AP bureaucrat to head panel on PCPIR

Representative Image. (File Photo)

The Centre has appointed senior Andhra Pradesh bureaucrat Rajat Bhargava as head of a high-level committee to suggest necessary policy initiatives for attracting more investments into the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIR) in the country. Bhargava, the AP Industry and Infrastructure Principal Secretary, was appointed by the Union Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals.

On Tuesday, a high-level meeting under Union Chemicals and Petrochemicals Secretary P Raghavendra Rao in Delhi discussed the proposed amendments to the PCPIR policy that was put in place in 2007 and constituted the committee headed by Bhargava, a senior official here told PTI. "The Committee will submit its report in a fortnight after consultations with Principal Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Gujarat. Besides, industry associations and other stakeholders will also be consulted," he said.

This is the first time the Centre is seeking to amend the PCPIR Policy after it was introduced. For over a year now, the central government had been mulling new policy interventions to attract investments into the PCPIRs by addressing various issues. At a recent summit on global chemicals and petrochemicals manufacturing hubs, the issue was discussed and accordingly, the Centre has now set up the high-level committee to come up with necessary suggestions for rejuvenating the PCPIRs, the official added.

The Centre, as per the PCPIR Policy, approved four PCPIRs at Dahej (Gujarat) on the west coast and Visakhapatnam- Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Paradeep (Odisha) and Cuddalore- Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu) on the east coast. Barring Dahej, the other PCPIRs have not actually taken off as envisaged over the years. After it remained in cold storage for over six years, the Andhra Pradesh government has now revived the Visakhapatnam- Kakinada PCPIR to attract an investment of over Rs 2 lakh crore under Master Plan-2031. The VK-PCPIR is the largest in the country spread over an area of 640 sq km along the Bay of Bengal coast.

Two big-ticket projects have now been lined up as anchor tenants for the PCPIR in Kakinada with an aggregate investment of over 15.72 billion USD. Haldia Petro Chemicals would set up a refinery in the Kakinada Special Economic Zone with an investment of 11.43 billion USD to serve as the anchor unit with the supply of required feedstock. HPCL, in a joint venture with GAIL, would set up a greenfield refinery, a 1.5 million metric tonne per annum petrochemical complex, in Kakinada with an investment of 4.29 billion USD.

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