Gangtok: The Sikkim Investment Summit, which was scheduled to be held in November, has been postponed to February 2023.
The change in the summit schedule has been made considering the absence of an industrial policy in the state. The decision was taken during a review meeting chaired by chief secretary V.B. Pathak at Tashiling Secretariat on September 17.
As per the review meeting, the summit has been postponed following the absence of centrally-backed industrial promotion schemes such as the North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS), 2017, which ended on March 31, 2022, and a state industrial policy.
However, the curtain raiser event of the summit will be held on November 2022 as scheduled.
The review meeting, which was attended by Chief Minister’s Chief Economic Advisor Mahendra P Lama suggested that an industrial policy would be required to attract potential investors to the state. He also suggested that Commerce and Industries Department must chalk out sub-sectorial policies within the industrial policy for thrust areas like green industries, education, healthcare and wellness.
Meanwhile, a timeframe of three months has been given to frame an industrial policy.
Chief Secretary V.B. Pathak suggested, “A land policy along with the industrial policy would be required with a focus on private land where investors can set up their industrial units by drawing up a lease agreement with fixed rates.”
During the meeting, it was also decided that the recently constituted Sikkim Investment Board would be the apex body to oversee the Sikkim Investment Summit and also for facilitating investment into the state.
However, Sikkim Chief Minister P.S. Golay continues to welcome delegations of potential business investors. On Friday, he met 24 such investors from the country as well as from Malaysia and the United States.
They submitted investment proposals to set up industries in sectors such as residential township development, amusement park, power transmission, hydroelectric projects, star category hotels, development of the industrial park, apparel sector, craft beverages, education, IT-enabled services, diagnostic centres, polyclinics, tourism, coffee, cocoa, spices, bamboo, fruits and vegetable processing unit with a possible investment of Rs. 1,000 crore. The investors mostly insisted on land, an adequate workforce, labour policies, and a single-window system for ease of doing business.
The Chief Minister highlighted the investor-friendly workforce, road and air connectivity and also rail connectivity, which will commence from 2024 onwards.
Besides, he also highlighted the labour-registration system for labour from outside the state, surplus availability of power for the industrial sector, township development, high-end hotels, amusement parks, convention centres and wellness tourism as potential sectors for investment in Sikkim.
The Chief Minister informed the investors that curtain raiser events will be organised in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru to invite investors to the summit. He also directed the Industries department to speed up the process of making a single-window system as well as industrial policy for the facilitation of industries in Sikkim.
During the meeting, an MoU was signed between the Commerce and Industries department and the National Institute of MSME, Hyderabad for the development of clusters, entrepreneurship development programme, and the promotion of macro and micro industries.
The MoU is for the facilitation of training for the officials, and beneficiaries, development of incubation facilities, training facilities and development of cluster projects for local artisans and entrepreneurs.
The Chief Minister also insisted that the National Institute of MSME should involve in skilling local youth to develop their business to international standards and relaxation of MSME scheme guidelines as per the requirements of the state and not as per the population density.
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