Kamal Nath banks on Investment Meet at Indore to draw investors to ‘Magnificent MP’

Shivraj Chouhan claimed to have attracted industrial investment of over ₹17 lakh Cr. Not even 2% of it was met. Now MP under Kamal Nath, an industrialist, as CM is setting a more realistic target

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath

Chandrakant Naidu

A certain degree of scepticism has persisted over the claims by successive government in Madhya Pradesh. After a long time, an industrialist and a former union minister for commerce and industries is assuring a quantum jump in the investment and employment through big-ticket industrialisation. Can Chief Minister, Kamal Nath, dispel the pervading cynicism over investments in Madhya Pradesh?

The strike rate of the preceding government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan through the past 15 years had been far from encouraging. Apart from the smaller investment meets in the regional towns in the state, three major summits in the commercial hub of Indore in 2012, 2014 and 2016 were held at an average cost of ₹70 crore.

The first investors’ summit after the ascent of Congress government tagged as “Magnificent MP” is being organised at Indore on Friday at a cost of about 30 crore Rupees, less than half the cost that the BJP Government had incurred in hosting similar meets. Kamal Nath has promised a much higher yield. More significantly the promise of 70 per cent jobs to the sons of the soil should help the state address the issue. The feasibility of the 70 per cent jobs was doubted by many. Kamal Nath said Bengal, Andhra and Kerala have secured a higher quota of jobs from the investors.

The government has invited 900 industrialists to attend the summit and each of them is expected to bear the cost of stay. The industrialists are also expected to maintain their mobility in Indore and other place at no cost to the government, said an official spokesperson, unlike in the past.

The government has claimed that an investment of 12,000 Crore is already in the kitty. Kamal Nath is said to have used his networking skills to get 35 major industrial houses from India and abroad including Reliance to invest 12 000 crores in MP.

Unlike in the past when the government used to have all investment plans under one umbrella, the focus will be on nine core sectors this time around. Each sector will get a format tailored to its requirement.

Consent has so far been obtained from India Cement Vice-Chairman N. Srinivasan, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and Rasna Group MD P. Khambata. NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will inform industrialists about the industrial progress and investment opportunities in the state.

There are 125 industrialists in the VVIP gold class category who include Adi Godrej from Godrej Group, Pranav Adani from Adani Group, Sanjeev Bajaj from Bajaj Fin Serv, Ganesh Krishnamurthy from Hindustan Uni Liver, Kazuya Nakajo from JETRO, Japan, Ashok Sharma from Mahindra & Mahindra, Tanmay Chakraborty from TATA Sons, Madhusudan Gopalan from Procter & Gamble, Sanjeev Puri and Chittaranjan Dar from ITC, Vikram Kirloskar from Toyota Kirloskar, S Shandilya from Eicher Motors, Sandeep Garg from Welspun, and Sanjay Behi from Raymond.

Government sources say proposals in different stages of consideration and finalisation for the foreign investments are expected to come from: 1 Israel Avgol: 1,250 Cr.

2. Brazil Fitesa: 350 Cr.

3. Japan Bridgestone: 400 Cr.

4. Norway Statkraft: 1000 Cr.

5. USA Parpharma: 375 Cr.

6-Israel Treva pharma: 258 Cr.

7. USA Case New Holland 162 Cr.

8. USA Teneco automotive 90 Cr

9.USA P&G expansion 500 Cr

The statistics on industrial investment and growth as in farm output have often been disputed.

It was claimed that in excess of 6,800 proposals translating into ₹17,50,000 crore were made during Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan's chief ministership. In more than a decade, the inputs did not cross ₹50,000-cr mark on the eve of the assembly elections in November last year.

BJP struggled to stimulate the industrial sector. The state’s share in the country’s industrial output fell from 3.6% in 2003 to 3.2% in 2014, data from the old GDP series showed.

Several major projects signed during the previous global investors summits (GIS) in 2012 and 2014 failed to materialise as the government prepares ground for the summit this year.

The Jaypee Group had promised an investment of ₹35,000 crore during GIS 2014, mainly to set up a microchips manufacturing facility. The company was to invest ₹18,000 crore through Jaiprakash Associates in the first phase but the venture has remained a non-starter. Sahara Group had inked a deal in 2012 to invest ₹20,000 crore but the projects failed to take off.

During GIS 2012, Sahara Group had inked a deal with the state government to invest ₹20,000 crore in dairy and agro sector but the projects are yet to take off.

Some other major projects announced during GIS 2012 have been kept on the back burner. Spokespersons of automobile company Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) had shown interest in investing nearly ₹3,000 Ccrore to set up a SUV manufacturing facility in MP. Company authorities were also shown 500 acres of land in Bagroda, 20 km from Bhopal. But the company refrained from signing an agreement with the state government.

Similar major projects such as Delhi-based Surya Global’s foray into cement sector and Hyderabad-based Suryachakra Group’s investment in the power sector were shelved after agreements were signed due to delay in mining permissions.

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