New Delhi: Union Petroleum and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday wrote a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik saying that the delay by the state government in providing clearances for major investments in the state will discourage investors.
This comes at a time when Patnaik will be in New Delhi for Odisha Investors Meet. The oil minister raised the issue of delay in approvals for state-run NTPC Ltd’s Rs 9,785 crore Talcher expansion project with state’s CM Naveen Patnaik.
“Lack of requisite clearances for big-ticket investments…will dampen the investment climate in Odisha and send a wrong signal to the investor community,” Pradhan wrote.
Pradhan’s letter mentioned that oil PSUs, NALCO, SAIL and NTPC have proposed high value projects in the state in line with PM Narendra Modi’s vision - Purvodaya. Pradhan’s letter focused on a proposal worth Rs 9,785 crore to set up a 1,320-MW power station at Talcher in Angul district.
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha is trying to ramp up investments for the state in the countdown to the state Assembly elections next year. Enthused by its success in Panchayat polls last year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also sharpened its focus on Odisha, a state that is among a handful not ruled by it.
Pradhan is also being seen as BJP’s face in Odisha.
Ahead of the ‘Make in Odisha’ conclave in November, CM Naveen Patnaik will hold investors meet on 12 September in Delhi in association with industry lobby group Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Odisha government will apprise investors and business houses about opportunity in the state. Patnaik has already held investors meet in Kolkata, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
“The NTPC board on 10th Septemeber, 2018, has approved Rs 9,785 crore investment for the project. The project has obtained land, water, environmental and other statutory clearances. But, being a large project it requires project clearance by High Level Committee (HLC) of the state government. Unfortunately, NTPC is still awaiting approval of the HLC despite applying online for single window clearance on 19.04.2017,” Pradhan said in the letter.
“Lack of requisite clearance for such big-ticket investments even after a lapse of more than 15 months will dampen the investment climate in Odisha and send a wrong signal to the investor community,” the letter added.