Industrial policy gets bouquets, brickbats

Industry cheers but says what's crucial is policy implementation.

The industry has cheered the state government's new industrial policy that ends an yearlong wait and aims at creating integral industrial townships and offering an easy exit plan for SEZs, which industry representatives said would address the issue of land availability. The policy also targets an investment of Rs 5 lakh crore, and employment for 20 lakh people over the next five years.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) welcomed the policy and appreciated the move to target micro, small and medium (MSME) firms as against the previous policy of attracting big industrial houses.

MSMEs form over 90 per cent of total enterprises in most economies and are credited with generating the highest employment growth rates and account for the major share of industrial production and exports. "One of the mainstays of the policy is creation of integral industrial townships and the SEZ Exit plan which envisages release of denotified SEZ land which is proposed to be converted into integrated industrial townships," said Pradeep Bhargava, chairman, CII WR and Director, Cummins. "This is addresses one of the most crucial issues of land availability for industry." Voicing a similar opinion, others said the steps, if implemented properly, will check outflow of investments from the state.

"The state government has sent the right signal by announcing that it will set aside 60,000 acres for industries. This will give a positive impetus to growth of the industry in the state and also check the outward flow of investments," said R Mukundan, MD Tata Chemicals.

The government proposal to develop intra-state industrial corridors also won appreciation from the industry as it outlines three such corridors covering 11 cities in Maharashtra in addition to the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor. "Connectivity issues getting addressed in the new policy is certainly welcome and will pave the way for further growth of the state," said Ninad Karpe, vice-chairman, CII Maharashtra State Council and MD & CEO, Aptech Ltd. The industry also appreciated the move to promote investment in backward regions of the state by waiving electricity duty, stamp duty, and local taxes like octroi. Some, however, have raised apprehensions over the implementation.

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