Industry Secretary Sunil Baranwal speaks about Jharkhand Government’s plan to bring investment and boost industry in the State
Congratulations for an initiative like "Momentum Jharkhand" aimed to take the State to the industrial map of the country. But what is the ground reality?
Thank you for complimenting. In fact, the first test was to create a policy framework and we have successfully created a very positive, progressive policy framework by bringing 10 new policies for different sectors. See, the situation on ground does not change overnight but this has created a huge trigger, a catalytic effect to change the situation on the ground. People in Jharkhand have become really optimistic with the new initiatives of the Government and the people outside have started showing lot of interest in taking their business and investment to Jharkhand. So I am very hopeful about the situation changing further to make Jharkhand the most attractive destination for investment. This has been tested in our road shows. We have started getting large number of proposals and some of them are getting fructified in form of MoUs and some have started working.
Jharkhand as part of Bihar earlier was thought to be industrialised since even before independence because of the Tatas. Later, some ancillary industries were also set up in the region. So what is the new challenge?
Yes, you are right that this was certainly the most industrialised part of the erstwhile Bihar. But of late or in between there was not so much of attraction which the State offered except for mineral sector. Now with the changed situation and new policies, many other sectors have opened up, including the food processing sector, skill development, hospitality sector, health and super-specialty hospital sector.
The most important is the human capital building and the skill development, IT sector. So these are the sectors which have come up now besides its own mineral wealth, or the industries based on natural resources. In fact, one of the most important priorities of the State is to develop its tourism potential. It has some of the most beautiful sites to be found probably anywhere in the world. These are the sectors that are going to come up further and in this whole investment promotion we are emphasising on them. This is how we have taken forward our wish to leapfrog from the present situation to make it one of the most attractive destinations.
This was the third show after Bangaluru and Hyderabad. How is the response so far?
The response has been very encouraging. Very large participation from the industry was witnessed during the road show and the biggest highlight was when we signed MoU with HP enterprises for e-health centre as well as digital classroom. The two MoUs from HP have created lot of ripple among industries especially in the IT and skill development sectors. Secondly, we have also seen that the ACC signed MoU worth Rs 731 crore for expansion of their cement plant. So these were the highlights but the whole success can be measured by some of the questions which were raised in the road show and encouraging response that some of the industries already working in Jharkhand gave like recently the Mother Dairy is setting up food processing plant and they shared the experience that how quickly in three months, they got all clearances before they have started construction. In fact, they are already midway and in another six month or so, their plant will become operational. Similarly, the representative from
Amity University did mention that they found the fastest clearance in Jharkhand compared to other states. Within three months they got the status of deemed university. They have already stated them session for this year.
What are the core areas where you are seeking investment for your State?
We are seeking investment as such in every sector but the most important area which we are seeking investment for is building human capacity, skill development, tourism and we are seeking investment in IT sector and, of course, our core strength lies in the natural resources so we are likely to get lot of investment in steel, mining and power sectors.
The entire team of the Jharkhand Government, including your Chief Minister, spoke about Single Window System. What is the specialty of this system?
The single window system that our Government has passed acts for single window and this has become effective. There is a mandate that every proposal that comes or every business which interacts with the Government, interacts through this system and there is a professional agency which is managing this single window system so every proposal is tracked. There is a common application form. So once you fill one form the system takes care of it and it deals with different departments to get clearances on time.
We also have right to service act where all approvals, clearances are given within the prescribed time limit. In fact, we are moving faster than the stipulated time. So this single window system is real two-way system where anything which happens with the proposal is intimated to them through emails or SMS. And applications can be tracked and followed up online.
Land, power and skilled manpower are key quotients of any industry. How do you plan to provide these to the entrepreneurs who may intend to come to Jharkhand?
See, land issue we are tackling, recently we have developed our land bank. It is there on our web portal. So anybody looking for land can see that land. We are also going to use Google map so that anybody can see that land and what are the facilities around the land. Secondly, once you select the land, allotment process has been made very transparent and online so any application you make for the land allotment is dealt online and you get allotment within a week or so. Power is area where we are struggling and we have decided to have this by 2017. All the villages are to be electrified and by 2019 when we will have every household lit. So Government has made huge plan to provide round the clock electricity to every household by 2019 and this will also be available for the industries. As they are expecting assured power, we are providing the solution by having a dedicated electricity supply to the industries in the industrial areas. Therefore, the industrial areas do get 24x7 assured and quality power. Skill development, we are already working on. There is lot of skill gap that we want to bridge both by investment from Government as well as private sector.
Out of 24 districts of Jharkhand, some 17 are said to be affected by the Left Wing Extremism or LWE. In this scenario, how are you going to assure your prospective investors about law and order?
This reporting about 17 districts as affected by LWE is a thing of past. Now LWE is limited to some fringe areas and the deep forest areas and it is generally of no concern to the habitations where industries or the cities are. Law and order is like any other developed city in the country. We have very secure law and order and there is no problem of anybody facing any untoward event at any point of time in the State. This is what we are assuring and this is proved by the fact that in last one-and half year there has not been even a single big incident of LWE in the State. This has created a huge confidence in the minds of investors to look Jharkhand from a completely new perspective of development.