The union cabinet on Monday approved the setting up of the much-awaited Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC), to be developed on almost 5.5 lakh square km in the seven states along the dedicated freight corridor.
The seven states where the AKIC is proposed to be developed in a band of 150-200 km on either side of the Eastern Freight Corridor (EFC) are Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
In the pilot project, at least one integrated manufacturing cluster (IMC) of 10 square km each would be set up in all seven states. While the states would identify the land, they would be free to set up more than one IMC.
"Rs 5,600 crore, spread over 15 years, by way of budgetary support from the central government, have been estimated in the first phase," a release said. The Centre will also provide interest subsidy to states for land acquisition.
The industrial corridor is expected to boost the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, apart from creating major infrastructure in these areas.
About 40% of the land in each cluster will be permanently earmarked for manufacturing and agro-processing, considering that substantial part of the area in these states, except Jharkhand, is under agriculture.
The clusters envisaged under the project would be entitled to all benefits available under the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) 2011. The release also said that for infrastructure development, a PPP (public-private partnership) mode would be encouraged.
"While viability gap funding would be available for infrastructure amenable to PPP, trunk infrastructure not amenable to PPP will be developed through grant-in-aid from the central government," the statement said.
Further, the union government will provide interest subsidy to states for land acquisition, grant-in-aid for project development and master planning of clusters, set up the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (AKICDC), provide external connectivity and all benefits under the NMP.
The cabinet also approved that AKICDC will be set up immediately with a total equity base of Rs. 100 crore, with 49% stake of the central government, with balance equity to be taken by stakeholder state governments as per their option and willingness, and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).
The Centre will also provide Rs. 100 crore as project development fund to the AKICDC.
With PTI inputs