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Stringent checks for investment projects

The industries department has decided to conduct stringent checks on every investment proposal they get to ensure that these are genuine and serious.

An officer of the department told The Telegraph that thorough background checks would be conducted before setting up industries.

Also, each government department connected to a proposed industry would have a designated officer to check projects minutely before sending them to the industries department or the state industry promotion board (SIPB) for approval.

“The SIPB, headed by the development commissioner, has approved projects worth around Rs 3 lakh crore. But the actual investment has not been more than Rs 700 crore,” a senior industries department officer said.

He added: “It is a disappointing figure. A majority of the investors are not setting up industries despite getting approval. This is a suspicious development and we fear many of the companies seeking approval are fake.

“Hence, in order to attract genuine and serious industries to the state, the SIPB will approve projects only after a thorough study. Nothing will be done in haste.”

The state government has approved 939 projects from 2006 to 2012. Explaining the process of verifying a proposed project, an official said: “The pitch is first sent to the pollution control board and the electricity companies. At present, interested investors chalk their own detailed project report (DPR), providing details about their land and power requirements. Once the DPR gets a clearance, the project is sent to the department concerned for a check.”

Only for the food processing industry, a private party — New Delhi-based IL&FS — was appointed by the state government in 2007 to facilitate in preparing the DPRs.

The official added: “Once checks by the departments are done, the investor deposits Rs 1,000 with the industries department and the DPR is sent to SIPB for approval. The problem is that checks are not stringent. A number of proposals proffer large investments. The DPRs are often prepared in a casual manner. But most proposals are approved.

“Now, such things would be checked. The industries department is also contemplating to introduce a process by which the proposed investors would have to ensure that their DPRs are prepared by professional agencies.”

Industry experts approved the initiative of the industries department to streamline the approval of projects.

Satyajeet Kumar, the eastern region vice-president of Confederation of Indian Industry, said: “It is good that the industries department has decided to concentrate attention on checking projects before approving them in a hurry.”


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