|Mizoram asked to boost industry through local resources|
Aizawl, May 5 (IANS): The Planning Commission has asked the Mizoram government to create an investor-friendly environment to promote handloom, handicrafts, food and bamboo based industries in the northeastern State using locally available resources, an official said here on Saturday.
The suggestion was made during a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla in New Delhi on Thursday.
"Ahluwalia told Lal Thanhawla that Mizoram's industry sector is at a nascent stage now. To promote industrial growth, state government should create an investor-friendly environment to push investments and industrial growth for the creation of job prospects, besides better using of the local resources," a Mizoram Planning Department official told reporters.
Quoting Ahluwalia, the official said: "Emphasis must be given on village and small enterprise sectors comprising handloom, handicrafts, food and bamboo-based industries for which raw material and skill is locally available."
In the meeting, the annual plan size for 2013-14 fiscal for the State has been finalised at Rs 2500 crore, Rs 200 crore more than last year.
The Planning Commission Deputy Chairman said that the State has performed satisfactorily in various social sectors including health, education and agriculture.
The official said that the plan panel has appreciated Mizoram government for its achievements under NULP (New Land Use Policy) scheme and was assured more support to carry forward the programme.
The Mizoram government launched the Rs 2,873-crore NLUP in 2010 to solve food scarcity by moving away from 'Jhum cultivation' (slash and burn method of shifting cultivation) to permanent farming.
The NLUP aims to support 120,000 "jhum" (shifting cultivators) families over five years to settle in stable agriculture.
The Planning Commission has pointed out that irrigation coverage of net sown area is found to be very low and asked the state government to accelerate it.
"Bench terracing may be a viable alternative towards water management under agriculture enhancement strategy. There is a need to develop a horticulture hub in the state to revamp the sector. Animal husbandry, veterinary and dairy sectors including fisheries and aquaculture may be promoted through Self Help Groups," the official said, quoting Ahluwalia.
According to the official, the Mizoram Chief Minister has sought the Planning Commission's financial support in evolving a workable rain water harvesting programme for the mountainous State.