New panel to monitor use of land by industries

The State government will form a committee to scrutinise the use of land it has allotted to industries across Karnataka.

The decision, taken by the Cabinet on Friday, comes against the backdrop of the heated debate in the Legislative Council in July over the “abuse” of the lease deed by the BPL company. It has been alleged that the company did not fully utilise the land allotted by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) for industrial purpose.

“Earlier, there was no committee to look into the use of land given to industries for setting up units,” said Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, T B Jayachandra, after the Cabinet meeting. “We have decided to amend the Karnataka Industries (Facilitation) Act, 2002 and include the formation of a separate committee for the said purpose.” Members are yet to be appointed to the committee.

According to the minister, there are three committees at present to clear industrial projects. Each panel can clear investment proposals of certain kind. Each panel’s approval limit has been increased so that projects can be cleared without much waiting period.

Accordingly, the State High-Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC), headed by the chief minister, has been allowed to give a green signal for investments ranging up to Rs 100 crore. Its earlier limit was Rs 50 crore. The panel, headed by the chief secretary, can now clear investments up to Rs 50 crore. The department-level committee has been authorised to clear projects up to Rs 15 crore.

6th economic census

The Cabinet also decided to conduct the 6th economic census at a cost of Rs 33.72 crore. Under the census, held every five years, the economic status of each individual family in the State will be surveyed. Besides, the Cabinet approved updating common business register for about Rs 5.62 crore.

Forest and environment

On the environment front, the Cabinet cleared the formation of a new forest reserve at: Ramaradevabetta in Ramanagara district (vultures), Bhimagada in Belgaum (bats), Rangayanadurga in Davangere (four-horned antelopes), Chinchodi in Raichur (blackbucks), Kumta on the banks of Aghanashini river (hornbills and lion-tailed macaque) and Shalmala Riparian Ecosystem Conservation Reserve in Uttara Kannada district.

In addition, the Cabinet approved a Rs 35-crore rehabilitation package for tribals living in tiger reserves in the State. Besides, a Rs 21-crore package has been approved to bring down the man-animal conflict, the minister said.

The Rs 21-crore package will look to provide fodder and water to elephants in the forest reserves, control forest fires, remove parthenium and other such weeds and encroachments along the elephant corridors, etc.

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