In a bid to build an "industry-friendly" image, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced the formation of a five-member empowered committee for faster clearance of industrial projects. The committee would operate as a task force to promote the "single window" system that Mamata had introduced to invite investment and to streamline the process for clearance of project proposals.
The committee, to be headed by a senior government official of joint secretary rank, will have representatives from all five departments - industry, power, finance, land and environment - involved with the clearance of any investment-related proposal.
The committee will operate from the office of West Bengal Industry Development Corporation, headquarters of the State Industry Department.
Although the state had an ongoing single window clearance scheme, coordinating and obtaining clearances from all departments often took time, the chief minister said.
She was speaking to businessmen during the annual business conclave – Biz Bridge - organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
She said there was at times a communication gap between two departments, which led to delay. She said the special task force would help in faster clearance of projects.
A total of eight licences are required for clearance of a project by the state.
Under the single window system, a proposal for a certain project would need to be placed only once as against earlier where it had to be submitted to each of the eight departments.
The state government had already brought down the number of formalities from 99 to 7 in the single-window system called Shilpa Sathi. Even as the CM announced measures to speed up projects, Mamata had some complaints too and she told CII members that some industrial projects were pending despite land clearance.
She said there were three projects where modifications were required for the projects for which approvals were pending. She request that the modifications of the projects be done quickly.
As regards land, she assured industrialists that it would not be a problem. She said there was land in Goaltore, Kharagpur, Bolpur, Baruipur, Belur in addition to land in existing industrial parks. The government, she pointed out, had announced the new procurement policy also in Goaltore where 1,000 acres had been identified while there were over 500 acres in Baruipur and 100 acres near Belur.