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Govt mulls deadline for plant start-up

Patna, Jan. 5: Show work in six months or see your dream project getting scrapped.

The industries department is framing a draft policy under which investors whose projects have been approved by the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) will have to prove that their units will be set up.

Sources in the department said the groundwork, first of which is the purchase of land, needs to be done within six months of the project being cleared by SIPB.

“The draft of the policy is being prepared and is subject to cabinet approval. Two things are being discussed. First, the process of getting projects approved by the SIPB needs to be simplified. Second, the department wants to ensure that any project that has been approved is set up. There are many projects which have been approved but no work has started so far. The basic requirement for setting up any project is land. Under the proposal, the investor whose project has been given a green light needs to at least get the land within six months. If the land has been leased to the investor by Biada (Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority), the investor needs to show that they are serious about setting up the industry and some work has to be done. If the investor fails to do any of the above within the time frame, the board’s approval will be scrapped,” a department official told The Telegraph.

Department officials said norms for getting SIPB approval were also being made stringent. “The approvals will be scanned properly and it will not be an immediate nod,” the official added.

Industrialists rued that the real problem for an investor starts after obtaining approval. “One of the main problems for any investor is bank loans and land. The investor, happy that his project has been passed, goes to the bank for a loan but is not helped. The process of getting a loan is cumbersome and takes a long time. There are many investors who have complained to the department during the Udyog Adalats that the banks don’t provide them with loans and also ask for bribe to get an application passed. The investor then goes to Biada for land and often they are turned away. Arranging private land for any investor in Bihar is a daunting task as the people here are not ready to sell land easily. So, for any investor, getting SIPB approval is not even the first step towards setting up their projects,” said Satyajit Kumar, industrialist and vice-chairman (eastern region), Confederation of Indian Industry.

He added that before setting such a deadline, the government must ensure that investors don’t face any problems. “The whole process has been made so cumbersome that the investor faces roadblocks at every step. The government must first ensure that it provides proper facilities to the investor and then think about any kind of a deadline,” he said.


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