CHENNAI: With Tamil Nadu’s new industrial policy likely to be unveiled this month, the State hopes to continue its remarkable run as a favourite destination for investors in the new world grappling with Covid-19. This year the State is planning to set up specialised industrial parks, including the medipark in Oragadam, `250 crore electric vehicle park in Manalur and a furniture park.
A top government official expressed hope that the State will remain the preferred investment destination. “The new policy will focus on sunrise sectors. More incentives for industries that invest in districts, which are industrially backward, are expected,” he added.
This year will see fructification of ground breaking projects, opined Guidance CEO Neeraj Mittal. Refusing to state when exactly the new industrial policy will be unveiled, he said it will be introduced soon. “The State will also release a new export policy, in a bid to boost exports,” he added.
However, the most significant development for industries this year will be the launching of a comprehensive portal, which will provide 224 Government to Business (G2B) services. The entire planning process under Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority is expected to go online through the Comprehensive Construction Portal this month itself.
Though the State attracted several investments during the pandemic period, its major achievement will be the business of Taiwanese electronics major Pegatron Corporation, one of Apple’s largest contract manufacturers. It is learnt that Pegatron chose Tamil Nadu over Karnataka for setting up its plant. A senior official said that talks with Pegatron are in the final stage for setting up a plant in Chennai, and he refused to divulge details about the investment.
While investments in Tamil Nadu are raking up a political storm, officials point out that the State has an outstanding record of converting investment proposals to projects. The conversion rate of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) into actual projects during the last 10 years is 82.4 per cent. Conversion rate of 98 MoUs signed during 2015 Global investors Meet (GIM) is 72 per cent, while 89 per cent of 304 MoUs signed during 2019 GIM have reached commercial production stage or are in various stages of implementation such as purchase of land or application for clearances.
Meanwhile, the policy makers are worried whether 2021 Assembly elections would put brakes on investments, as investors may want a clear picture on the political scenario. There would be a lull for about three months when the election code of conduct is in place, a source said. Ease of Doing Business Confederation of Indian Industry sub-committee chairman, southern India, M Ponnuswami said the State is also looking to invest in the petrochemical sector.
“A lot of industries in these sectors are planning to invest in the State due to the long coastline. The government should also set up a petrochemical complex. We should also emulate the success of the Singapore model, by which chemical and petrochemical manufacturing sectors contribute `5 lakh crore annually to Singapore’s economy,” he added.