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Odisha attracts investors, but projects still in files

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha, a mineral rich state, may have attracted big ticket expressions of interest from potential investors and been ranked seventh in ease of doing business among the states, but it is miles behind in getting the projects off the ground.

Several mega projects, including Posco, continue to face hurdles in even getting off the ground while several have stalled. Companies have shied away from investing in the state for reasons ranging from not-so-business-friendly policies, environmental issues, land acquisition, protection of ethnic tribes and their culture and the menace of left-wing ultras.

A total of 264 mega projects evinced interest to set up projects with an investment of almost Rs. 8 lakh crore ($120 billion) between 2004 and 2015. The government had approved the projects through its single window clearance system.

“Out of these 264 projects, only 20 have successfully established their set-ups and have started partial or full production with an investment of Rs. 12,000 crore,” Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said in the state assembly.

Besides, the government has inked memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with 92 companies worth Rs. 5.96 lakh crore. Out of this, 45 have started partial or full production with an investment of Rs. 2.45 lakh crore, Mishra added.

In the energy sector, as many as 20 independent power producers are yet to commence construction work on their projects. While the state government has inked MoU with 30 power producers, only four have started production, a senior official of the energy department told IANS, requesting anonymity.

The companies are expected to produce the thermal power of around 37,000 MW involving an investment of over Rs. 1 lakh crore.

Those projects that have begun despite all odds now facing raw material linkages, industry sources said.

Vedanta’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Abhijit Pati, who met Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi a few days back, said the company’s one million tonnes per annum (MTPA) aluminium refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district is running at 50 percent capacity and incurring a loss of Rs. 3 crore per day due to the paucity of raw materials.

Then, there is Tata Steel’s newly-commissioned greenfield three mtpa steel mill at Kalinga Nagar but it is not running at full capacity, industry sources said.

In an attempt to reverse this state of affairs, the Odisha government has recently come out with a new edition of the Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR) to upgrade its rank among investors on ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

It has not only made it simpler to set up a business but also eased tax procedures for corporate houses.

The IPR has envisioned attracting new investments worth Rs. 1.73 lakh crore by 2019-20.

The policy is also loaded with features like a fast track cell to clear investment proposals within 30 days, a dedicated portal to ease business processes for investors and an exclusive mobile app for investment facilitation.

To overcome the land hurdle, the state government has also identified about 100,000 acres to create a land bank for facilitating to set up industries without any hassles, sources said.

The Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha (IDCO) has ordered the acquisition of land at Angul, Balasore, Cuttack, Deras, Dhamra, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Kalinga Nagar, Koraput, Paradip, Rayagada and Rourkela in the first phase.

Odisha has been ranked seventh in the “Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms” a collaborative effort of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the World Bank, consulting firm KPMG and business chambers CII and FICCI.

Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh were ranked first and second.(IANS, Chinmaya Dehury)

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Odisha Government Planning to Develop Vision 2030 for Downstream Industries

Odisha would focus on creating enabling infrastructure to reduce logistics cost for the industries in future

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Vision 2030 for development of downstream industries was presented highlighting the key role of primary metal manufacturers in the state. Wikimedia Commons

The Odisha government is developing a Vision 2030 for downstream industries to achieve more than 50 per cent value addition to the primary metal produced in the state, said Industries Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra on Thursday.

Addressing more than 60 steel manufacturing companies, the Minister said that Odisha provides an unparalleled conducive ecosystem for the steel industries to expand their manufacturing facilities.

An interactive meet held on Thursday with the steel manufacturers of the state to discuss the vision of achieving 100 million tonne per annum (mtpa) capacity of steel production in Odisha. Vision 2030 for development of downstream industries was presented highlighting the key role of primary metal manufacturers in the state.

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Odisha would focus on creating enabling infrastructure to reduce logistics cost for the industries in future. Wikimedia Commons

Highlighting the facilitation and aftercare framework set up by the government to handhold the industries, Industries secretary Sanjeev Chopra said that over the past two decades, the state government has focused on manufacturing of value added products in the state.
He said that the state would focus on creating enabling infrastructure to reduce logistics cost for the industries in future.

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Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) chairman and managing director Sanjay Singh said the government has created land bank of more than one lakh acres for quick allotment so as to enable large scale investments. He also highlighted unique initiatives being taken up to provide industry-ready skilled manpower for all industries setting up in the state particularly in the steel sector. (IANS)