Madhya Pradesh is looking to emulate Rajasthan’s model of successfully setting up exclusive industrial zones for Japanese and South Korean companies in Neemrana in Alwar district.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is scheduled to visit the two countries in September end, will be armed with a detailed proposal for setting up similar exclusive industrial zones on 1,200 acres of land earmarked in Pithampur near Indore for this purpose.
The state government has recently taken back a portion of the 4,100 acres of unused land that was allocated for auto-testing track project.
“The MP government’s proposal to Japan and South Korea to set up exclusive industrial zones on 1,200 acres land is a copy of a similar zone operational in Neemrana in Rajasthan. The government will have to build world-class infrastructure to attract these investors,” CII Madhya Pradesh state council president Girish Mangla said.
And, the similarities don’t end there. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Development Corporation has identified both the Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana and the Pithampur-Dhar-Mhow as as the priority investment region and some early bird projects are already underway.
However, where Rajasthan scores over MP is that Neemrana has a developed industrial and social infrastructure.
“Madhya Pradesh has a lot of catching up to do in terms of infrastructure development. The positive factor is that Japanese companies have already invested in Pithampur. Basically, both Japanese and South Korean investors look for safety and so they avoid certain states where there is unrest,” Pithampur industry association president Gautam Kothari said.
In Neemrana, authentic Japanese restaurants like Daikichi cater to hundreds of Japanese expatriates. Residential complexes have also been built exclusively for Japanese employees. “The trick basically is to make them feel at home,” Kothari added.
The CII too is of the opinion that infrastructure development will be key to the state government’s initiative.
“The availability of land has attracted investments from Japan while South Korean companies, which are large players in Indian market, are keen to have manufacturing bases in India,” Mangla said. “However, the key will be development of social and other infrastructure such as shopping complexes, schools and health centres.”
The state industry department is feverishly doing the groundwork for the chief minister’s visit. “We have prepared a detailed project report (DPR) for exclusive industrial zones for Japanese and Korean investors with an estimated investment of `570 crore on infrastructure development,” an official of Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam Indore said.