Arunachal Pradesh, the 14th largest state of India, despite being a treasure trove of nature was known for a long time as 'non industrial state' owing to its dismal industrial growth.
The State Industrial Policy of 2001 was formulated to facilitate optimum utilization of locally available raw materials by encouraging setting up of industrial units for value addition. The policy was reviewed to enact Industrial Policy of 2008 to create an investment friendly environment to woo prospective investors and entrepreneurs for sustainable industrial growth in private/joint venture/cooperative sectors.
Few outside industrialists have set up manufacturing industries in the state. For instance Sanjay Dewan, NEFA Breweries managing director, in collaboration with Carlsberg had set up its 11th production unit in India and the state-of-the-art brewery was made functional at Nirjuli in March 2017. Carlsberg is the third largest beer producer in India with 15.7% market share. Carlsberg's brand Tuborg is currently the second largest selling brand in India, after Kingfisher.
However, the state's huge scope still remains untapped. Thus, the present Chief Minister Pema Khandu on August 15, 2020 had launched Arunachal Pradesh Entrepreneurship Development Programme to support and encourage local youths to become job creators rather than job seekers. However, the industrial growth of Arunachal Pradesh lagged and this can be attributed to an ineffective policy.
The greatest shortcoming is 'single window' clearance, which along with Jan Suvidha was introduced in the Lohit district in 2007 by then deputy commissioner P S Lokhande (present finance & planning commissioner).
It is worth mentioning here that 'single window' policy was first adopted by visionary Gujarat Chief Minister Chimanbhai Patel during his second tenure (04.03.90-17.02.94) as part of an industrialization master plan that had accelerated industrial growth. He had also built the Narmada Dam that led to present modern industrial Gujarat.
The Industrial Policy of 2008 was enacted to create an investment friendly environment for sustainable industrial growth in private/joint venture/cooperative sectors.All said and done, there are success stories of industrial growth. The E&K's, which is a multi-cuisine restaurant specialised in indigenous tribal dishes and patisseries set up in 2007 by Toko Tatung (who commands a Master's degree in human rights from Delhi University) and his wife Ayengla Toko is a role model for others to emulate. Despite being highly educated, the Tokos have turned trendsetters through innovation for others to emulate.
E&K's has become an international caterer after receiving kudos from international empires and participants from across the country for serving high quality food and accommodation laced with generosity during the 2011 National Weightlifting Championship hosted by Arunachal Weightlifting Association at Nirjuli. E&K expanded by opening its Passa Lath Resort at Ziro and the state's first Tribal Hut near E&K (both in 2012) .
TNT Shilpa Bakery, another industry, created a landmark on 13.11.2020 by opening its 11th counter at Doimukh. The credit goes to founder-proprietor Tarh Nachung, an entrepreneur who is also the president of Arunachal Chamber of Commerce and Industries.Beginning its humble journey in 1992, TNT Shilpa Bakery grew steadily. After the installation of a highly technical factory in Nirjuli it became the first bakery of Arunachal Pradesh to obtain ISO 900:2008 certification.
Incidentally the 10th unit of TNT Shilpa Bakery at Chandra Nagar that was inaugurated on 20.10.19 serves 51 varieties of food products beside 151 variants of London shakes, pizzas, burgers and snacks. The bakery growth has been steady with nine outlets opening since 1994. Needless to say, TNT Shilpa Bakery has generated employment as it has employed about 200 staffs in the factory and in the outlets.
The impact of COVID 19 on the industrial sector, trade and commerce of Arunachal Pradesh has been massive, like in all other states and countries. Many small units have downed their shutters while large industries have suffered huge losses for no business.
"With no customers during the entire COVID 19 lockdown period and hardly any customers even after relaxation of lockdown, it was a tough challenge to pay salaries to staff and bear other over head expenses," said an established entrepreneur of the state. "This is a common problem for all entrepreneurs and business establishments, which would come to end across the world after invention of COVID 19 vaccine", he adds with conviction.