Chhattisgarh made it among the top states in the Ease of Doing Business rankings which make the state a lucrative option for the investors. Moreover, with the constitution of Industrial Policy 2019-24, Chhattisgarh looks forward to come up as an industrial hub. Elaborating on these points, Manoj Kumar Pingua, Principal Secretary, Commerce & Industries, Government of Chhattisgarh interacted with Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN).
The Government of Chhattisgarh is focusing on block level development to attract investment. Please throw some light on it.
The Government of Chhattisgarh is committed to promote industrialisation and value addition. On these lines, the state has constituted the Industrial Policy 2019-24 which focuses on block level development of Industries across sectors. The new approach is to ensure regional balanced growth, categorisation of development blocks as Developed Areas, Developing Areas, Backward Areas and Most backward Areas.
In which all sectors, the Government is foreseeing investments over the next 5 years?
We have identified sectors such as agro and food processing, bio ethanol, electronics, IT/ITeS, engineering, defence, textile, pharma, cycle manufacturing, electric vehicles, herbal and minor forest produce etc. for promoting investments in Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarh has a huge potential to lure further investments in food processing sector. Moreover, the state is setting new benchmarks and standards in creating a mark in the food processing sector and other states in India are looking up to us for inspiration. It’s strong agricultural base and accelerating economic growth holds a significant potential for the Food Processing Industry that provides a strong link between agriculture and consumers. We are focusing on developing food processing at block level in Chhattisgarh which will not only bring large but also MSME projects in the state.
The state also offers immense opportunities for industries to set up their base in Bastar region. The government is focusing on developing Bastar region to a large level. Recently, commercial flight operations have started from Bastar region under the UDAN scheme.
Chhattisgarh is eyeing to become biofuel production hub of India. How is the state gearing up for to achieve this?
Chhattisgarh is popularly known as the rice belt of India and has surplus paddy production. Currently, the paddy procurement in the state is estimated to 80 lakh metric tonnes (MT) and which will further increase in the time to come. Chhattisgarh is currently envisaged to develop bio-ethanol sector through the paddy (rice) available and promote bioethanol sector.
Ethanol is an agro-based product, mainly produced by fermentation of molasses which is a by-product of the sugar-making process. The Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) seeks to achieve blending of ethanol with motor sprit with a view to reducing pollution, conserve foreign exchange and increase value addition in the sugar industry. Also, ethanol comes under ‘high priority’ category in the Industrial Policy. As of now we have received investment intent from eight companies with a cumulative investment of nearly Rs 1100 crore. We are also providing early bird incentives for promotion of bio-ethanol sector in Chhattisgarh with an additional grant of Rs 2 crore to investors.
What all major facilities, benefits and incentives the Government of Chhattisgarh is offering to the investors?
We have identified 5000 acres of land bank for the investors and major land acquisition is in pipeline. The current Industrial Policy 2019-24 has already created a favourable business environment and has opened doors for existing and upcoming business opportunities in the state. At the same time, we are providing incentives under the Electronics & IT Policy and Logistics Park Policy as well.
We are offering interest subsidy, fixed capital investment subsidy, NET SGST reimbursement, electricity duty exemption, stamp duty exemption, mandi tax exemption and so on. Also, to attract mega investment projects in the state, the government offers bespoke incentives to suit investors’ needs.
What makes the Chhattisgarh’s Single Window System a ‘One of a kind’ service delivery mechanism for businesses?
Since 2015, the state has been continuously making efforts to develop a service delivery mechanism which should replace the offline system and ease the business establishment process. Presently, we have integrated more than 50 services with Industries’ single window system (SWS) and are in the verge of substituting all the services to establish and run a business through the SWS. The state has provisioned that all the services a user needs to avail will be channelized only through SWS, wedging the application submission through lateral entry point will not only create an unpretentious business environment but also will help to check the timely delivery of those services. The business can avail the following benefits under the SWS:
- Udyam Akanksha System facilitates free online registration and self-certification to establish business.
- Common Application Form is a common platform for availing clearances across various departments.
- More than 50 of the pre-establishment & preoperational services are integrated with the State’s Single Window System.
- Multiple Entry Points for Accessing SWS enables users to avail services through Industries’ Single Window site or through respective departmental sites. l Central Inspection System (CIA) provides a fully coordinated/scheduled and synchronized inspection of units.
- Chhattisgarh has established dedicated Commercial Court in India with all paper-less and online measures included.
- To ensure time bound disposal of applications fixed timelines along with penal clauses have been defined for all Industries’ single window services under Chhattisgarh Lok Sewa Guarantee Act 2011
- To enable stakeholder participation in policy formulation Chhattisgarh has launched the “Janmat online portal” for collecting feedback from industrialists on draft policies and reforms.
Does top ranking in Ease of Doing Business really help the state in attracting Investment?
Ease of Doing Business ranking is one of the yardsticks to determine the state’s strength in delivering the conducive business environment. The reforms those are implemented ensure the delivery of services in a more transparent way, regulations/enforcements, smooth utility permits, timely service delivery, etc. The rankings show a realistic image of the state on ease of doing business. This helps in easier establishment and recognition of businesses. Also it streamlines the further processes for maintaining a fruitful business. Since the inception of the Ease of Doing Business ranking, Chhattisgarh has dedicatedly implemented all the reforms pertaining to different enablers helping in achieving the mark of 50,000 registered businesses online in the state.
What are the various factors which make Chhattisgarh an ideal state for setting up businesses?
The Government of Chhattisgarh has taken various effective measures to improve business ecosystem in the state. The recurring efforts by the authorities added on various factors that make Chhattisgarh as a lucrative state for investments. Some of these factors are:
- Ease of Doing Business with faster approval process
- Good governance
- Cost competitiveness
- Strong agriculture base
- Availability of skilled and professionally qualified talent
- Nava Raipur – established smart city and an ideal destination for investment
- Availability of world class industrial infrastructure and pro industrial atmosphere
- Business friendly policies