Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has termed Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement asking states to reform to attract investment or perish as the "pro-capitalist" agenda of the BJP.
"Arun Jaitley's comment on the states to reform or perish is a clear reflection of the NDA Government's pro-capitalist agenda," Gogoi said in a statement here.
"Competition is healthy only when there is level playing field for everybody. However, Arun Jaitley's stand on states only reveals his myopic view which has the undercurrent of creating regional disparities," Gogoi said.
Inaugurating an investor summit in Haryana yesterday, Jaitley had said, "Those who don't reform, the people in those states are going to be at a disadvantageous position and those who are in a position to offer a more favourable economic, business and political environment to investors, certainly those are states that are going to win. Reform or Perish couldn't be more true than it is today."
If a landlocked region like North East is left to compete with bigger states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, a sense of disparity will overpower the Region because of its want of a matching business environment, he said.
Such comments would disturb creation of jobs and give rise to resentment among the youths which has been one of the major causes of insurgency in Assam, Gogoi said.
Jaitley's comment reflects his 'insensitivity' to the people of North East and the Centre's 'neglect' to the region will only alienate the people of the region further, he said.
"If Jaitley's wish list is allowed to be materialised, it will lead to market economy and will prove to be doom for the people of North East who are economically poor and backward", the senior Congress leader said.
"Moreover, Jaitley's statement is an indication of the NDA Government's transition from cooperative federalism to competitive federalism", he asserted.
To bring Assam and other North Eastern states to the growth trajectory and bolster its business environment, he said the Congress-led UPA Government had introduced North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP).
However, the NDA government has suspended NEIIPP, serving a blow to the development of Assam and other North Eastern states, the Chief Minister claimed.
"Assam and other Northeastern states need more incentives to set up more Central sector industries to give a boost to its local and natural resources," he said.