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Special cell formed in Odisha to expedite investment approvals

Mon, 17th Aug 2015 (Source:Business Standard )

The Odisha government has set up a special entity to fast track approvals for investment projects. The new entity christened state level facilitation cell (SLFC) has been mandated to clear investment proposals in 15-30 days.

The SLFC has categorised companies in two broad categories — green and non-green. The green category largely comprises agri-based industries, food-processing, cottage industries, textiles, light engineering, chemicals, building materials, and consumer goods.

Under the new arrangement, SLFC will provide clearances to green category projects within 15 days. All other industrial projects placed under the non-green category would receive approvals within 30 days.

The SLFC will monitor the general and special conditions of approved project proposals and facilitate their timely implementation. The SLFC consists of members from Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO), Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (OPTCL), State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), directorate of factories and boilers, water resources department on a full-time basis. Representatives of national level industry associations will also be a part of the SLFC board to mentor and guide investors.

“Through the SLFC, we will be delighted to provide a seamless and hassle-free experience to all prospective investors. We are confident of setting a new benchmark for ease of doing business in the country. This is not just a single window, we have opened our doors to the investors,” said Sanjeev Chopra, principal secretary (industries) and chairman and managing director of Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Ipicol).

The SLFC would also serve as a guiding force to IPICOL to channel prospective investments from abroad.

SLFC is scheduled to meet investors/company representatives every Monday at the IPICOL office in Bhubaneswar to resolve issues. At the introductory meeting of SLFC held last week, three new projects from Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), Utkal Alumina and Ramco Cements were discussed and forwarded to the State Level Single Window Clearance Agency (SLSWCA). Subsequently, the SLSWCA cleared these proposals.

The state government’s decision to set up the SLFC assumes significance since many big ticket investors were struggling to push ahead their projects due to lack of timely clearances. Odisha is also one of the pioneers to adopt the Single Window system to clear investment proposals.

The state cabinet recently gave its nod to the Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR), 2015 to make Odisha one of the most favoured destinations for investors. The IPR aims at a multi-pronged approach for industrial promotion by providing infrastructure support, institutional support and pre and post production incentives. The state hopes to draw investments worth Rs 1.73 lakh crore and generate 300,000 jobs by 2019-20, banking on manufacturing sector that is seen as the key job creator.

For branding Odisha as a favoured industrial destination, the industries department has proposed to hold a Global Investment Summit in the state in 2016. A mobile application has been planned for industrial promotion and facilitation.

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