Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 6:
While the Odisha government on Thursday unveiled the new Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR) – 2015, which aims at attracting investments to the tune of Rs 1.73 lakh crore in the next four years, it lacks clarity and planning on how to get the much-needed mines/minerals required for setting up of industries.
Under the circumstances, the new IPR-2015 has little chances of attracting any big industry to the state because it is the issue of mines, which is bothering industry and forcing big-ticket investors to withdraw from the state.
The state government has claimed in the IPR that out of the total mineral reserves in the country, the state has 33% of iron ore, 97.9% of chromite, 92.5% nickel, 51% bauxite and 33.2% coal, seeking to create an impression that it can provide raw material irrespective of the type of industry. “Wherever you set up industries, you shall depend on us. So why not set up industries in Odisha?” the IPR tells industrialists.
However, the IPR fails to provide credible assurance on provision of mines to potential industrialists who would like to set up industries in the state. As a consequence, entrepreneurs who were eyeing to set up units in Odisha are moving to other states.
“Though we have mines, we are unable to allot them. It can only be allotted through the bidding process. We will ask the successful bidder to first allocate its produce to industries within the state. We are also promising industries to provide minerals through Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC). Alternatively, we are asking them to purchase minerals from other industrialists. We can do no better than this. Providing raw materials is a big problem these days,” admitted a senior official of the Industries department on condition of anonymity.
Sources in the know of things said entrepreneurs are unwilling to invest in Odisha since the state government is failing to provide mines, required land, water, electricity and data bank. In the last seven years, several companies had expressed their interest/proposed to invest/ set up units in the state. But as many as 75 companies have withdrawn their proposals for investing in the state due to the sheer incompetence of the state government, they added.
They said the state government had again urged these 75 companies to invest in the state on the basis of the new IPR. However, only two of them have agreed to invest in the state and that too with several conditions imposed on the government.
“In view of the current situation in the cases of Vedanta and Posco on the issue of mines, other entrepreneurs are backtracking from investing in Odisha. They are imposing several conditions even before signing of the MoU with the government. That is why we are trying to attract industries to the state which are not dependent on mines through the new IPR ,” revealed a top official of the Industries department.
According to the official, if 30-35 industries are set up, an investment of over Rs 30,000 crore can be expected. Therefore, the state government can come up with some new plans for providing raw materials to industries.