Landowners to be part of development process: Kamal Nath

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who is keenly awaiting the investors’ summit in Indore, has said that his government was focused on reducing ‘red-tapism’ to foster an environment conducive for investment.

“The State government has initiated a thorough review of the existing industrial promotion policy,” Mr. Nath told The Hindu in a written response to questions, ahead of the summit on October 18.

Announcing a land-pooling scheme for industrial purpose, he explained that participating landowners would not be required to relinquish rights but instead made partners in the development process. All the benefits of the future price appreciation of the land would accrue to them, he said.

It was observed in many cases in the past, he said, that land was acquired at a lower price but sold to the industry at a higher price. “Landowners felt cheated. Madhya Pradesh’s new model will stop such a practice,” he said.

A 20% cash component of their land compensation would provide landowners immediate liquidity. The Madhya Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation Limited (MPIDC) would issue them land-pooling certificates, a tradeable instrument, explained Mr. Nath.

“At present, the MPIDC is running a pilot project of land-pooling at Pithampur Sector 5. Under phase 1, the pilot project aims to create new industrial land pool of 400 hectares in the region,” he said.

Demonetisation, GST

Admitting that both demonetisation and the goods and services tax had hurt investor confidence and business sentiment, he said his State was the only one “to have a tax-delinked industrial promotion policy with additional incentives for export-oriented units and high employment-generation units.”

“Moreover, we believe in the timely settlement of the incentive amount and are committed to transparent and unambiguous policies,” he said.

In 10 months, the government had grounded industrial projects worth over ₹20,000 crore leading to direct employment of 30,000 and indirect employment of 75,000 persons, he claimed.

He said his government was seeking to palliate the impact of demonetisation on the textile industry. “We are working towards establishing forward linkages in the sector. The State government has come up with a special incentive package for the garment sector,” he said.

“In terms of the textile-based industry, Madhya Pradesh is a traditional hub and has a well-established eco-system. We are very focused on the textile sector as it is a high employment-potential sector,” he added. The State is the largest producer of organic cotton, accounting for 43% of the country’s production (by volume) and 39% (by acreage).

Automobile sector

The State, he said, also planned to give a fillip to the automobile sector, which is facing dwindling demand. “We have a very vibrant ecosystem for the auto sector in and around Indore. The presence of the National Automotive Test Tracks [NATRAX] in the region makes it a preferred choice of investment for auto companies,” he said.

Besides, as the region is located close to the Delhi-Mumbai Economic corridor, it will “give a further boost to the sector by offering excellent connectivity to the rest of the India”.

As for generating employment, Mr. Nath said a Global Skill Centre was being set up in Bhopal. “Courses are being designed based on industry feedback, so that skills meet industry requirements,” he said.

Mr. Nath added that in order to go beyond the labour sector as well, “we are going to focus on better quality in higher education also.”

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 6:37:43 pm |