Odisha investments tank 67% by value in FY19, job creation potential halves

The value of investments approved by the Odisha government tanked 67 per cent year-on-year in 2018-19. Though the state authorities gave the go-ahead to 47 projects, they were worth Rs 67,417.41 crore only. Also, the employment potential of projects cleared fell drastically from 98,308 in FY18 to 41,643 in FY19.

By contrast, 46 investment projects were cleared in FY18 valued at Rs 2.04 trillion.

“Odisha had attracted fresh investment intents worth Rs 4.18 trillion at the second edition of Make in Odisha conclave in November 2018. But not all of the intents got translated into firm commitments. Besides, some of the high ticket investment projects got stuck in the labyrinth of approvals”, said an industry source.

Odisha's Economic Survey for 2019-20, quoting figures from the Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Ipicol) and the state government illustrates that in 2014-15, the state approved projects worth Rs 3,907.27 crore. The value of investment proposals shot up to Rs 32,024.36 crore in 2015-16 and later plummeted to Rs 7,778.89 crore in 2016-17. A year later, the approved investments grew phenomenally in value to Rs 2.04 trillion at the end of 2017-18.

In FY20 though, the value of investments cleared is bound to escalate. The High Level Clearance Authority (HLCA) chaired by the Chief Minister, has already given the go-ahead to five new projects valued at Rs 2.04 trillion. Four of the five proposed investments were in non-mineral based sectors, endorsing the state government's aspiration to diversify into and lure investors beyond its historical strengths in mining, metals and power.

Among the projects cleared were the mega project of Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) to install a hydrocarbon processing complex comprising light crude oil refinery, an aromatics complex and ethylene cracker complex at a combined investment of Rs 78,000 crore. HPL's planned facilities are supposed to come up near the port project at Subarnarekha and will spawn job opportunities for 10,000 people. The West Bengal based petrochemicals major has sought a land parcel of 2,500 acres.

The state government also cleared two separate proposals by oil major Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). IOC has pledged a massive investment of Rs 1 trillion to ramp up capacity of its coastal crude oil refinery at Paradip from 15 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 25 mtpa. It also intends to put up a petrochemicals complex consisting of a dual feed cracker, naphtha cracker and petcoke gasification plant at Paradip. Besides creating employment for 12,595 people, IOC's facilities will ensure the availability of building block feedstock to ancillary and downstream units in the chemical and petrochemicals sector.

The second investment from IOC was the establishment of PX-PTA (purified terephthalic acid) with an investment of Rs 9,136 crore in the existing crude oil refinery at Paradip. IOC has already invested Rs 35,000 crore on the refinery project. To fulfill the expansion plan and install all the envisaged units, IOC has asked for around 4,000 acres of land.

For quickening the pace of approving projects, the state industries department has set in motion GO-SWIFT or Government of Odisha Single Window Investor Facilitation & Tracking. GO-SWIFT in a little over two years of its roll out has received more than 1,000 investment proposals. It is the one-stop portal designed to overcome all hassles for investors by tracking the entire life cycle of an investment from conception to implementation and beyond.

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