The largest of the northeastern states of India, Assam is the Gateway to the northeast of India. Assam, the land of unexplored opportunities welcomes you to its land of plenty.

Both the Central and State Governments are attaching a great deal of importance to create an investment friendly climate in the state and are offering a whole range of subsidies and incentives to set up industrial units in the state with the
Central Government earmarking 10% of Union Development Budget for North East India.

Assam is rich in natural resources, minerals, forests and water and has vast tracts of fertile land. It is primarily an agrarian economy, with 74% of it's population engaged in agriculture and allied activities. Cereals like paddy, wheat and plantation crops like tea are grown extensively. Amongst mineral resources, oil takes the top place. Oil was first struck more than one hundred years ago and the oil well of Digboi and other areas is a major source of fuel for not only the North-East but for the country as a whole.

The economy of Assam can be broadly divided into three sectors- Primary (agriculture, mining etc.) secondary (manufacturing) and tertiary (services like electricity, water, trade, finance, banking, telecommunication etc).

Medicinal herbs and plants

With its vast hills and forests, Assam is the home to a variety of medicinal herbs and plants such as eg. Sarpagandha (rauvolfia serpentine Benth.ex.Kur), Pippali (Piper longam Linn), Amlakhi (Emblica Officinalis Gaertn), Hilikha (Terinalia Chebula Retz.), Bhomora (Terminalia belerica), Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna Wight & Arn.).

About 300 types of medicinal herbs and plants are known to exist in abundance in the state with the Brahmaputra valley itself having 150 varieties of herbs and plants of commercial value.

It is estimated that only about 5-10% of the plants and herbs are currently utilised and the rest hold a vast potential.

Agriculture

An agrarian economy since time immemorial, about 77% of Assam's workforce is engaged agriculture and allied activities contributing roughly 40% to the state's GDP. Roughly 40% of the total area is cultivated.

Exotics
Assam Lemon: An unique product of Assam with a high percentage of Vitamin C (10 mg.) besides Vitamin B (0.02 mg.), Niacin (0.1) per 100 gm. Extractable oil content of the peel is around 0.8% and can be used in the cosmetic industry.

Hatkora: An exclusive export item belonging to the citrus family. Peel is used for tenderizing meat and enhancing flavour in culinary dishes.

Orchids: Of the 925 varieties available in India, over 600 can be grown in Assam. Around 200 varieties are unique to this region of which 60% are ornamental in nature.

Aromatic Rice (Joha Rice): Quality comparable with any popular aromatic rice in the world.

Bhut Jalakia (Capsicum Chinensis Jacq.) : Hottest chilli on earth with Scovelli Heat Unit (SHG) of 10,41,047.

Sericulture

The climate and general environment of Assam is well suited to sericulture. Traditional varieties of silk cultured include eri, muga and mulberry. The muga silk, known for its fine sheen and golden colour is used by the local silk weaving industry and this has contributed to the development of the muga culture in the State. There are vast opportunities in silk processing and spinning units.

Horticulture & Spices

The agro-climatic conditions favors cultivation of wide range of horticultural crops including plantation crops and various fruits and vegetables, flowers, spices, medicinal & aromatic plants, nut crops and tuber crops. Most horticulture products are organic as the use of Chemical Fertilizers is very low with the majority of the farmers still sticking to traditional organic farming methods.

Assam has over 600 varieties of Orchids. Around 200 varieties are unique to this region of which 60% are ornamental in nature. Assam also has a vast array of aromatic plants. At present most of the oils extracted are sold in crude form. Some of the plants are Citronella (Cymbopogan flexuosus Steud Wats), Lemon Grass, Patchouli (Pogostemon cabiln Benth.), Agar (Aquilaria agallocha Roxb.), etc.

Forest resources

The state of Assam has a rich forest cover encompassing nearly a quarter of its land area. Roughly half of the forests are reserved. Blessed with plentiful rainfall, the forests are a reserve of such commercially useful produce like timber, bamboo, stone, cane, etc. Bamboo is the best natural engineering material on this planet. Government of Assam’s objective to promote bamboo as a substitute for wood, to make it the timber of the 21st century.

India’s 64% and world’s 20% growing stock of bamboo grows in NE India. North east annually harvests bamboo worth of 500 billion rupees.

