MoUs worth Rs 4.28 lakh-crore signed on first day of UP Investors Summit 2018 | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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MoUs worth Rs 4.28 lakh-crore signed on first day of UP Investors Summit 2018

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Uttar Pradesh’s mega investor summit open on Wednesday, top industry leaders pledged investments of over Rs 88,000 crore in the state during the inaugural session of the meet.

lucknow Updated: Feb 21, 2018 23:38 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi/Pawan Dixit
Umesh Raghuvanshi/Pawan Dixit
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UP Investors’ Summit,CM Yogi Adityanath,Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking at the inaugural session of the UP Investors' Summit-2018.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT Photo)

The Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit-2018 began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the country’s second defence equipment manufacturing corridor with an expected investment of Rs 20,000 crore in the state, covering parts of the industrially backward Bundelkhand region, and chief minister Yogi Adityanath announcing the signing of 1,045 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth Rs 4.28 lakh crore.

That includes pledges of investments of Rs 98,000 crore in the state over the next few years by top businessmen including Mukesh Ambani. Gautam Adani, Kumar Mangalam Birla, and Anand Mahindra.

“Out of the two defence corridors proposed in the union budget, one will be set up in Uttar Pradesh,” Modi said after inaugurating the UP Investors’ Summit-2018 at the Indira Gandhi Pratishthan in the state capital.

The government had earlier announced that it would develop two such corridors. The first of the two, announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech, is being built between Chennai and Bengaluru , connecting Kattupalli port, Chennai, Tiruchi, Coimbatore and Hosur.

While Adityanath assured top industry leaders he would personally monitor the roll-out of all memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and remove bottlenecks, if any, to expedite the process of setting up industrial units in the state, the PM made a pitch for competitive and cooperative federalism.

The PM said Maharashtra has set itself the target of becoming the first state to achieve the trillion-dollar economy tag.

“Can there be a competition between Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra on who will achieve the target of trillion-dollar economy, first? This kind of competition will lead to development and generation of employment. Besides, this kind of healthy race will strengthen the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism.”

Both states will have to do a bit to reach the target. Data from the Central Statistics Office shows that the Maharashtra economy was sized at around $308 billion and the UP one at $172 billion in 2015-16.

Only data for UP is available for 2016-17 ($196 billion).

Modi also launched Nivesh Mitra, an entrepreneur friendly application to enhance ease of doing business in UP. The digital portal has features such as one payment gateway that will quicken digital clearances.

Among the CEOs who committed to investing in the state over the next few years are Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani (Rs 10,000 crore through Reliance Jio), Adani Group’s Gautam Adani (Rs 35,000 crore), and Aditya Birla Group’s Kumar Mangalam Birla (Rs 25,000 crore).

Meanwhile, the federal government also announced significant public investments.

Union minister for transport and national highways Nitin Gadkari said that his department would begin road projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore in Uttar Pradesh very shortly, building five lakh kilometre new roads and national highways.

He also said the development of waterways could be a game changer. “The ongoing Rs 54,000 crore Varanasi-Haldia waterways project will transform UP’s economy,” he claimed.

Union commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu referred to UP’s one-district, one product policy and said it would help in the state’s branding. He also spoke of various initiatives being taken by the Modi government to ensure investment flowed in states like UP that offered “huge potential.”

The summit will conclude on Thursday with President Ram Nath Kovind attending the valedictory session.