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Naveen opens purse for investors

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 24: Odisha government is trying to woo investments in non-core sectors, which have tremendous potentials in the state.

“We are looking to attract investments in non-core sectors such as food processing, information technology (IT) and information technology-enabled services (ITeS), tourism and hospitality industries, ancillary and downstream industries, bio-technology and pharmaceuticals,” said chief minister Naveen Patnaik, while inaugurating Enterprise Odisha - 2012 industrial fair, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here last evening.

He urged the industry fraternity to consider Odisha as a “favourable investment destination” offering tremendous opportunities for sustainable growth.

Highlighting his government’s investor-friendly policy, Naveen said: “Our government is aware about the industry’s needs and has proactively brought about a number of reforms to simplify the policies and procedures to ensure use of doing business and a favourable investment climate.

Officials of the Odisha industries department said the government had set up a single-window clearance mechanism to help industrialists invest in the state.

So far, as many as 89 private companies have signed MoUs with the Odisha government for establishment of industries in steel, power and aluminium sectors. Odisha has attracted an assured investment of around Rs 5 lakh crore, of which investment to the tune of around Rs 2 lakh crore is in the pipeline, said an official.

Odisha, a major agrarian and marine state, is set to implement a new scheme with the support of the central government to promote food processing industries in a big way. The government is formulating a vision document for the sector. Financial assistance will be available for up to 25 per cent of the plant and machinery cost and technical civil works for establishment/modernisation of food processing units (maximum up to Rs 50 lakh per unit).

Assistance up to 50 per cent of the total cost of plant and machinery, technical and civil works will be provided by the government for establishment of cold chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure for non-horticultural produce (maximum up to Rs 10 crore per unit).

The Odisha government is also formulating a new policy for extending financial incentives to tourism-related industries.

The government also offers incentives to woo investments in health farms, wellness spa, wildlife safaris, adventure, and beach and water sports, apart from heritage hotels, star hotels in Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput region and three-star and above category hotels in other locations.

The financial incentives suggested in the draft tourism policy include land allotment at concessional price, capital investment subsidy, interest subsidy, exemption of stamp and electricity duty and reimbursement of various taxes, including value added tax and entertainment tax.