Consumption of wood is rising at 10% per annum in India. As a subsitute for wood, it can be extensively used as a material for building, scaffolding and furniture.

Mineral resources

Assam is rich in mineral resources likeCoal (320 Mn.T.), Limestone (703 Mn.T.), Iron Ore(11 Mn.T) and Granite(1 Bn. Cu. Mtrs) along many more resources like Fireclay, Lithomarge, Fuller's Earth, Sillimanite and Glass Sand. The coal found in Assam has a high sulphur content and high volatile matter content, thereby reducing its cokeability.

Limestone with reserves of about 500 million tonnes is another important resource and is available in various grades. The China clay available in the Karbi-Anglong district is a vital input for the ceramics industry and has already spawned a few small plants. Deposits of decorative stone like granite estimated to be more than a billion cubic meters are available in various shades and colours, which have a huge market potential locally and abroad.

Opportunities based on minerals are Gasification & Liquefaction of Coal, De-Sulphurisation of Coal, Coal based Power Plant, Coal Bed Methane (CBM) Extraction, Exploration of Oil & Natural Gas and HDPE / LLDPE / Polypropylene based industries.

Energy/Oil/Gas Based industry

Assam has over 1.3 billion tonnes of proven crude oil and 156 billion cu. mt of natural gas reserves. Superior quality natural gas available at an attractive price.
Assam accounts for about 15% of India's crude output. The wells at Digboi, Duliajan, Sivasagar etc. also produce Natural gas accounting to about 50% of India's total onshore production.

The refineries have the following capacities:;

Digboi Refinery (Capacity – 0.65 MMTPA)
Guwahati Refinery (Capacity – 1.00 MMTPA)
Numaligarh Refinery (Capacity – 3.00 MMTPA)
Bongaigaon Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (Capacity – 2.35 MMTPA)

The Assam Gas Cracker Plant is coming up. The HDPE/LLDPE is 220,000 TPA, Polypropelene is 60,000 TPA. In the last 4 years or so, private sector/JV companies have made about 32 significant hydrocarbon discoveries.  

Tourism

To nature lovers all over the world, wildlife enthusiasts, sightseers, ornithologists and photographers, Assam is a dream destination.

Its natural landscape, lush green forests, wild life sanctuaries, pilgrimage spots and tea gardens offer a wide choice to cater to the tastes of a variety of tourists from the casual sightseer to the adventure tourist. With the withdrawal of the Restricted Area Permit (RAP), tourism is poised for a major boom.

There are immense opportunities in the following areas:

Accommodation Projects – Hotels, Motels, Lodges, Resorts

Food Oriented Projects – Restaurants, Cafeterias, Wayside Amenities

Service Oriented Projects – Travel Agencies, Tour Operators, Training Institutes
Ropeways, amusement parks

A few tourist destination in the state are given below :

Wildlife Sanctuaries Kaziranga, Manas, Orang, Sonai, Rupai, Laokhowa, Pobitora, Dibru-Chaikhowa.
Scenic Beauty Chandubi, Bhairabkunda, Daranga, Bhalukpung, Haflong
Pilgrimage Guwahati, Hajo, Majuli, Batadrawa
Golf courses with air strips Narengi, Borsola, East Boraoi and 21 others

 

Manpower availability and skills

Assam has numerous educational institutions with a substantial portion of the population in the 15 to 25 age group in the major towns being computer literate.

The state has a literacy rate of 52.89%. The female literacy in this region of 43.03% is
higher then the national average of 39.19%. Assam has four universities and one agricultural university. It also has 3 medical colleges and one for aquaculture.

With reference to technical education, the state has 4 engineering colleges including an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), 23 vocational training institutes (ITI), 8 polytechnics and 1 junior technical school. There is a big gap between the national average and state figure in terms of technical education and all efforts are being made to achieve the national average by end of IXth Plan.

As per The Assam Private University Act 2007, the following incentives are available to private investors:

Legal Coverage provided
University to be self financed
Sponsoring body to estbalish endowment fund of Rs. 10 Million in tribal area and Rs. 20 million in other areas.
Allows campus in the state and study centres at different places

 

 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 
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