Staff Reporter

New draft industrial and commercial policy

  • Proposal to acquire land for `land bank'
  • Steps to position Kerala as a `global brand'

    KOCHI: The new draft industrial and commercial policy released by the State Government envisages infrastructure initiatives. Thrust will be given to the development of major industrial infrastructure projects. These include water supply projects, approach roads and bridges, sewerage and effluent treatment plants.

    The Government will encourage lease of land for industrial and commercial purposes with equity participation by landowners. The Government will address concerns of landowners on account of their traditional attachment to the land.

    The draft policy states that the Government shall evolve a transparent and fast-track mechanism for land acquisition for development of infrastructure through public-private partnership. In order to avoid the problem of non-availability of land for future expansion, the developer will be allowed a `call option' on buying adjacent land in future by remitting an annual premium to the Government for a fixed number of years. A major stumbling block in the industrial development is non-availability of adequate land. The Government, through a company, shall acquire land at strategic locations in the State for the orderly development of industries. This will be kept as `land bank' for future industrial and infrastructure developments.

    Food processing is regarded as one of the sunrise industries of the State. Adequate attention will be given to position Kerala as a `global brand' and as a `safe food destination'. To achieve this objective, effective measures will be taken to encourage organic cultivation. The activities of the National Centre for Food Certification and the Agency for Development of Food Processing Industries in Kerala (ADFIK) will be strengthened.

    A State-level task force will be set up. It will coordinate the efforts of the Department of Industries and other research and development agencies for the integral development of biotechnology, nanotechnology and other knowledge industries in the State. The KSIDC will facilitate setting up of a world class Life Sciences Park to attract FDI in segments such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, bio-[technology and nanotechnology.

    Intensive efforts will be made to explore and utilise mineral resources of the State without adversely affecting the ecology and environment. Mineral exploration activities for iron ore, high- grade china clay, bauxite and other minerals will be strengthened.

    Mining of mineral sand will be regulated through State and central public sector undertakings.

    Enforcement of Mining Act and Rules will be strengthened.

    The State Government will generally follow the commercial, industrial and Central Government, according to the draft policy.