Agartala: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday said industrialists from Laos have arrived in the state and gave a detailed presentation of the prospects of the Agar industry. Addressing the central function of Kabi Pranam to mark the 161s birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Deb said, “Just hours back, I have attended a meeting of industrialists who have come over here from Laos to study the prospects of Agar based industries in the state. The company has an annual turnover of Rs 5,000 crore, and they are eager to make private investment in our state.”

Deb also informed the gathering that a team of officials led by the Chief Secretary recently visited countries like Vietnam and Laos to study the industrial aspects of Agarwood.

“We have 70 lakh trees all over the state. These plantations had been raised by the local communities without any support from the state government. For decades, the local communities were forced to sell the products derived from Agar plantations in black markets. They did not have any authorization,” said Deb, adding that his government formalized Agar trade in Tripura, which is now set to give the state’s economy a positive spin. “The team from Laos has given a commitment of private investment and assured us that all the Agar-based products would be produced here in Tripura,” the Chief Minister added.

Slamming the Left, Deb said, “The name of Tripura’s capital Agartala came from Agar. Everyone is aware of that. But the previous government never tried to acknowledge the sector. I have talked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the export quota. Today, 25,000 metric ton export quota is granted for us which never existed before.”

Deb said his government is tirelessly working to make Tripura the number one state. “Tripura is a small state. Several states have districts equal to the geographical area that my state holds. People may brand this as a weakness, but I see it as a strength. The web of administration is close to the people,” said Deb.

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