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Wednesday, June 13, 2001

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AP plans escort support team to hasten industrialisation

V. Rishi Kumar

HYDERABAD, June 12

HAVING earmarked Rs 100 crore in the 2001-2002 Budget to create an Industrial Infrastructure Development Fund (IIDF), the Andhra Pradesh Government is working up a slew of initiatives, including a pro-active escort support team, to speed up industrialisa tion and new infrastructure projects.

Bringing in labour sector reforms, promoting captive power generation in all industrial units, deviating from the earlier policy framework not to promote captive plants, and exemption of stamp duty, registration fee etc, are targeted to spur further ind ustrial activity.

Consequent on a recent review meeting of the investment scenario in Andhra Pradesh and meetings of the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB), of which the Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, is the Chairman, the Industries Department is working to wards expediting about 90 projects for which memorandum of understanding (MoUs) have been signed. These include the mega LNG terminal proposed by the Indianoil-led consortium.

The Consultant PriceWaterhouseCoopers have been engaged and the matter has been coordinated with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to chart out approach to ensure compliance on pollution control measures and procedures. The aim is to simplify th e procedures.

An important element of the industrial policy is to take the single window registration concept forward. Towards this end, a draft act is under consideration. The Centre's concurrence on the matter is awaited.

Further, all industrial units will be exempted from payment of NALA (non-agricultural land assessment) tax. And conversion of land use from agriculture to industrial use will be dispensed with except in the case of tank beds.

The industries department is also working towards a major small scale industries (SSI) rehabilitation scheme. Though the scheme has been finalised, detailed guidelines to avail the facility are planned to be released shortly.

The State Government, which has decided to provide escort officers for mega projects, a decision taken during the CII Partnership Summit this year, has identified 30 escorts for follow-up action and guidance to companies working in these projects. This, the Government opined, is a major pro-active initiative that will further spur and provide a single point interface for investors.

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