WHERE IS THE LAND? Patliputra Industrial Area
Patna, Aug. 27: The cabinet today cleared a proposal to create a private industrial area to facilitate the availability of land to entrepreneurs wishing to set up industries in the state.
“The entrepreneurs wishing to set up private industrial area would at least require a minimum of 25 acres for it through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) under the Bihar State Industrial Incentive Policy, 2011,” cabinet coordination secretary Brajesh Mehrotra said.
The decision to set up a private industrial area was taken as the government has been facing difficulties in making land available to entrepreneurs for industrial development, sources said, adding that the move would “inspire” the investors.
Industry sources have said the government did not want to acquire land — thereby avoiding Bengal’s Singur-like situation. Landowners in the state are against selling off their land, which they consider their izzat (pride). In September last year, the Taj Group was ready to invest Rs 92 crore for setting up a five-star hotel in the state. Afzal Amanullah, who was then the principal secretary, industries, had said the Taj Group proposal had been accepted but it had to find its own land. Since then, there has hardly been any development on this front.
Cabinet coordination secretary Mehrotra said the SPV would normally allocate the land to 20 entrepreneurs on a long-term lease (at least for 30 years) in the private industrial area. “Under special circumstances, more land could be given to the entrepreneurs but in that case, the number of entrepreneurs in the industrial area would automatically decline,” Mehrotra explained.
He made it clear that the numbers should not be less than that of 10 industrial units in the private industrial area at any cost. If the number is reduced to less than 10, prior permission from the government has to be taken, he said.
After getting the government’s nod for setting up the private industrial area, landowners willing to give their lands/plots for industrial area, would have to transfer their property rights in favour of the SPV. The government would come out with model bylaws/articles of association for setting up the SPV, Mehrotra said. The government would give concessions in stamp duty, registration fee and conversion fee for transferring the land to the SPV, he added.
During the Udyami Panchayat held on July 30, 2012, chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar, Bihar Industries Association president and Amrapali Foods Ltd director KPS Keshri had demanded that the government should stress on developing “private industrial areas” keeping in mind the complexities involved in land acquisition. Keshri today said: “We are very happy that the cabinet has accepted our proposal. Our contention was that the government would bear 30 per cent of the total project cost for developing infrastructure of the industrial area.”
Several industries associations welcomed the cabinet move. “It is a welcome move no doubt but the government must not fully rely on it and should make its own efforts and acquire land for the creation of government industrial parks. The government must continue with its efforts to create its own land bank,” said Satyajit Kumar, the chairman of the Progress Harmony Development Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Bihar.
P.K. Agarwal, the chairman of the Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries, also hailed the move. “Land in Bihar is hard to get now with most of the industrial areas now having no land left. In such a scenario, the creation of the private industrial area policy is a futuristic step. We hope that it will solve many land-related problems and give a boost mainly to the micro, small and medium enterprises,” Agarwal added.
The industrialists in the state have been making a demand for private industrial areas for quite long time.