File photo: Chandra Mohan Patowary

Facing flak over an ordinance allowing setting up of industries in the state through only a self-declaration, Assam Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on July 2 claimed that the order is applicable only for MSMEs.

Taking to Twitter to clarify, Patowary wrote: “MSME ordinance approved by Assam cabinet is only for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, not for large industries. This will largely help local entrepreneurs. This ordinance will not be applicable for hazardous industries and no industries will be allowed in eco-sensitive zones.”

The state cabinet had earlier this week cleared the ordinance “to ease out the process of setting up industries in Assam,” Patowary had tweeted after the meeting.

“Anyone would be able to set up industry in the state just by submitting one self-declaration,” he had added.

“No permission, clearance or license will be required for three years. Land will also be deemed converted for industrial purpose,” the minister had further said, following the cabinet meeting.

The announcement had drawn widespread criticism as experts felt that it would allow conversion of agricultural land and also allow industries in eco-sensitive areas.

“Assam cabinet’s decision regarding land is totally anti-indigenous. People’s land rights will be lost. The decision violates Assam Accord, @mygovassam must withdraw the decision. The land rights must be at the hands of indigenous people,” All Assam Students’ Union adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya tweeted on July 2.

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