Business in Sikkim at the Conference on Infra Dialogue@ Sikkim at Gangtok today.  At present, according to Dr Chandy, the state does not have notified industrial estates. The state government is actively pursuing the matter of notification of industrial estates with Central Government, added Dr Chandy. He also highlighted that for better EoDB, infrastructure plays a key role when industry is being set up. As far as tourism is concerned, tourists need to be pushed to the pristine areas of the state, Dr Chandy emphasized. The sector also needs to be regulated. He also highlighted that the industrial development in the state over the last ten years has contributed to 40% of GSDP. The state government is pursuing with central government the matter of extending the benefits of Companies Act 2013 to Sikkim, he added. Dr Chandy also requested CII to engage with the state government on developing an industrial policy for Sikkim and in the areas of climate change and green technologies.
While delivering a Special Address at the Inaugural Session of Infra Dialogue@ Sikkim, Dr A K Srivastava, IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim mentioned that Sikkim is a peaceful state with high literacy rate.  Tourism, Green Power and Agri & Food Processing Sectors have huge potential in Sikkim, he added. The growth rate of the state is 12-14% per annum, he highlighted. Per Capita of Sikkim has also increased considerably, which is more than Rs. 3 Lakhs.  The organic products from the state gets exported but they need proper sorting, packaging and branding to be marketable, he said. According to Dr Srivastava, Sikkim is the highest producer of large cardamom in the world and has a GI. The state government is trying to get GI for its Temi Tea. “Tourism has  a great potential in Sikkim which includes heritage tourism, village tourism, eco-tourism, etc,” the Chief Secretary said. He went on to say that eco-tourism should be developed in such a way that it does not disturb the ecology around. Besides, he also touched upon the power, road, rail and air connectivity status of the state. He requested CII to work with the state government in areas of EoDB, Industrial Policy, Organic Mission and tourism. Dr Srivastava invited people to visit Sikkim to feel Sikkim by staying and investing in Sikkim.Mr Naresh Agarwal, Chairman, CREDAI and Director, Advance Contractors & Engineers(P) Ltd. while delivering an address on affordable housing, highlighted the importance and potential of affordable housing in Sikkim. Since lot of investments are coming in Sikkim, the need for affordable housing will increase in near future in the state.
Mr Sudip Datta, Co Chairman, Infrastructure Subcommittee, CII Eastern Region & COO, IL&FS Township & Urban Assets Ltd said in his address on attracting Private Sector investment in Sikkim. In his address, he highlighted that the state is well equipped to get investment from quality promoters. “Time has now come for Sikkim to move to the next level”, Mr Datta said. He suggested that the State Government needs to demarcate premium areas in the state (with low density and high value) to attract high value customers.The Infra Dialogue Session also had a Panel Discussion on Infrastructure Development in Sikkim with experts from the IT, Road, Tourism, State & Central Governments deliberating on Challenges, Opportunities and the way forward in the infrastructure development in Sikkim.