Acting fast on a follow-up to the Emerging Kerala 2012, the State Government on Tuesday announced the constitution of three crucial bodies for ensuring the time-bound sanctioning of projects and facilitating their hassle-free implementation.
The Cabinet meeting decided to constitute an Investment Promotion Board with the Chief Minister as its chairman, an Investment Clearance Board under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, and Committee for Policy Initiatives and Legal Changes headed by the Law Minister.
“None of the proposals is intended at bypassing any existing rules and regulations but aimed at simplifying procedures and ensuring transparency. It has become clear through interactions with scores of investors at the Emerging Kerala meet that they are not really looking for any concessions but faster clearance to set up projects. Time lag has been identified as the main snag in the implementation of projects,’’ Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said in a post-Cabinet media briefing.
The Cabinet also gave its nod for taking back identified land given on lease within six months, if companies which had availed of it earlier are not coming up with the project work, vetting a consensus reached in the Cabinet earlier.
“The same policy will be applicable to Central organisations also,’’ Chandy said. On the question of the extent and lease tenure of land prescribed for upcoming projects, Chandy said that it may vary from project to project based on the quantum of employability and other such factors crucial to the interests of the state.
The decision to form Air Kerala was also ratified by the Cabinet. The Chief Minister said that the Centre has given in-principle approval for the Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode Monorail projects. ”The Chief Secretary has been asked to conduct a thorough study to take forward both the projects. After the launch of Kochi Metro Rail works, the Centre’s green signal for the two projects has come,’’ Chandy said.
The proposed Investment Promotion Council will have ministers, senior bureaucrats and non-government experts in it. Apart from the Chief Secretary, the seven member Investment Clearance Board will comprise Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) as convenor, Principal Secretary (Finance) and Secretaries of Law, Revenue, Environment and KSIDC managing director as members. The vital Committee for Policy Initiatives and Legal Changes, to be presided over by the Law Minister, will have the secretaries of Law and Finance in it as members.