The Vyapam scam fallout, which has tarnished the image of the state government, will not have any major impact on the investment climate for now, say experts.
However, investors might feel jittery if chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, known for his pro-industry attitude, is forced to step down.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Global Investors Summit at the Brilliant Convention Centre in Indore in October 2014.
With the Vyapam scam getting murkier by the day and Congress party baying for his blood, the CM has said that a ‘trial by media’ will only hurt the economic prospects of MP, which is outpacing the national growth rate.
Experts say that there will be little impact in the short term. “Business will go on as usual, and I don’t see any major impact on the investment climate due to the scam. However, if the CM were to step down, then that could have an adverse impact,” industrialist and former chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Madhya Pradesh Ranjan Mimani said.
Madhya Pradesh was an industrially backward state in 2003 when BJP took over the reins from Congress. The gover nment subsequently improved the industrial infrastructure and came out with a slew of measures including single window system to improve ease of doing business.
The investments started flowing in after a mega investors meet was held in Indore in 2007. During the Global Investors Summit ( GIS) in October 2014, captains of industry had pledged an investment of 5.79 lakh crore in the state.
Sources say that many industrialists who had a one-to-one meeting with the chief minister decided to invest after getting assurances on speedy implementation of projects.
However, the Vyapam scam is casting a shadow on all the good work done by the government over the past few years.
“The government is on defensive (due to Vyapam scam) and so will not be able to take any bold decisions. On paper, governance is a continuous process, but when a new chief minister comes then there is a major bureaucratic reshuffle. As long as there is no change in the leadership, there will be no major negative fallout,” Dewas Industry Association president Ashok Khandelia said.
Talking about the Supreme Court directive on CBI probe, an industrialist requesting anonymity said, “CBI already has a huge backlog and it will take many years before any convictions are made in the case. So, in a way, the CBI probe is a positive development for the CM.”
Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan president Gautam Kothari said that Vypam scam has affected the morale of the industry to some extent but will not have any major impact.