Even as the state government failed in its efforts to get car manufacturer Maruti to open its plant in Madhya Pradesh, it is trying hard to woo another automobile company Mahindra and Mahindra to the state.
Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) is considering investing nearly Rs. 3,000 crore to set up an SUV (sport utility vehicle) manufacturing facility in Madhya Pradesh; however, the proposal is at an early stage.
The state commerce and industry minister Kailash Vijayvargiya said company chairperson Anand Mahindra would soon meet chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to discuss the proposed project. "Anand Mahindra is out of the country. He will, however, be meeting the chief minister after his return," he said.
A few days before the global investors' summit, the company officials were shown 500 acres in Bagroda, 20km from Bhopal. While there has been no official announcement during the investors meet, sources said senior company officials are holding talks with the government.
The state government is trying to hard sell the central location of Madhya Pradesh that gives it logistics advantage vis-à-vis other states. The industrial area of Pithampur, once touted as the Detroit of Asia, has failed to attract any fresh investment by any major automobile company for the past many years.
While the government has attracted some investment in the field of engineering and automobile during the recent global investors summit, no automobile major has signed any agreement for setting up a vehicle-manufacturing unit.
Industry association representatives say that the government will have to walk the talk as far as investor friendly policies are concerned.
"Some major companies in the state are still running from pillar to post to get the Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds. The government needs to iron out these issues before it can hope to attract serious investments in the state," an industry association office-bearer pointed out.
Mahindra and Mahindra had acquired the two-wheeler unit of Kinetic Engineering in Pithampur a few years ago.