While the Madhya Pradesh government is rolling out the red carpet for Chinese investors, the industry is upset over government’s apathy towards problems of the existing industrial units.
The government proposes to develop an exclusive zone for Chinese companies in the country-specific industrial zone in Pithampur. The government is offering state-of-the-art infrastructure and special incentive packages to the Chinese investors, including exemption of entry tax, stamp duty on leased land for seven years and tax incentives.
‘Existing infrastructure in Pithampur is not up to the mark’
“On one hand, the government is offering world-class infrastructure for the exclusive Chinese zone, but at the same time the existing infrastructure in Pithampur is not up to the mark. Water shortage, frequent power cuts, especially in the special economic zone results in production losses,” said an industrialist, who did not wish to be named.
Pithampur industry association president Gautam Kothari said that the state government should ensure a level-playing field for the existing industrial units. “Foreign investment is welcome but it should not come at the cost of the local industry. At the same time the government needs to focus on early solution of water crisis and ensure uninterrupted power supply,” he said.
‘Success of proposed Chinese zone depends on industrial infrastructure’
Experts say the success of the proposed Chinese zone depends on industrial infrastructure. “Apart from industrial infrastructure, the key will be to develop social infrastructure such as shopping complexes, schools and health centres,” said former Confederation of Indian Industries’ MP council chairman Girish Mangla.
A state industry department official said that the government is taking steps to improve the quality of power supply and Narmada water supply project for Pithampur that will solve the recurrent problem of water shortage. The Narmada water supply project is expected to become operational in 2018.
A high-level delegation led by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited China last week as part of a road show to woo potential investors ahead of the Global Investors’ Summit in Indore in October 2016. The state government has invited Chinese investors to attend the investors’ summit and set up industrial units in Madhya Pradesh.
The government has already signed a MoU worth $1 billion with Sany group of China with the Chinese company expressing interest in investing in the 500 MW wind energy sector and building industrial infrastructure.