The government’s proposal to launch a single-window clearance is seeing traction among foreign investors even before the scheme’s launch. At least half a dozen foreign investors are said to be in talks with the government for this mechanism.
These investors will get to identify lands or sites for setting up manufacturing units across 20 states. Government officials say the scheme will become operational from early 2021-22.
“Single-window clearance will begin from March-end or April first week next year. We have been negotiating with states on industrial manufacturing and attracting investments. So far, eight states have agreed and given their consent on land banks. Six more states will be added by November 15. We are expecting to get 20 states on board by the end of the current financial year,” said a senior government official privy to the plan. He added that enquiries have come in for land banks in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
The exercise is part of India’s efforts to attract investment. Central ministries, including finance and commerce, along with state governments, are working on the said mechanism. The system is to handhold foreign investors keen to invest in India. It will help obtain all the requisite regulatory and state clearances required for foreign investors to set up manufacturing units in India.
To augment this facility, the government has decided to make a repository of the county’s land bank, comprising information of all the vacant plots, heat maps (agriculture, horticulture, mineral layers), and multiple layers of connectivity, along with satellite views of the terrain.
Experts are of the opinion that the government needs to be cautious and consider the fragmented nature of lands and conflicts associated with states.
The government has been working on a single-window approval for land banks with regard to sectors with heavy infrastructure requirements (automobile, steel, aluminium, and other industrial manufacturing sectors), given that the same has been repeatedly highlighted by sovereign funds and other investors as an important factor in the ease of doing business in India.
“Considering the fragmented nature of land banks across states, and the red tape faced by investors in land acquisition in India, the central government will have to take care of the concerns of the state government in so far as incentives granted to investors are concerned,” said Atul Pandey, partner, Khaitan & Co.
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