Govt okays new industrial policy

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: Replacing the 15-year-old state industrial policy, the State Cabinet on Saturday approved the new Meghalaya Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, 2012 aimed at preventing land alienation and to protect the interest of local entrepreneurs.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma said the new policy, which replaced the industrial policy of 1997, would also help to empower the local entrepreneurs besides checking rampant purchase of land by industries.

According to Dr Sangma, the new policy would address the issue of land alienation.

“The main component of the policy is the issue of addressing how much land is required to be provided to industries,” the Chief Minister said.

The new policy adopted is designed to address the loopholes in the earlier policy as it did not safeguard land alienation.

“We have carefully prepared the policy in a manner that stretches of land, which are made available for setting up of industries, will not be outrightly transferred”, Dr Sangma said.

In the past, many cement companies especially in Jaintia Hills have procured land beyond the required limit.

According to the Chief Minister, land would be made available for investment in the State for setting up of industries only on lease basis through the Government.

“If the land is not used by any industry, it will be reverted back to the Government,” Dr Sangma said adding that the land provided by the Government must be commensurate with the actual need of the land by the industries and not more than what they required.

“In the past, what we have seen is that some industries have actually acquired land which is much more in terms of the size than what actually required thereby resulting in alienation of land and the most important component of the new industrial policy is to check the current trend,” Dr Sangma added.

The Chief Minister said another feature of the new policy is to ensure that “our young entrepreneurs of the State are given the much needed help by the Government in a manner that they are in a position to come up as prospective investors and grow.”

“Therefore, a special provision is made in the policy for small and micro enterprises. We have structured a 100 percent financial assistance for project preparations by such small and micro enterprises which is intended to encourage our own people,” Dr Sangma said.

According to him, the small entrepreneurs may not have enough money for pre-feasibility studies and detailed project preparations (DPRs). The 100 per cent financial assist can help the people in this regard, he added.

The policy also envisages establishment of industries in the difficult areas of Indo-Bangladesh border.

“We want to attract investment in difficult areas such as the areas bordering Bangladesh and there is a special provision to attract investment in such areas so that people will not only think that they can set up industries only along Byrnihat in Assam border but also in international border area”, he said. Though these are difficult areas, there is a huge potential for trade activities, the Chief Minister added. Sangma said that the Government has earmarked additional investment incentives of 15% to promote investment in the difficult areas within 10 km radius from the Indo -Bangladesh border. The new policy will also focus on having separate economic and industrial zones in every district to ensure uniform investment across the State.

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