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Industrialist’s bid to attract investments to AP

by December 22, 2016 General

VISAKHAPATNAM: FICCI and ASSOCHAM national executive member Ashish Saraf is back in the city from Delhi and Singapore after a gap of nearly three years to woo investors to Andhra Pradesh.

Mr. Saraf, owner and Joint Managing Director of FACOR India and Chairman of FACOR Global Pte ltd (Singapore), feels that due to policies pursued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, time is ripe for showcasing the immense investment potential post-bifurcation.

He said he would use his contacts across the world to convince investors to visit India and finalise investment plans for AP.

“Our group with a turnover of Rs. 2,000 crore is keen on foraying into food processing, education and other sectors,” he said and praised introduction of single window clearance and helpdesks to execute investment proposals from various quarters in the world in AP.

In an exclusive interview, Mr. Saraf, grandson of Durga Prasad Saraf who founded the ferroalloys unit in a non-descript village of Garividi in Vizianagaram district in 1956, told The Hindu on Wednesday that Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Amaravati and Tirupati offer lot of investment opportunities in education, tourism and infrastructure sectors. For development of tourism in coastal areas, he sought relaxation in the Coastal Regulation Zone guidelines.

Mr. Saraf, who was India’s first Honorary Consul of Maldives and now the Honorary Consul of Commonwealth of Bahamas, said the ferroalloys industry in AP was looking up after the State Government had granted special rebate for the crisis-hit units. Now most of the units have revived operations.

The FACOR unit at Garividi, major private sector investment in North Andhra, was revived recently after a 28-month shutdown.

He said chrome ore prices had gone up by 200 per cent in the last few months and the Chief Minister’s decision to give them rebate on power tariff had come as a big relief. All the ferro alloys units are dependent on Odisha for supply of chrome ore and the Naveen Patnaik Government has decided to supply it first to units located in his State and later allow others to source it through public auction.

“We have MoU with Tata Steel, which owns some mines but the lease will expire in 2020,” he said.