Sending positive vibes about his government’s seriousness towards fast growth in Madhya Pradesh through domestic and foreign investments, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday wooed investors.
“In this age of competition, growth and prosperity could come only through investments and we are serious,” the CM said at the inaugural session of the two-day Investors’ Meet at Hotel Clarks here.
Ten Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) involving nearly Rs 16,000 crore were signed on the first day of the meet. While five MoUs amounting to Rs 14,650 crore were inked in the power sector, the rest five were on textiles, IT, food, hotel and agro sectors. (See table).
Reiterating his statements made earlier in Singapore, Malaysia and recently in Delhi, he told the participants that they were not merely investors, but the nation’s pride.
Highlighting resources of MP, Chouhan said: “If diamonds and marbles are available in the State, we would like to have the processing industries too, rather than letting the business go to some other states.”
Emphasising development of tribal areas, the CM announced that the government would provide free land to investors intending to open educational institutions in these areas. For a primary school, he said, the government would provide one acre of free land, and for middle, high and Plus Two schools, two, three and five acres, respectively. For technical and professional institutions, 10 acres of land would be given.
Exhibiting flexibility in government’s attitude towards investors, the CM said necessary amendments could be made in the industrial policy, so as to remove bottlenecks. “Our policy is industry-friendly and infrastructure is our thrust area,” he asserted, reminding that he would be available to NRI investors every Monday.
The CM set the tone for the first meeting of state-level advisory council which deliberated strategies to make investments work and peg growth rate at 15 per cent.
The council decided to form a task force to identify important sectors to bring in investments and prepare a roadmap for the same. One of the important decisions taken was related to disposal or re-utilisation of land of closed SSI units vis-à-vis strengthening of the SSI sector. The council decided to set up a land pool, so that the government does not have to get into searching land, after an investor approaches.
The issue of dual taxation in industrial areas was taken up and it was decided to waive it off and remove any kind of disparity in taxation. The council decided on setting up of SEZs in health and education sectors. A review mechanism would be created to review mega investment projects.
The CM said that an official would be designated for monitoring. He ensured that while industrial development would be the main agenda, the interests of farmers would not be over-looked.
Later, speaking to the Hindustan Times, Chouhan said: “Investors have seriously shown lots of interest in the session, so are we. We’re exploring all possibilities and have asked ministers and officials concerned to work on feedbacks, so that the faith, which we could instill in investors could actually turn out in our favour.”
Commerce & Industry Minister Babulal Gaur said nearly Rs 400-500 crore would be pumped into development of roads. “We’re upgrading our airports, with two as international ones, which would improve connectivity,” he mentioned. Gaur, who was a trade union leader, said it is the peaceful labour scene, which makes MP different from other states. The Minister said the State Government would be on a round-the-clock service to redress investors’ problems. “Our thrust is on opening an R&D centre and IT centre in Bhopal,” added Gaur.
Summing up, Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni said: “The competitive edge of MP was not adequately projected in the past and we want to correct that situation,” he asserted.
MPSIDC managing director through a 10-minute documentary showcased the potentialities and opportunities of MP. In the interaction session that followed, NRIs tried to know about policies in specific sectors.
MoUs at a glance:
Company Sector Investment
Abhishek Industries Textile 936
LT Overseas Ltd Foods 60
Netlink Software IT/ITES 60
Cosmo Bio-Fuel Agro-industry 30
Oberoi Group Hotels (Tourism) 100
JP Associates Power 2000
Torrent Power Ltd Power 4000
Aryan Coal Benefication Power 2250
Kedia Power Ltd Power 2400
SJK Pvt Ltd Power 4000
(Figure in Rs crore)