The government today approved the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC) project, which seeks to boost the manufacturing sector in the country.
The project was proposed to be developed in a band of 150- 200 km on either side of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor in a phased manner.
The project is the second of its kind on the lines of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. It will be spread across 20 cities in seven states -- Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
A financial indicative commitment of about Rs 5,600 crore, spread over 15 years, by way of budgetary support from the central government has been estimated in the first pilot phase for setting up seven IMCs in the AKIC, it said.
"Phase-1 will be in the nature of a pilot project, during which at least one Integrated Manufacturing Cluster (IMC) of 10 square km each, in each of the seven states would be set up, as identified by state governments," an official statement said, adding, the Cabinet also approved setting up of AKIC Development Corporation (AKICDC).
The states would however, it said, be free to set up more than one IMC, if they choose to do so.
"Uttarakhand, being a hill state would be given flexibility with regard to the size of the cluster. Both brownfield as well as greenfield IMCs can be set up," it said.
About 40 per cent of the land in each cluster will be permanently earmarked for manufacturing and agro-processing, considering that substantial part of the area in these states, except Jharkhand, is under agriculture.
The clusters envisaged under the project would be entitled to all the benefits available under the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) 2011.
It also said that for infrastructure development, a PPP mode would be encouraged.
"While viability gap funding would be available for infrastructure amenable to PPP, trunk infrastructure not amenable to PPP will be developed through grant-in-aid from the central government," the statement said.
Further, the government will provide interest subsidy to states for land acquisition, grant-in-aid for project development and master planning of clusters, set up AKICDC, provide external connectivity and all benefits under NMP.
The Cabinet also approved that AKICDC will be set up immediately with a total equity base of Rs 100 crore, with 49 per cent stake of the central government, with balance equity to be taken by stakeholder state Governments as per option and willingness, and HUDCO.
The central government will also provide Rs