State’s economy needs to double in five years: CM

Shillong, Aug 16: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that the state’s economy needed to double in the next five years.

“As the Indian economy expands to become 5 trillion dollars by 2024-25 under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, Meghalaya’s economy also needs to double in the next five years and at least become 10 billion US dollors,” Sangma said while addressing at the 73rd Independence Day celebration on Thursday.

“This will mean that our growth rates should be higher than 10 percent in the next few years. To make such growth rates possible, investments by both the government and private sector are necessary,” he said.

He said today the size of Meghalaya’s economy is about Rs 30,000 Crore or 4.2 billion US Dollars. The size of the Indian economy is 2.6 trillion USD dollars.

According to him, to achieve the goals and aspirations of the 3 million Meghalayans, our economy needs to growth more strongly than in the past decade..

“I want to assure all of you that my government has a clear vision and strategy to improve the well-being of every section of the society including our farmers, our youth, our entrepreneurs, our elderly, our school going children, and our citizens in rural areas,” he said.

The chief minister also assured that the government will make every effort so that the size of the economy expands and that this expansion will lead to greater well-being of all citizens.

In addition to relying on central grants, Sangma said concerted efforts have been made to improve the own state revenues by launching a system for QR-coding and app-based scanning of Challans used by the Forest and Mineral resources Departments to prevent duplication of challans and improve the royalty collection on minerals.

“We have also started the process for setting up of Integrated Check gates at few locations in the State and end-to-end computerization of the revenue collection on minerals. Similar initiatives have led to substantial increases in revenue collection in mineral rich States like Chhattisgarh and Orissa,” he said.

“I am hopeful that the QR-coding of challans and setting up of the integrated check gates will improve our revenue collection considerably. I would like to emphasise that this is the first time in the history of the State that such systematic efforts are being made to improve the State’s own revenue collection,” he added.

Meanwhile, the chief minister also informed that he had requested the Prime Minister to take up the 8-Laning of Guwahati -Shillong-Dawki- Sylhet -Chitagong Highway.

He said this project will enable transportation and export of materials and minerals from the North Eastern States to the South East Asian countries through Chittagong port and will have a transformative impact on the region’s economy.

Stating that the approximate value of our exports to Bangladesh is around Rs 600 Crore and the total imports is around Rs 30 Crore, he said there is immense potential for improvement in trade and tourism related activities with Bangladesh. Recently the Indian High Commission from Bangladesh visited the State and had long consultations with us on exploring opportunities to improve our engagement,” he said.

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