Punjab govt announces relaxations for industry to boost investment

To encourage investment in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Punjab government has announced a slew of relaxations for industry, including extension of validity of statutory clearances without inspection, according to an official statement.
Detailed guidelines to this effect have been issued by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), which finalised the relaxations, on the directives of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, as per the official statement released on Friday.

The move is aimed at further easing the process of obtaining statutory clearances in these difficult circumstances, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said in the statement.

He said the relaxations will help instill confidence among investors and encourage them to invest in the state during the current coronavirus pandemic in a hassle-free manner.

PPCB Chairman S S Marwaha, as quoted in the statement, said the board had extended the validity of consent to establish and operate, authorisation, registration and any other mandatory regulatory clearances up to June 30, 2020, in view of the pandemic.

The validity of the clearances has also been further extended up to March 31, 2021, with certain stipulations on submission of application without conduct of any inspection by the Board, he said.

In order to ensure the participatory regulatory compliance of the environmental regulations, the industries that were operating without the consent of the board have been given time till December 31 this year to apply for obtaining clearances under the voluntary disclosure scheme, said Marwah.

They can do so with exemption to deposit the consent fee prior to November 1, 2018, and payment of one-time notional fee of Rs 5,000.

Meanwhile, Principal Secretary (Science, Technology and Environment) Alok Shekhar said these initiatives would immensely assist the industry in completing their regulatory compliances and will enhance the regulatory regime by the small-scale industries during these trying circumstances.
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