Shillong, Dec. 15: Meghalaya today unveiled a new industrial policy, which seeks to address land alienation, besides offering avenues for the establishment of special economic zones in the state.
The Meghalaya Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, 2012 will replace the Industrial Policy, 1997 after the Mukul Sangma cabinet today decided to give a fresh look to the state’s industrial and investment landscape.
“The main component in this policy relates to land wherein land alienation will be kept under check,” Sangma told reporters after his cabinet had put its seal on the new policy, which would be notified soon.
The old policy had no safeguards on land, he said, adding that there will be no outright transfer of land to industries under the new policy.
“All land made available for setting up of industries will only be on lease basis. The land will belong to the government, and if the land is no longer put to use for industrial purposes, it will revert to the government,” Sangma said.
Further, he said the land to be provided must be commensurate to the actual need of the industries and not more than what will be required.
“In the past, we have seen that some industries have actually acquired land which is much more in terms of the size than what actually is required, thereby increasing the alienation of land,” Sangma stated.
The chief minister said the new policy seeks to attract investment in difficult areas of the state, including places located along the Indo-Bangladesh border.
“We want to encourage the establishment of industries in difficult areas such as the areas bordering Bangladesh. We would like to send a strong message that go and explore the possibilities of investment in such areas which are difficult but have high potential,” he said.
The policy provides that a special incentive of 15 per cent on capital investment will be given to those entrepreneurs who venture into such difficult areas.
Besides, the policy desires to have economic industrial zones in every district to ensure uniform investment across the state.
“These industrial zones will be established in appropriate places, and, at the same time, the state desires to have special economic zones in appropriately identified areas to promote better investment,” Sangma said.
The policy further seeks to ensure that young entrepreneurs of the state are mentored by the government so that they can come up as prospective investors.
“Therefore, a special provision for small and micro enterprises has been made. We have structured a 100 per cent financial assistance for project preparation for such small and micro enterprises,” he added.