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The largest of the northeastern states of India, Assam is the Gateway to the northeast of India.

Assam, the land of unexplored opportunities welcomes you to its land of plenty.
Both the Central and State Governments are attaching a great deal of importance to create an
investment friendly climate in the state and are offering a whole range of subsidies and
incentives to set up industrial units in the state with the Central Government earmarking 10% of
Union Development Budget for North East India.
Assam is rich in natural resources, minerals, forests and water and has vast tracts of fertile land.
It is primarily an agrarian economy, with 74% of it's population engaged in agriculture and allied
activities. Cereals like paddy, wheat and plantation crops like tea are grown extensively.
Amongst mineral resources, oil takes the top place. Oil was first struck more than one hundred
years ago and the oil well of Digboi and other areas is a major source of fuel for not only the
North-East but for the country as a whole.
The economy of Assam can be broadly divided into three sectors- Primary (agriculture, mining
etc.) secondary (manufacturing) and tertiary (services like electricity, water, trade, finance,
banking, telecommunication etc).
Medicinal herbs and plants
With its vast hills and forests, Assam is the home to a variety of medicinal herbs and plants such
as eg. Sarpagandha (rauvolfia serpentine Benth.ex.Kur), Pippali (Piper longam Linn), Amlakhi
(Emblica Officinalis Gaertn), Hilikha (Terinalia Chebula Retz.), Bhomora (Terminalia belerica),
Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna Wight & Arn.).
About 300 types of medicinal herbs and plants are known to exist in abundance in the state with
the Brahmaputra valley itself having 150 varieties of herbs and plants of commercial value.

It is estimated that only about 5-10% of the plants and herbs are currently utilised and the rest
hold a vast potential.
Agriculture
An agrarian economy since time immemorial, about 77% of Assam's workforce is engaged
agriculture and allied activities contributing roughly 40% to the state's GDP. Roughly 40% of the
total area is cultivated.
Exotics
Assam Lemon: An unique product of Assam with a high percentage of Vitamin C (10 mg.)
besides Vitamin B (0.02 mg.), Niacin (0.1) per 100 gm. Extractable oil content of the peel is
around 0.8% and can be used in the cosmetic industry.
Hatkora: An exclusive export item belonging to the citrus family. Peel is used for tenderizing
meat and enhancing flavour in culinary dishes.
Orchids: Of the 925 varieties available in India, over 600 can be grown in Assam. Around 200
varieties are unique to this region of which 60% are ornamental in nature.
Aromatic Rice (Joha Rice): Quality comparable with any popular aromatic rice in the world.
Bhut Jalakia (Capsicum Chinensis Jacq.) : Hottest chilli on earth with Scovelli Heat Unit (SHG)
of 10,41,047.
Sericulture
The climate and general environment of Assam is well suited to sericulture. Traditional varieties
of silk cultured include eri, muga and mulberry. The muga silk, known for its fine sheen and
golden colour is used by the local silk weaving industry and this has contributed to the
development of the muga culture in the State. There are vast opportunities in silk processing and
spinning units.
Horticulture & Spices
The agro-climatic conditions favors cultivation of wide range of horticultural crops including
plantation crops and various fruits and vegetables, flowers, spices, medicinal & aromatic plants,
nut crops and tuber crops. Most horticulture products are organic as the use of Chemical
Fertilizers is very low with the majority of the farmers still sticking to traditional organic farming
methods.
Assam has over 600 varieties of Orchids. Around 200 varieties are unique to this region of which
60% are ornamental in nature. Assam also has a vast array of aromatic plants. At present most of
the oils extracted are sold in crude form. Some of the plants are Citronella (Cymbopogan
flexuosus Steud Wats), Lemon Grass, Patchouli (Pogostemon cabiln Benth.), Agar (Aquilaria
agallocha Roxb.), etc.
Forest resources
The state of Assam has a rich forest cover encompassing nearly a quarter of its land area.
Roughly half of the forests are reserved. Blessed with plentiful rainfall, the forests are a reserve
of such commercially useful produce like timber, bamboo, stone, cane, etc. Bamboo is the best
natural engineering material on this planet. Government of Assams objective to promote
bamboo as a substitute for wood, to make it the timber of the 21st century.
Indias 64% and worlds 20% growing stock of bamboo grows in NE India. North east annually
harvests bamboo worth of 500 billion rupees.
Consumption of wood is rising at 10% per annum in India. As a subsitute for wood, it can be
extensively used as a material for building, scaffolding and furniture.
Mineral resources
Assam is rich in mineral resources likeCoal (320 Mn.T.), Limestone (703 Mn.T.), Iron Ore(11
Mn.T) and Granite(1 Bn. Cu. Mtrs) along many more resources like Fireclay, Lithomarge,
Fuller's Earth, Sillimanite and Glass Sand. The coal found in Assam has a high sulphur content
and high volatile matter content, thereby reducing its cokeability.
Limestone with reserves of about 500 million tonnes is another important resource and is
available in various grades. The China clay available in the Karbi-Anglong district is a vital input
for the ceramics industry and has already spawned a few small plants. Deposits of decorative
stone like granite estimated to be more than a billion cubic meters are available in various shades
and colours, which have a huge market potential locally and abroad.
Opportunities based on minerals are Gasification & Liquefaction of Coal, De-Sulphurisation of
Coal, Coal based Power Plant, Coal Bed Methane (CBM) Extraction, Exploration of Oil &
Natural Gas and HDPE / LLDPE / Polypropylene based industries.
Energy/Oil/Gas Based industry
Assam has over 1.3 billion tonnes of proven crude oil and 156 billion cu. mt of natural gas
reserves. Superior quality natural gas available at an attractive price. Assam accounts for about
15% of India's crude output. The wells at Digboi, Duliajan, Sivasagar etc. also produce Natural
gas accounting to about 50% of India's total onshore production.
The refineries have the following capacities:
Digboi Refinery (Capacity 0.65 MMTPA)
Guwahati Refinery (Capacity 1.00 MMTPA)
Numaligarh Refinery (Capacity 3.00 MMTPA)
Bongaigaon Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (Capacity 2.35 MMTPA)

The Assam Gas Cracker Plant is coming up. The HDPE/LLDPE is 220,000 TPA, Polypropelene
is 60,000 TPA. In the last 4 years or so, private sector/JV companies have made about 32
significant hydrocarbon discoveries.