Punjab offers pre-cleared ‘land banks’ to woo industry

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) At a time when acquisition of land for industry has become a politically hot issue, Punjab has created banks of this pre-cleared valuable real estate and is offering it with requisite power supply to push the state’s industrialisation.

Stating this at an investors meet here on Friday, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said: “Punjab is the only state which is offering pre-cleared land banks which are ready to be given for setting up of industries.”

He said these land banks have already secured all the necessary regulatory clearances such as for environment and adequate supply of electricity.

“Currently, we have around 300 hectares of land bank. This will go up to 2,000 hectares. Investors can come to our state and choose the type of land they are interested in and we will do the needful,” Badal said, ahead of the ‘Punjab Investment Summit’ in October.

“Twenty years ago, the chief minister was the king. Today the investor is the king. Our state government understands this. We are taking all necessary steps to facilitate the investors in our state.”

The deputy chief minister said that the state has surplus electricity for energy intensive industries, and added that in recent years, the state has sought to move away from conventional coal-based thermal power to solar energy.

The state government officials said they will facilitate investors through Punjab Investor office.

“The unified regulator is a unique department. It is designed to act as a single window for regulatory and other clearances,” said Punjab Investor office’s chief executive Anirudh Tewari.

“The time taken for all the required clearances has gone down to 38 days. Our target is to complete this in no more than 30 days,” Tewari, who has the power to oversee as many as 30 departments, told IANS.

Badal elaborated that the one-year-old ‘unified regulator’ department has been so successful that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent a team to examine the system.

“I feel the union government can also replicate our system and create an India Investment office for the entire country,” Badal said.

In the last one year the state’s unified regulator has sealed investments worth Rs.15,000 crore by clearing 163 projects.

Apart from land banks and surplus electricity, the state is also offering 90 percent exemption in value added tax (VAT) payment. It has also allowed factory owners to submit self declaration of taxes.

“One month from now, no inspector of any department would be allowed to enter any factory premises in the state. We want to do away with any harassement,” Badal pointed out.

He added: “Factory owners could fill in self declarations regarding various norms to be fulfilled by them.”

 

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