The Kerala government on Wednesday approved its new industrial policy which is aimed at a quantum leap in the key production sector for making the State a hub of most developed industries. Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev said that the Cabinet approved the new policy which would be focusing on Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investments.
”One of the new significant features of Kerala’s new industrial policy is, we are focusing on Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investments. We have already constituted a committee consisting of experts from Oxford and representatives of industries to frame an industry framework for Kerala,” Rajeev said. He said the intention of the government is to make Kerala the leading State in attracting ESG investments. As part of the new policy various academic, cooperative and private industrial parks focusing on 22 key production sectors would be set up, the Minister said.
The new policy, as part of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, has provisions for reimbursement of 20 per cent (maximum Rs 25 lakh) on investments for industrial production using artificial intelligence, data mining and analysis, he said. Besides that, electricity duty exemption for MSMEs for five years, stamp duty and registration fee exemption for SC/ST and women investors, reimbursement of 100 per cent State GST for non-MSMEs for five years, reimbursement of 25 per cent of the salary of each employee (maximum upto Rs 5,000) for large scale, etc, are just some of the many incentives which are part of the new industrial policy, Rajeev said. There would also be financial subsidies under the policy for start-ups which wanted to scale up, he said. The Minister said that extensive discussions were held with the industries, their suggestions were heard and practical difficulties considered before finalising the policy. He also said that many laws would be either amended or scrapped for implementation of the new policy. Rajeev further said that Kerala not being an investment-friendly State was a ”misconception. ”Vikrant is the pride of our country. It is a make-in-India project, the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier built by the Central PSU, Cochin Shipyard in Kerala. ”If any obstacles are here, then it will not be easy for any company to build a big indigenous aircraft carrier here. We also have big private companies,” Rajeev told PTI. He said the Kerala government also has a statutory grievance redressal mechanism. If anybody has any grievances, they could approach it, the decision of the mechanism is binding to all officers, irrespective of which department or ministry they belong to, Rajeev said. ”Any failure to implement this decision, the officials have to pay a penalty. Also, the committee has the power to recommend department disciplinary action,” the Minister said.