High-powered panel to discuss creation of industrial land bank

Mumbai: Creation of a land bank to boost industrial investment will be one of the major issues of deliberations of a high-powered committee set up by the Centre to recommend state-specific investment promotion strategy, reports PTI quoting Maharashtra industries minister Rajendra Darda.

"The meeting will take place in Mumbai on 27th August to deliberate on preparations of guidelines for creation of an industrial land bank consisting of available waste and fallow land (land-locked in industrial units/areas that are sick/defunct and lying unutilised). Productive agriculture and fertile land will be left out," Mr Darda, who is the convenor of the seven-member committee, told PTI here.

He said the first meeting of the committee took place in June this year in Delhi. Apart from MR Darda, the committee comprises industry ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.

Mr Darda said after recession, investors throughout the world are looking for investing their funds in safer places and they find India and China as safe bets.

"The Centre feels that there should be state-specific investment promotion strategy," Mr Darda said.

The minister said the committee was set up to make recommendations for state specific investment promotions to bring in more industries and investment in the country.

"We plan to submit our report in this connection in about four months," he added.

The minister said the committee will also plan the design of a single window mechanism to simplify and rationalise the licensing and clearance procedures required to start and run a business.

It is also in the process of drawing up an outline for preparation of state level skill development plan based on skill mapping exercise in terms of demand and supply of skill sets within a state to facilitate the achievement of the objectives of state specific industrial strategy, he said.

"There are 28 lakh unemployed persons in Maharashtra. But industrial houses say they can't find the right people for the jobs available with them. There is a demographic mismatch and the reason for this is that educated candidates have not developed vocational training. The Prime Minister's Task Force is insisting that every state has skill development programmes," Mr Darda informed.

Hence, the idea for formulation of a framework for preparation of state-specific investment promotion strategies based on each state's natural endowments and potential, came up, he said.
Mumbai: Creation of a land bank to boost industrial investment will be one of the major issues of deliberations of a high-powered committee set up by the Centre to recommend state-specific investment promotion strategy, reports PTI quoting Maharashtra industries minister Rajendra Darda.

"The meeting will take place in Mumbai on 27th August to deliberate on preparations of guidelines for creation of an industrial land bank consisting of available waste and fallow land (land-locked in industrial units/areas that are sick/defunct and lying unutilised). Productive agriculture and fertile land will be left out," Mr Darda, who is the convenor of the seven-member committee, told PTI here.

He said the first meeting of the committee took place in June this year in Delhi. Apart from MR Darda, the committee comprises industry ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.

Mr Darda said after recession, investors throughout the world are looking for investing their funds in safer places and they find India and China as safe bets.

"The Centre feels that there should be state-specific investment promotion strategy," Mr Darda said.

The minister said the committee was set up to make recommendations for state specific investment promotions to bring in more industries and investment in the country.

"We plan to submit our report in this connection in about four months," he added.

The minister said the committee will also plan the design of a single window mechanism to simplify and rationalise the licensing and clearance procedures required to start and run a business.

It is also in the process of drawing up an outline for preparation of state level skill development plan based on skill mapping exercise in terms of demand and supply of skill sets within a state to facilitate the achievement of the objectives of state specific industrial strategy, he said.

"There are 28 lakh unemployed persons in Maharashtra. But industrial houses say they can't find the right people for the jobs available with them. There is a demographic mismatch and the reason for this is that educated candidates have not developed vocational training. The Prime Minister's Task Force is insisting that every state has skill development programmes," Mr Darda informed.

Hence, the idea for formulation of a framework for preparation of state-specific investment promotion strategies based on each state's natural endowments and potential, came up, he said.

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US offers technical expertise to exploit shale gas potential

Washington: The US has offered to India and China its full expertise and technical knowhow to exploit the full potential of shale gas to reduce dependence on foreign oil and move towards its goal of energy independence, reports PTI.

As such the Obama administration has proposed do a resource assessment of certain shale basins in India by the US Geological Survey, and provide workshops to train Indian geophysicists on how to do their own resource assessments.

"What we have offered to India is to bring our best knowledge about how you make that estimate, how you make that resource evaluation, and to bring our scientists to them to talk about that," US Coordinator for International Energy Affairs David Goldwyn said.

"We are waiting for India's reaction and we're hopeful that they'll do it.

"I think you can't tell until you drill, but the shale presence is there," Mr Goldwyn told reporters on the sidelines of the Global Shale Gas Initiative Conference.

Representatives from 17 countries including India and China are participating in the two-day international conference hosted by the US State Department as part of its aim to help countries around the world to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

The US shale gas phenomenon has transformed global energy markets, he said, adding that because the United States has the technology to develop efficiently large quantities of gas from shale, global prices of liquefied natural gas have decreased.

"Gas has become cheaper. Gas is now competitive with coal on a British thermal unit (Btu) basis, which means that countries that might use coal can now not make an economic choice, but on a competitive basis choose gas for their next level of power generation," Mr Goldwyn said.

India has a licensing round probably in September, he said, adding the pace of development will probably come with whether there's success in these first basins, whether there's an assessment of what they have.

"Reliance has made an investment in a US company to learn the technology, and what a lot of countries are doing is they're trying to find out how it's done.

"So it'll depend on success and, in India in particular, depend on the price of gas," the US official said.

Mr Goldwyn said the US had entered into a memorandum of understanding with India during the visit of Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to Washington last November.

The US has also signed a similar memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China.

"We have MoUs signed with China and India, but there are follow-up steps that are needed to begin implementation, although, we will have our first workshop in China, 9th to 11th November so we'll be underway in China," Mr Goldwyn said.

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The greenback in the red

Quantitative easing may trigger a collapse in the US dollar.

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