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Corridor to create trillions - ADB report eyes Odishas potential

Mon, 24th Jul 2017 (Source:The Telegraph)

The Odisha Economic Corridor has the potential to generate over Rs 20 trillions of manufacturing output by 2045, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report said.

The proposed corridor focuses on unlocking the state's potential by addressing the challenges, building on its USPs and leveraging opportunities. Tomorrow, the report will be placed for the state government's nod. The state has been included in East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), proposed to be implemented under the joint aegis of the Centre and the ADB.

The priority area under the corridor includes National Manufacturing Zone at Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur, Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region in Paradip, IT Investment Region in Bhubaneswar and Plastic Park in Paradip. The corridor seeks to connect the mineral-rich hinterland having 86 per cent of coal reserves, 82 per cent of iron reserves, 70 per cent of bauxite reserves and 40 per cent of natural gas reserves.

Under the corridor, Khurda-Cuttack-Jagatsinghpur is the most developed cluster with twin growth poles in Bhubaneswar and Paradip. Then comes the Jajpur-Kendrapara-Bhadrak zone, which has the largest industrial projects with the National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) with Dhamra as fulcrum.

Major ongoing industrial development at the NIMZ in Kalinga Nagar and in the Dhamra project and the activities in the mineral-rich Mayurbhanj-Keonjhar area will cater to the growth. "Similarly, Angul-Dhenkanal, the mineral hub, will be home to the largest investments to the state," the report said.

In the port sector, the report says that though Odisha has the deepest draft ports proximal to the land locked northern and central hinterland of the country, there is a need for cargo diversification, which is essential to cover against fluctuations of specific products. It also argues for development of the Inland Waterways Transport facilities.

The food processing and textiles clusters with Gopalpur port with an SEZ will act as the fulcrum. Similarly, downstream steel-park in Sambalpur and the Multi Modal Logistics Hub (MMLH) in Jharsuguda will also cater to the economic growth in the corridor. The corridor has also identified many new sectors such as auto and components, aero spaces and defence and electrical equipment.

The report reveals that the priority sector, identified by the Odisha Industrial Development Plan, exhibits skill deficit to varying degrees, with maximum gap observed for IT and IT-enabled service industries.

It has asked the state government to take up some reform measures to boost the economic growth in the corridor. It asked the state government to set up the business under single window system, stress on land and property registration, labour compliances and enforce its various contracts in time.

The report said the government should ensure that authorisation under hazardous waste rules, incentives under the industrial policy, change of land use and renewal under registration under the Boiler Act are provided as service under the single window system. On the land related issues linked to the industries, it also stresses on digitisation of existing land records as at local municipality with single database. Online system for filling applications and payment of fee for property. "Work load-based IT system to facilitate registration and renewal process to be taken up," the report said.

The state has some bottlenecks in the road infrastructure development include the fact that there are very few longitudinal connectivity roads and most transverse roads are two lane only. The road network is overwhelmingly under the control of the NHAI. "The interventions such as enhancing longitudinal connectivity, enhancing transverse and hinterland connectivity are required," it said.

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