Agartala: There is a huge demand for steel in the northeast, but due to lack of raw materials, it has not been possible to build integrated steel plants in the region. However, due to the immense potential for communication, the central government has plans to set up a steel stockyard at Sabroom in Tripura, said Union Minister of State for Steel Ram Chandra Prasad Singh.
Speaking with reporters at a press conference in Agartala on Friday evening, Singh said that Tripura is going to be the gateway to the north-east in terms of clearance for use of Chittagong port in Bangladesh and establishment of Agartala-Akhaura rail link. “There are plans to set up a stock yard at Sabroom to supply steel to the region,” Singh said. During his visit to the state, Singh was apprised about the problems faced by the state in transporting steel. The transportation cost increases substantially due to logistical problems
However, Sabroom is going to be the gateway to the northeast using Chittagong port in the coming days.
“The Agartala-Akhaura rail link will be further expanded because it will be possible to transport goods from West Bengal in a very short time and at low cost,” Singh added.
According to him, the region currently needs 1.5 lakh tonnes of steel. In that case, it is considered very important to build a stockyard.
“Various construction works are closed during the monsoon season. Therefore, the need for stockyards has increased to avoid any kind of obstruction in the work. There were plans to build a stockyard to store steel in the Sabroom. Further discussions with ministry officials will ensure the construction of a stockyard in Sabroom,” he said.
The SEZ being set up at an estimated cost of Rs 635.5 crore at Paschim Jalefa village in Sabroom under South Tripura district with the approval of Ministry of Commerce and Industries in December last year on after the NITI Aayog recommended setting up the SEZ for agro-based food processing, rubber, bamboo and textiles sectors.
Earlier in September 11, last year Tripura Chief Minister unveiled the foundation stone of the SEZ at Sabroom and said that the SEZ would generate 5,000 jobs for the unemployed youths while it is estimated that more than 12 thousands skilled workers will be given opportunity and work.
“The central government revoked some benefits from special economic zones, but the Tripura government will continue those subsidies through TIDC. Along with a 50 per cent subsidy in electricity, another 30 per cent subsidy will be given in other sectors. The first 5 years will be GST free and the next 5 years would be 50 percent GST”, Deb said.
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