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Slowdown in defence corridor project

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Absence of any update on Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor in the Union Budget has caused disappointment in industry circles here.

According to observers, the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor seems to have taken a lead. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has announced investment of ₹ 1,200 crore in the UP defence industrial corridor. Spanning six nodes at Aligarh, Agra Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow and Chitrakoot, MoUs have been signed for investment of close to ₹ 4,000 crore in UP Defence Industrial Corridor that envisages creation of 2.5 lakh job opportunities. The UP Government was prompt in identifying 5,000 hectares for the corridor.

“In Tamil Nadu, public and private sector enterprises gave an assurance for investment of ₹ 3038 crore. But, there is no sign of any visible progress,” said N.Kanagasabapathy, president of Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries' Association.

The Tamil Nadu Aerospace and Defence Industrial Policy 2019 states that the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation will facilitate establishment of Aerospace and Defence parks for housing large, medium and small companies. However, there has been no progress in the SIPCOT industrial estate near Manapparai.

Work on creating basic amenities is yet to commence at the 1,077-acre site at Kannudayanpatti, K.Periyapatti (North) and Chathrapatti villages near Manapparai.

With the Centre de-licensing 275 defence wares and encouraging private manufacturers for such supplies by competing with the public sector undertakings (PSU), there is immense scope for private players seeking to manufacture the non-core items at the SIPCOT facility. Some of the manufacturers of the non-core items for defence industries have been able to make fast strides in production, Mr. Kanagasabapathy said, and exuded hope that many private players would come forward to make investments in the SIPCOT complex.

Calling for early utilisation of the ₹ 96 crore sanctioned for developing basic infrastructure like roads, street lights, planting saplings and establishing storm water drains in the SIPCOT complex, Mr. Kanagasabapathi said creation of the right eco-system was a pre-requisite for large industries like HAL to set foot.

As per the Tamil Nadu Aerospace and Defence Industrial Policy, aerospace / defence industrial units which are allotted lands in the industrial parks/ aerospace and defence parks promoted by SIPCOT / TIDCO will be given 20 % concession on actual land cost.

Fifty % reimbursement of stamp duty on lease or sale of land will be offered for aerospace / defence projects located in industrial/aerospace/defence parks promoted by SIPCOT/TIDCO, the policy note states.

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