Kerala gears up to tap post Covid industrial potential

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on August 13, 2020

Industries Minister EP Jayarajan   -  THE HINDU

Kerala is set to tap the post-Covid industrial potential fully on the strength of a set of investment-friendly legislations enacted by the State government, according to Industries Minister EP Jayarajan.

A Special Investment Promotion Task Force with Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta as Chairman and Principal Secretary Industries & Commerce K Ellangovan as Vice-Chairman has been constituted to take forward the efforts in a time-bound manner.

The enhanced trust of investors in the Government has been evident from the huge response to the projects showcased at the Global Investor Meet, Ascend 2020 held in Kochi in January.

As many as 54 projects with a total investment of ₹25,000 crore presented before the investors from India and abroad at the two-day event got under way within months. Another, 15 projects with a total investment of ₹700 crore are set to go on stream in the next few months and 23 projects totalling ₹5,456.48 crore within a year. Apart from these, 61 projects are in the final stages of processing, Jayarajan pointed out.

The key legislations that have significantly improved the investment friendly atmosphere in the state included the Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Act 2018, the Kerala Micro Small Medium Enterprises Facilitation Act 2019 and the Kerala Single Window Boards and Industrial Township Area Development (amendment) Act, 2019.

These reform-oriented legislative initiatives have ushered in a transparent and time and cost-saving investment climate. The amendments have done away with several unnecessarily harsh rules, the Minister said.

Simplification of rules pertaining to land registration, building permits, pollution control measures and power and water connections has greatly enhanced the Ease of Doing Business in the State, said Ellangovan.

As many as seven acts and 10 rules have been amended while enacting the Kerala Investment Promotion Facilitation Act 2018, based on which the Government has created an e-platform that enables investors to submit proposals in a Common Application Form and secure approvals through an online clearance mechanism, he said.

The procedures of pollution control board in giving clearance to projects having an investment of up to ₹10 crore have been simplified under MSME Facilitations Act 2019. Fast clearance centres have been set up to ensure that all required approvals are provided within 30 days.

The Government has also introduced a policy to support start-ups by purchasing their products and services, besides facilitating financial grants to scale up and market them.

Published on August 13, 2020

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