Staff Reporter

Isaac says clearance procedures for industrial ventures will be expedited

Stringent conditions on land utilisation

JVA between Indian Railways, Autokast and SILK

ALAPPUZHA: Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said on Friday that the State would throw open its doors to private capital, but with stringent conditions on land utilisation and at the same time, with measures to smoothen the process of clearance for industrial ventures.

Talking at a ceremony got up to mark the signing of a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between Indian Railways and the State-owned public sector units Autokast and Steel Industrials Kerala Limited (SILK) at Cherthala here, Dr. Isaac said the present situation of investors having to prove that they were not part of the real estate mafia and resultant controversies would only block crucial private capital inflow into the State.

The State, he said, would instead welcome all investors and provide them land with ceiling exemptions from the Land Reforms Act. The investors, on their part, would have to utilise this land staying within prescribed conditions while the State government, through the single window clearance committee headed by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, would ensure that decisions on clearances from various departments required for the venture were taken within a fortnight. However, if the investors violated the land utilisation conditions, the government was free to cancel the deal, he said.

Such a professional approach to remove stumbling blocks was critical to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s development policy. It is also essential to ensure that the State moved ahead on the industrial graph during these times of global financial slowdown, he said. He called upon political parties to desist from raking up unnecessary controversies. Industries Minister Elamaram Karim, who said that the industrial policies followed by the LDF had helped several public sector undertakings turn the corner, said talks were on to get more Central PSUs to invest in the State.

The JVA for the proposed Kerala Rail Components Limited was signed by Principal Secretary (Industries) T. Balakrishnan on behalf of the State government while G.N. Asthana, Adviser, Indian Railways, signed on behalf of the Railways.