The Telegraph
Saturday , July 26 , 2014
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Policies galore, industry nil
- Deadlock stalls private industry area plan

Policies for growth and development continue to be framed but industries fail to take off.

Rakesh Kumar, a landowner from Mokama, some 100km from Patna, is not a very happy man today. A partner at Sri Ram Chatradhaari Private Industrial Area, Rakesh was elated when he contributed eight acres for the private industrial area (PIA) policy when it was finalised nine months ago.

“It has been nine months but no industry has come up here. I am not at all happy,” said Rakesh, one among six partners of the 40-acre plot, which got SIPB approval in October.

A deadlock-like situation between those setting up the PIAs and the state government has turned into a major roadblock in its development.

However, unfazed by the failures of one policy after another, the industries department is ready with a new policy for the textile sector. The file concerned has been sent to the cabinet coordination committee for approval. The department, earlier too, had introduced policies aimed at better industrialisation and land procurement but all of these are biting the dust.

“The PIA policy was formed almost 10 months ago and SIPB has given its nod towards formation of two of them. One of them has come up in Mokama while the other is in Mahua, Vaishali. However, industries have not turned up so far and the reason behind the same is a deadlock, which can very well turn fatal for the policy as the state government isn’t ready to take one step back and consider. There have been several meetings but until now things have not been solved,” another partner with the Mokama-based PIA said.

The first issue is that of lease hold. “The department wants that the PIAs give the land to any industry on lease while the other party is against the same. There are talks going on in this connection but neither of the two is ready to budge,” the official said.

He further said: “The land belongs to landowners and they should be given the right to decide. The state government can very well notify that land in the PIA will only be given for industry and that will solve the problem. The government is stressing on lease so that owners of the PIA do not sell land for private use. This is a major issue.”

Also, as per policy, landowners have to give land and 10 per cent of its cost in cash to the state government. Only when the sum is paid will the government release grants as mentioned in the policy. “The landowner is already giving land. Why should he give anything extra after that? This is another unsolved issue. Also, the state government has still not appointed a project management agency (PMA) to develop the PIA and hunt for investors. These three reasons can destroy the policy,” the official said.

Industry officials are saying a solution will emerge soon. “The state government wants to explore the scope in the apparel sector and has tied up with World Bank. It has prepared a draft policy which is expected to get cabinet approval soon. More details cannot be shared until then,” a source in the department said.

The department had earlier launched an exit policy to get back BIADA land from industrialists keeping them unnecessarily. The department had offered impressive sops but the policy failed miserably.

“The department is floating one policy after another but implementation is missing. Once the policy is formed, it goes through sudden changes and then there are disagreements. The PIA policy is a very important step. However, with the same not moving forward, things can get very bad for industries,” an industrialist said.

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