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Coronavirus lockdown: Odisha readies incentives to attract FDI, help MSMEs

For fresh investment, Odisha has charted out plans and identified various sectors such as metal and mining in which it has inherent strength. The state is targetting specific types of companies for investment

Nirbhay Kumar | June 25, 2020 | Updated 23:30 IST
Coronavirus lockdown: Odisha readies incentives to attract FDI, help MSMEs

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Odisha readies sops and incentives to attract foreign investment, statutory requirements other than pollution and industrial safety to be eased
  • It has also worked out support measures for the state's MSME sector which is among the worst-hit by coronavirus-induced lockdown
  • Odisha has been in talks with Invest India and has also been pitching with embassies of different countries in India for attracting FDI

As states join the race to attract investments especially those flying out from China, mineral-rich Odisha has readied a bouquet of incentives including relaxation in rules for setting up manufacturing units.

In its bid to attract investments, the state has decided to ease most of the regulations other than those related to pollution and industrial safety. It has also earmarked over 600 acres of land parcel near capital Bhubaneswar to readily offer to companies from countries like Japan and South Korea.

There would be country-specific clusters to ensure that ancillary service providers to bigger firms remain closer to each other.

While the set of incentives are aimed at all sectors and industries of all size and scale, there would be specific measures for the crisis-hit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

"Barring those instructions which are in the nature of industrial safety and pollution, most other instructions would be by and large relaxed for a certain period of time," Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL) Managing Director Nitin B Jawale told BusinessToday.In.

The state had been working on the impetus package for the last one month and is expected to roll it out shortly. The package has been drafted by an inter-ministerial panel and would soon be sent to the state Cabinet for approval.

"The broad contours of the impetus package are statutory support, liquidity support and coming up with some new industrial parks and projects. And then in coordination with other departments, there are proposals to relax some rules. We are also coming up with necessary infrastructure for industrial growth," Jawale said.

Asked if the package would be aimed at any specific industry, he said that it will cover the whole gamut of industry but there would be clear categorisation as the quantum and nature of support are different for different categories.

The industrial activities have been gathering pace in the state ever since the lockdown was eased and factories began operating at varying capacity. On an average, the capacity utilisation in factories has been around 50 per cent.

Odisha was among various states that last month temporarily changed their labour laws to allow 12 hours shift amid opposition from unions.

For fresh investment, Odisha has charted out plans and identified various sectors such as metal and mining in which it has inherent strength. The state is hence targetting specific types of companies for investment.

Jawale hinted that the state would pitch more for companies in metal, mineral and mining space given its strength in the areas.

"Taking into account our strength we are pitching appropriately. For example, if we have great strength in mining and metal which is our forte and our economy is driven by it we would focus on it. In case there is some movement by these companies then we will be targetting them first than the sectors which have not developed roots in our state. So, it is about that. We cannot target each and every company," the IPICOL Chief said.

Odisha has discussed its readiness with Invest India, a national investment promotion and facilitation agency under Ministry of Commerce, for FDI and has also been pitching with embassies of different countries in India for attracting foreign firms.

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