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Odisha lowers rent, stamp duty on industrial land

Mon, 08th Aug 2016 (Source:Times of India)

To improve the sagging investment climate in the state, the cabinet chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday approved a proposal to lower ground rent, cess and stamp duty on land provided to industries.

Briefing reporters at the state secretariat, chief secretary AP Padhi said though the industries get land at concessional price, they are paying rent, cess and stamp duty (during registration) calculated on the basis of benchmark (competitive market) price of the land. The cabinet gave its nod to offer proportionate concession on these charges as well, he said.

The investors will pay annual rent at the rate of one per cent and cess 0.75 per cent of the price at which they will be provided land and not the benchmark price. It will be applicable to both government land and acquired private land transferred to Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) for establishment of industries.

"We want to attract more investments to push the economy. Several other states are already providing similar concession on rent and cess," the chief secretary said.

The government's move comes on the backdrop of Odisha nose-diving to ninth position among Indian states, from third position last year, in the list of states on "investment intentions" (up to June 2016) published by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion recently.

Odisha had emerged as the most sought after investment destination in 2013, Reserve Bank of India data had showed then. The latest investment intentions report said this year only 15 industries evinced interest to invest total Rs 3912 crore in the state this year (till June), which is only 2.21% of the total investment promised in the country (Rs 176,738 crore). This is far below the promises made for neighbouring Chhattisgarh at Rs 8,514 crore (4.82%).

Sections of industries are still not convinced with the revised price. Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) president Ramesh Mahapatra said even at the concessional IDCO rate, the one per cent cost is very high. The concessional value of IDCO land is around Rs 1.25 crore per acre in Bhubaneswar. "The ground rent would still be around Rs 1.25 lakh per acre per year, which is very high," said Mahapatra.

The benchmark value of land is more than Rs 6 crore per acre in the state capital.

Eying investment in food processing, the cabinet removed sweets and savouries in the negative list of industries, which don't get government incentives. Sweets and savouries investing more than Rs 20 lakh in industrially backward areas and more than Rs 50 lakh in other parts of the state will get government support at par with other food processing industries.

The government's move comes in the wake of chocolate maker Cadbury evincing interest to establish a manufacturing unit in the state, the chief secretary said.

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