Kerala all set to tap post-COVID-19 industrial potential

Kerala is set to tap the post- COVID industrial potential fully on the strength of a set of investment-friendly legislations enacted by the state government, according to State Industries Minister E P Jayarajan.

A Special Investment Promotion Task Force with Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta IAS as Chairman and Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce Dr K Ellangovan IAS as Vice-Chairman has been constituted to take forward the efforts in a time-bound manner, the minister said in a statement issued by the Industries department on Thursday.

The enhanced trust of investors in the Government has been evident from the huge response to the projects showcased at the Global Investor Meet, ASCEND 2020, held in Kochi in January, the minister said.

As many as 54 projects with a total investment of 25,000 crore presented before the investors from India and abroad at the two-day event got underway within months.

Another 15 projects with a total investment of 700 crore are set to go on stream in the next few months and 23 projects totalling 5456.48 crore within a year.

Apart from these, 61 projects are in the final stages of processing, Jayarajan said.

The key legislations that have significantly improved the investment friendly atmosphere in the state included the Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Act 2018, the Kerala Micro Small Medium Enterprises Facilitation Act 2019 and the Kerala Single Window Boards and Industrial Township Area Development (amendment) Act, 2019.

These reform-oriented legislative initiatives have ushered in a transparent and time and cost-saving investment climate.

The amendments have done away with several unnecessarily harsh rules, the minister said.

Simplification of rules pertaining to land registration, building permits, pollution control measures and power and water connections has greatly enhanced the ease of doing business in the state, Ellangovan said.

As many as seven acts and 10 rules have been amended while enacting the Kerala Investment Promotion Facilitation Act 2018, based on which the government has created an e-platform that enables investors to submit proposals in a common application form and secure approvals through an online clearance mechanism, Ellangovan said.

The procedures of pollution control board in giving clearance to projects having an investment of upto 10 crore have been simplified under MSME Facilitations Act 2019.

Fast clearance centres have been set up to ensure that all required approvals are provided within 30 days.

The single window clearance mechanism has been entrusted with powers to facilitate clearances from various departments for investment proposals, he said.

Reforms in the MSME sector have substantially contributed to the economic development of the state.

They seek to channelize Keralas energies as a state with high social development index and skilled human resources for entrepreneurial activities, especially in the startup ecosystem, the statement said.

The government has also introduced a policy to support start-ups by purchasing their products and services, besides facilitating financial grants to scale up and market them, it said.

Key sectors identified for promotion include transit-oriented logistics development, electronics and high- tech sectors, tourism and hospitality, manufacturing industries, waterways development and food and spices processing units.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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