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Ease of business: Odisha to develop single portal for investor interface

Sun, 16th Jul 2017 (Source:Business Standard)

In a first, the Odisha government would come up with a single portal that will cater to the whole gamut of approvals needed by investors to set up shop in the state. This portal to replace the existing E-Biz portal is designed to track the entire stage of an investment – from proposal to production and also post allotment issues.

The new portal is scheduled for roll out by September this year. Under this portal, 50 services would go online — they include key approvals for land, water and electricity. Once the portal goes live, it promises to overcome existing hassles and make life easy for investors and catapult Odisha at the next ratings on ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

“One major reform we are targeting for easing business climate is a common portal for the investors. This portal would work as a single point of contact with the investor community. In this portal, 50 services would go online compared with only 15 offered under E-Biz portal. Currently, we have different applications of different departments. But, after the launch of this portal, all applications would be integrated and synchronised”, said Sanjeev Chopra, principal secretary, ‎Industries Department, Odisha government.
With a single portal in place, the investors need not visit the applications of individual departments.
At the last ranking of states on ‘Ease of Doing Business’, Odisha recorded 92.5% compliance with the business reforms. Still, it was placed in the 11th slot. Chopra feels the focus should be more on the implementation of the listed reforms rather than having notifications on paper.

“The point that I have raised before the Indian government is that there should be an equal focus on implementation and not just on notifications. There needs to be intensive campaigns and sensitisations for the investor community”, said Chopra, also the chairman-cum-managing director of Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Ipicol), the state’s one-stop agency for investment promotion.

Keeping to its thrust on the implementation of reforms, Odisha has decided to go for a third-party assessment of the reforms. This initiative is expected to kick off by December this year.

Historically, land procurement has been the key roadblock to implementation of projects in Odisha, especially the big ticket investments. To surmount this hurdle, the state government has identified 100,000 acres in its land bank scheme.

“Out of the 100,000 acres of land, 12,000-13,000 acres is in our possession. We have Category-A land that is readily available for allotment to industries. Then, there is Category-B land reserved for industries and can be allotted if needed”, Chopra said.

At the roadshows in Mumbai and Bengaluru and the showpiece ‘Make in Odisha’ conclave, Odisha has drawn investment intents totalling Rs 3.6 lakh crore from 124 projects. Seventy-four (74) of these projects across sectors have translated into firm commitments where the combined investments amount to Rs 2.02 lakh crore. Employment potential envisaged for the committed investments is assessed at 104,573.

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