The Uttarakhand government has formed an empowered committee to clear big projects case by case, as part of its move to promote big investments.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna had repeatedly made statements during the past few months stressing his government’s commitment for a mega industrial policy.
Instead of bringing a mega policy, the state Cabinet last evening decided to form an empowered committee, to be headed by the chief minister, to clear mega projects where investments are more than Rs 50 crore, chief secretary Alok Kumar Jain said. The committee, comprising the finance and planning ministers, chief secretary and industrial secretary, would clear the mega projects case by case, Jain added.
The development follows the government’s decision to set up 17,00-acres industrial estate at Sitarganj in the Kumaon region, the Assembly constituency of Chief Minister Bahuguna.
For attracting the industry, the government wanted to bring a separate mega investment policy, for which it invited suggestions from the industry.
After yesterday’s Cabinet decision, it was not yet clear whether it would bring a separate mega industrial policy. “We have given suggestions like concessions in stamp duty,” said Pankaj Gupta, president of the Industries Association of Uttarakhand (IAU).
The members of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) had also given similar suggestions and had asked the chief minister to address the problem of severe power shortage in the state.
After the expiry of the central hill-based tax incentives that brought sluggishness in the industrialisation process in Uttarakhand, the state government was trying hard to make industrial activities vibrant in the state.
The chief minister laid the foundation stone for the industrial estate in October last.
“We are going full-steam to develop the new industrial estate at Sitarganj, for which we have also hired 4-5 consultants,” said principal secretary Rakesh Sharma.
Under the new plan, the government would take steps to attract entrepreneurs from the country and abroad for State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (Sidcul) Phase-II industrial estate at Sitarganj. “We are aiming to attract investments worth Rs 500-1,000 crore at Sitarganj,” said Sharma.
Sitarganj industrial estate would be developed by the government-owned Sidcul, credited for setting up the world-class industrial estates of Pantnagar and Haridwar, where big companies like Tata Motors, Nestle and HUL have set up shops.