In a bid to reinvigorate the slumping economy of India’s Assam state, government officials are pushing for the opening of trade routes including air cargo, which will see a new perishables terminal built at Guwahati’s airport (GAU) in the northeast.
Industries and Commerce Minister for India’s Assam state Chandra Mohan Patowary has underscored the State Government’s commitment to reopen all the trade routes to reinvigorate the economic prosperity of the state.
“AIDC is working on a project of an air cargo terminal for perishable cargo worth INR 200 million (USD 2.9 million) at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport Complex, Borjhar, to support the farmers in exporting fresh horticultural produce to national and international destinations,” said Patowary, according to India’s UNI news agency.
Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said intra-connectivity in the Northeast of the country needs to be increased, for which 42 airports of the region have been recognised under the government’s UDAN-RCS (regional airport development and regional connectivity scheme) to turn it into a major hub.
Ravi Capoor, Additional Chief Secretary of Industries and Commerce Department, underscored the region’s advantages in terms of connectivity, tourism, natural resources and rich agriculture produce.
Guruprasad Mohapatra, chairman, AAI, added that SpiceJet has already collaborated with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), a body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to export regional fruits to Dubai.
Patowary made the comments while attending a workshop on ‘Air Cargo Development – End to End Logistics Value Chain’ organised by Airport Authority of India (AAI) in association with the Industries and Commerce Department, Government of Assam.
Patowary highlighted the fact that Assam is India’s shortest route to Southeast Asia and stressed that the Trilateral Highway, linking of the Brahmaputra River up to Chittagong Port in Bangladesh and access to the sea routes will boost trade and commerce activities in the region.
“Assam Government plans to connect seven capitals of ASEAN with Guwahati under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for which it has committed INR 1.0 billion (USD 14.6 million) for the viability gap funding,” he added.
Commissioner Dr KK Dwivedi, Commissioner and Secretary Ashutosh Agnihotri, DK Kamra, regional executive director, AAI were present in the meeting besides representatives from various industrial, pharmaceutical, logistic and packaging companies.