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     Raipur, November 8, 2009: Mineral rich Chhattisgarh has unveiled a new Industrial Policy for the next five years focusing on value addition of its huge natural resources.

     “We have over hauled the previous Industrial policy in which the focus was on the core sectors like Power, Steel, Aluminium and Cement looking into the abundant deposit of coal, iron ore, bauxite, lime stones, besides water, land and electricity in the state,” Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh told reporters here.

     After a lot of difficulty the state had impressed upon the world players like AES Transpower, Lafarge Cement, Vedanta (BALCO), ESSAR Steel, TATA Steel, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the National Mineral Development Corporation of India (NMDC) to invest in the state, although a larger portion, like at least 12 of the 19 districts of the state, are affected by armed violence, carried out by the Left Wing Extremists, also known as Naxalites or Maoists.

     “The state has reached a saturation level in those four core sectors like Power, Steel, Aluminium and Cement and now in the new Industrial Policy, effective from November 2009, we have clear focus on the small and medium scale industries and also the ancillary industries, which are dependent on those core sector industries,” he said.

     In a drastic step, the State Cabinet, after discussing the matter for a over three hours, decided on Friday night to withdraw all the rebates to the big industries, other than giving concession on the stamp duty for initial transaction, Singh said.

    On the contentious land acquisition issue for industries, also the council of ministers have decided to increase the price of land by ten fold from Rs 1,00,000.00 per acre to Rs 10 lakh for setting up any industry, he said.

    Stressing for the development of the Maoist-hit state, the Chief Minister also said previously District was the unit for deciding concession and other government facilities to set up any industries, but that has now been further taken to a smaller unit like Revenue Blocks as five or six revenue blocks make one district.

     Also spending huge amount of money, the government wanted to develop industrial infrastructure in various underdeveloped areas to make available easily the minerals and other raw materials for the medium and small industries in the state, Singh said.

     As a part of that Common Rail Corridors and six lane concrete roads to connect the industrial areas with the mines and other zones of the state, he said.

     Because of a proper planning, the annual expenditure of the state has increased from Rs 3000 crore when it was created in the year 2000 to the current Rs 25,000 crore, the Chief Minister said.

      Chhattisgarh was also fiscally best managed state in the country as it had never been slipped into an over draft situation ever since it was carved out on November 1, 2000, he said.

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