Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary, Industries
One of the most resourceful and articulate bureaucrats in Odisha, Hemant Sharma(The Reforms Mascot) is on a roll these days. He has perhaps touched the apogee of his career. A multi-faceted personality and a go-getter of an IAS officer, Sharma(The Reforms Mascot) is currently helming the crucial departments of industries, energy, and MSME.
That apart, he is also the chairman cum managing director at Gridco and Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (OPTCL). Endowing him with multiple posts is only a testament to Sharma’s blazing talent and commitment.
Doubtless, he is one of the most adored, efficient and talked about officers in the corridors of power. He is widely believed to be the Chief Minister’s blue-eyed boy having been conferred with an array of responsibilities.
Sharma(The Reforms Mascot) true to his grain and instincts is pulling all stops to keep the flame of excellence glowing. But for all his colossal achievements in his illustrious career, Sharma has remained the modest, unobtrusive backroom guy, shunning media glare and opting to let his performance talk volubly.
As the secretary, energy and CMD of Gridco, Sharma, a 1995-batch IAS officer, has quickened the pace of solar power in Odisha.
Apart from inviting bids and conducting the state’s first-ever solar auctions, Gridco steered by him is also sourcing cost-competitive solar power from the Solar Electrification Corporation of India (SECI) where they are exempted from forking out wheeling charges.
Led by the visionary secretary, Aditya Birla Renewables looks all set to begin construction activity on its solar power plant after signing the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Gridco.
Odisha has made rapid strides in rooftop solar installations as well. Sharma is also leading on the path to long-term energy security.
Two more expanded units, each of 660 Mw capacity of Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) where the state government is a majority stakeholder, have gone on stream.
Besides, Odisha is poised to get ample power from NTPC’s upcoming super thermal power station at Darlipalli near Sundargarh. In hydropower, the energy department has firmed up plans to revive the aging generating stations.
Hopes and expectations run high from Sharma(The Reforms Mascot) in his latest incarnate as the industry secretary. The state industries department has successfully hosted two editions of the showpiece Make in Odisha event in 2016 and 2018 with much fanfare to woo investors of all stripes.
Now, the turn is on implementation. Propelled by a mix of Sharma’s canny strategies and a long-term, futuristic vision, some massive investments have already taken off the drawing board stage.
The High-Level Clearance Authority (HLCA) chaired by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the apex body to clear high-value investments exceeding Rs 1000 crore, recently gave the go-ahead to two mega projects proposed in petrochemicals sector by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) with combined outlay nearing Rs 2 lakh crore.
Sharma’s(The Reforms Mascot) next expedition is the third edition of Make in Odisha to be organized in 2020. For reaffirming Odisha’s positioning as a favored investment hub, Sharma and his team are toiling tirelessly to roll out the latest version of Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR) to be unveiled next year.
Loaded with tax sops and incentives, the next industrial policy statement is expected to pitch Odisha on a higher plane compared to other states with respect to alluring the new investors.
Sharma(The Reforms Mascot) has the enviable reputation of being a dynamic officer and a diehard reformist. A lot depends on him to keep Odisha’s growth and investment clock ticking. More power to him!