Noting that over one lakh employment opportunities are likely to be generated in the eastern region, Pradhan said the Odisha
government should create a conducive eco-system to attract investments to promote MSME
industries in the state.
The petrochemical sector
has the potential to generate 22 lakh jobs across the country, the minister told reporters after inaugurating the Petrochemical Investors Conclave in Bhubaneswar.
Asking the state government to tap the potential of good ports as well as coal and mineral reserves in the state, he said MSMEs would flourish in major port towns like Paradip, Dhamra and Gopalpur if proper steps are taken.
Pradhan said unless Odisha
announces reasonable electricity tariff and land rates for the next 20 years for industrial units, many projects would choose other competitive states in the region.
He said the Centre's focus is on development of eastern states, and efforts are on to build a world-class and vibrant petrochemical eco-system, with an aim to help catalyse investments in downstream plastic parks proposed to be developed in the region.
Describing petrochemicals as a sunrise industry in eastern India, he said Odisha
is a prospective state with huge potential for growth in this sector.
Pradhan said the Centre's Chemicals and Petrochemicals Department would participate through equity with an amount of Rs 40 crore in a Rs 100-crore SPV, to set up a plastic park at Paradip in collaboration with the Odisha
The Petroleum Ministry has also decided to join the SPV following a request from the state government, but the amount of equity would be decided shortly.
Stating that Paradip is strategically located for investment in petroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals, the minister said Indian Oil Corporation has already commissioned a 15-million metric tonnes per annum oil refinery at the port town at an investment of Rs 35,000 crore.
A new polypropylene unit of 700 kilo tonnes per annum capacity, at a cost of Rs 3,150 crore, is also slated to be commissioned at Paradip Refinery in 2018 to support the polymers and plastics industry, he said.
Several other projects and proposals are lined up at Paradip Refinery, and once these go on stream, the port town would develop into a petrochemicals hub, leading the industrial growth in Odisha
and the eastern region, Pradhan said.
Facilities for the production of aircraft parts can also be set up in the state for which there should be synergy between government, industry and the academia, he said.
Three MoUs were today signed by IOC at the conclave, including with Odisha
Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai and MCPI Pvt Ltd, Haldia.