NEW DELHI: Andhra Pradesh is set to house India’s first national investment and manufacturing zone after the state assured the Centre of availability of 10 sq km of land in one place in Prakasham district.
The imminent final approval for the NIMZ, which is expected to give a fillip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India campaign, comes four years after the concept was mooted to boost manufacturing in the country and two years after the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion gave an in-principle nod to Andhra Pradesh in this regard.
“NIMZ could not take off because states did not have the required land available. But we want to make the best of what we have, hence we are going ahead with the approval for Andhra Pradesh,” said a senior government official. DIPP has relaxed the requirement of land for setting up an NIMZ, from 50 sq km to 10 sq km.
The state will have to acquire the remaining land in the next fourfive years.
The NIMZ will comprise a special purpose vehicle and a developer, along with the state and the central governments as stakeholders.
DIPP has in the past four years given in-principle approval to 12 NIMZs in Nagpur in Maharashtra; Tumkur, Kolar, Gulbarga and Bidar in Karnataka; Medak in Telangana; Chittor in Rajasthan and Kalinganagar in Odisha, among others. However, none of the states other than Andhra Pradesh has been able to make any headway yet.
The manufacturing policy puts the onus on the central government to provide external physical infrastructure linkages to the NIMZs including rail, road, ports, airports and telecom, in a time-bound manner and also provide viability gap funding wherever required.
As per the original plan Andhra Pradesh has estimated that the manufacturing zone will create opportunities for 20,500 direct and 29,200 indirect jobs and attract an investment of over Rs 43,500 crore.
The Centre will assist the state in negotiating non-sovereign multilateral loans and the developers in raising extra commercial borrowings to develop internal infrastructure. Andhra Pradesh ranked second among Indian states in the World Bank’s recent ease of doing business rankings, second only to Gujarat.
The state has set up a system for random allocation of inspectors and computerised risk assessment based inspections under various labour laws. It also started a singlewindow system using an IT-enabled platform to provide all clearances to set up an industrial operationwithin 21 days.