Investment proposals worth over Rs 6,000 crore were cleared by the revamped State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB), which met on Friday after its rules were notified last month.
The maiden SIPB meeting, the first since the Industrial Investment Promotion Policy 2016 was notified, saw 122 investment proposals worth Rs 6,465 crore vying for stage 1 approval.
The eight-member board, headed by development commissioner Shishir Sinha, gave its nod to 109 investment proposals, while putting 11 others on hold, making specific queries, and rejecting two proposals.
Over a dozen of the proposals were for manufacturing PVC pipes and overhead tanks, apparently to be in sync with government’s initiative to provide piped drinking water and toilets to all. As such, the proposals are expected to have a huge captive market.
S Sidharth, principal secretary, industries department, said, “Several proposals for rice mills and units based on fly ash have also been cleared. It is indicative of entrepreneurs’ desire to be present in sectors where the demand exists and has a potential to grow.”
The state is set to have a huge supply of fly ash as by-product from thermal power units, both the existing ones and several new units coming up. Similarly, five projects for manufacturing LPG cylinders and setting up LPG bottling plant also came up for consideration, apparently to tap the potential thrown open by the Centre’s Ujjwala scheme.
A Rs 97-crore ethanol project of Majhaulia Sugar Industries Pvt Ltd was also cleared. It aims to take advantage of revised ethanol off-take policy of the Centre to encourage its blending with petrol in excess of 10% benchmark.
A project aiming to leverage Bihar’s maize producing capacity as a summer crop came in the form of a starch manufacturing plant at Thakurganj by a Kolkata-based company and another, for hallmarked jewellery, by Ankur Jewellers, were also cleared.
“We have been able to take up all online applications submitted till January 11 for consideration. From now on, the SIPB will be holding regular meetings every month,” Sidharth said.
A decision on a Rs 304 crore investment proposal by United Breweries for producing malt-based alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, was held back for lack of clarity.
“Alcoholic beverage is in the negative list,” Sidharth said, adding proposals for several stone crushing units had been put on hold and asked to explain whether they have requisite lease license for the same.
Online application facility has introduced greater transparency and done away with chances of anybody jumping the queue at the last moment. SMS and e-mail would be sent to 109 entrepreneurs whose projects have been approved.
Stage 1 approval will be followed by stage 2 clearance at the principal secretary level, for projects up to Rs 2.5 crore and at the minister’s level for up to Rs 10 crore projects, while Rs 10-20 crore worth of projects will be approved jointly by finance and industries minister.
Anything above it would go to the cabinet.
Stage 3 will see time bound approvals within 30 days by concerned departments or lead to deemed approval by principal secretary, industries, while the last stage clearance at the production level would entitle a unit to claim post production subsidy.