TS reviewing \'non-starter\' units that took land and subsidy under TS-iPASS

Industries department is willing to give a last chance to them to launch their operations within a year or return the lands & other benefits

Hyderabad: The state government is having a review of "non-starter industries" – those that have failed to begin operations even after securing licences, approvals, land allotments and subsidies from the government more than six years ago.

These units had secured government approvals under the special facilitation route, TS-iPASS, since 2015 and then developed cold feet. As a result, industrial investment proposals worth Rs 80,100 crore with a promised employment potential of 5.89 lakh jobs remain as pipedreams.

The industries department is willing to give a last chance to them to launch their operations within a year or return of the lands and other benefits they got from the government.

It was soon after the formation of Telangana state in June 2014 that the TRS government brought in theTS-iPASS Act in 2015. This is a single window, self-certification, online approval system for industries with statutory backing.

Under this, the government will issued all approvals for setting up industries through a single window in online mode within 15 days. If the processing is delayed, the unit can start on the premise that the they were deemed to have been approved.

The legislation had provisions to penalise officials if they kept approvals pending without valid reasons.

TS-iPASS, the first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, received huge response from investors not only from within India but also from across the globe.

Notably, the TS government has approved the setting up of 15,852 industries since 2015. They together were to invest Rs 2.13 lakh crore and provide employment to 15.60 lakh people. Of them, 12,198 industries started operations. They have invested Rs 1.35 lakh crore and provided employment to 9.72 lakh people.

The remaining 3,654 industries have taken benefits from the government like land allotment etc, later developed cold feet and are yet to launch operations. They had promised investments worth Rs 80,100 crore and jobs to 5.89 lakh people.

Officials in the industries department revealed that the government will not be treating all the 'non-starter industries' in the same manner. The government is currently reviewing the cases of units that were approved from 2015 to 2019 and remain idle. These industries have failed to comply with the stipulation that they should launch the operations within two years.

Officials are trying to ascertain whether there are valid reasons for the delay in launching their operations. They are also checking whether the promoters flouted the norms by diverting the land for other purposes. Most of the promoters are reportedly citing the Covid-induced financial crisis and the economic slowdown as reasons for the delay in starting the projects.

After proper inquiry, the government would issue notices to non-starter industries and give them a last chance to launch the operations within a year or face cancellation of the benefits.

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