Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

22, a day af­ter In­dia se­cured a much N JUNE pub­li­cised record for hold­ing the largest Yoga ses­sion led by the prime min­is­ter, head­lines across the coun­try re­ported an­other record.Te­lan­gana cleared 17 in­vest­ment pro­pos­als worth 1,500 crore within 10 days of ap­pli­ca­tion. This was the fastest ap­proval, true to the state gov­ern­ment’s prom­ise un­der its new in­dus­trial pol­icy de­clared just 10 days ear­lier.

Chief Min­is­ter K Chan­drashekara Rao re­leased the pol­icy, Te­lan­gana State In­dus­trial Project Ap­proval and Self-Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem (ts-ipass), on June 12. This is the first pol­icy doc­u­ment from In­dia’s new­est state and has ev­ery­thing to make Te­lan­gana the world’s most in­vest­ment-friendly state.The pol­icy, formulated a year ago, was en­acted into law in Novem­ber 2014.Just be­fore its of­fi­cial release this year,full-page news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ments de­picted a Te­lan­gana plat­ter with all in­cen­tives for in­dus­tries as the right recipe for gar­ner­ing in­vest­ment. By 2020,the state expects to at­tract an in­vest­ment of

5 lakh crore.To make sense of this fig­ure, the state’s gdp in 2014-15 was 4 lakh crore.

ts-ipass man­dates that per­mis­sions and li­cences will be given within 15 days for big projects, and if no de­ci­sion is taken dur­ing this pe­riod then the per­mis­sion will be deemed to have been given. The ic­ing on the cake is the right to get clear­ance of projects within a set time limit. Un­der ts-ipass, all the pro­pos­als for mega projects—with an in­vest­ment of over 200 crore—have to be cleared within 15 days, while other projects will have to be ap­proved in a month.Al­lo­ca­tion of var­i­ous re­sources has been ex­haus­tively elab­o­rated in the pol­icy note. What’s more, the new state prom­ises to amend laws that ham­per in­vest­ments.

It of­fers a land bank of nearly a mil­lion hectares and 10 per cent wa­ter al­lo­ca­tion from all sources for in­dus­trial use. The new pol­icy also prom­ises “min­i­mum in­spec­tion, max­i­mum fa­cil­i­ta­tion”, un­der which the state’s reg­u­la­tory checks and bal­ances have been di­luted to a great ex­tent (see ‘Recipe for dis­as­ter?’ p28). Now an in­dus­trial unit will be in­formed about an in­spec­tion much in ad­vance.The pol­icy note opens with this as the first ob­jec­tive: “Min­i­mum in­spec­tion would en­com­pass a sys­tem of no ran­dom in­spec­tions with­out cause.Sub­ject to statu­tory re­quire­ments, the de­part­ments will de­velop a sys­tem where each in­dus­trial unit is in­spected only once in 3/4 years and the cy­cle of in­spec­tions is to be fixed in ad­vance. Max­i­mum Fa­cil­i­ta­tion would en­com­pass an ef­fec­tive

Failed cot­ton crops and heavy debts have forced Te­lan­gana farm­ers, like this one in Cho­tup­pal in Nal­go­nda dis­trict, to sell agri­cul­tural land and pave

way for in­dus­tries

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