After a slow start since the final approval from the Centre in 2016, the Electronics Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) in Odisha is stealing a march over competing states with a flurry of investment proposals.
The EMC, developed on the city's outskirts, is expected to house at least 10 confirmed investments worth Rs 500 crore that will start running from March 2019. The cluster has drawn investors in mobile handset manufacturing, solar modules, printed circuit boards, electric vehicles and IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
“The past six months have turned the tide for the EMC. We have received a rush of investments from committed players. Initially, we struggled as there was lack of an ecosystem to spur investors for the cluster. We focused on building a global supply chain, international flight connectivity, ramping up skilled manpower and incentives for the investors. With these strengths, our EMC has surged ahead of similar clusters in other states”, said a senior government official.
Recently, the State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) in Odisha given its nod to two proposals in the ESDM (electronic system design and manufacturing ) sector. StarGSM Upakaran Peripherals, a Jaipur-based cellular handset and accessories company has committed to invest Rs 75 crore to set up a unit to manufacture 10 lakh pieces per annum of mobile handsets and accessories such as printed circuit boards, battery, charger and power banks. It will generate job opportunities for 1300 persons.
Similarly, Hyderabad based software company C-TEL Infosystems will set up a software centre to develop Internet of Things (IoT) software at the EMC which is coming up at Infovalley. The unit will come up at an investment of Rs 65 crore and will create direct and indirect job opportunities for 730 people.
The state government is also expecting three to four investors in solar modules in the next three to four months, each with investments in the range of Rs 30-50 crore.
The EMC has come up on 203 acres of land at a cost of Rs 205 crore.
The greenfield park, as per industry estimates is expected to attract industries with combined investment value of Rs 1000 crore and employment potential of 10,000 to 12,000 persons.
The stringent norms for getting incentives had failed to attract the investors despite having a special incentive package scheme for ESDM sector. Only those investors intending to invest more than Rs 200 crore and offering employment to more than 500 persons at the time of commissioning and creating jobs for more than 2,000 persons in a span of five years are entitled to 25 per cent investment subsidy on capital investment subject to a ceiling of Rs 50 crore.
The government is considering to amend the scheme as most of the keen investors are finding themselves ineligible for the sops due to stringent eligibility norms.