Spinning off a massive infrastructure and manufacturing zone, the Union Cabinet in a recent move has cleared the setting up of the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC) and formation of the AKIC Development Corporation (AKICDC) with a budgetary support worth Rs. 5,750 crore. The mega corridor in question is proposed to be developed in a band of 150-200 km on either side of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor in a phased manner. It would comprise a belt of at least 5.5 lakh square km in the seven states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The Phase-1 of the project will be a pilot project during which at least one Integrated Manufacturing Cluster of 10 square km each would be set up in each of the seven states. Uttarakhand, being a hill state, would be given flexibility with regard to the size of the cluster. At least 40% land in each cluster would permanently be earmarked for manufacturing and agro-processing, considering that substantial part of the area in these states is under agriculture, except in Jharkhand. The clusters envisaged under the project would be entitled to all benefits available under the National Manufacturing Policy.
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