Rajasthan investors summit set to kick off on Friday; state eyes Rs 10.44 lakh crore as investment

The summit is set to provide it with the much-needed economic boost in the wake of COVID that slowed down the economy

Getty images
Getty images

Prakash Bhandari

To attract investments to the state, Rajasthan will host an investment summit in Jaipur beginning on October 7.  The summit is set to provide it with the much-needed economic boost in the wake of COVID that slowed down the economy.  

Rajasthan will join some of the biggest and most prominent states from India that have recently concluded their respective investor summits offering lucrative trade and investment opportunities to the government as well as domestic and foreign private entities. Except for Gujarat and Karnataka, few states have been successful in luring investments in the post-COVID economic climate despite signing MOUs for investment, government sources said.

“In the past, the various investment summits organised by various states turned out to be a farce with only 20 to 25 per cent of MoUs signed bringing in investments. Even Gujarat’s percentage of success in converting the MoUs into reality did not exceed 40 per cent. Yet it was successful in selling its idea of the Gujarat model. We have adopted a different mode and before holding the two-day summit, officials of the Rajasthan government were able to hold negotiations with the potential investors and were successful in assuring itself of a 40 per cent success rate. Thus, before the investor’s summit, we have managed to convince the investors of the opportunities in Rajasthan and now they would be coming to the conference to sign investment agreements and not just MoUs,” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said.

Gehlot said that out of the Rs. 10.44 lakh crore of MoUs and Letters of Intent that are being signed, Rs. 1.93 lakh crore has been in the process of investment. The chief minister said Gautam Adani, L N Mittal, Anil Agarwal, C K Birla, Prabir Sinha of Tata Power, Kamal Bali of Volvo Group, and Ajay Shriram of DCM would be participating in the summit.

Successive governments in Rajasthan have organised investor summits, but according to Gehlot all these summits proved to be a farce, and barring a few most of the MoUs signed just could not move an inch beyond the paper level. “Two past summits organised by the Vasundhara Raje government proved to be unsuccessful with not a single investment coming through,” he claimed.

The Ashok Gehlot government remains unfazed by the recent political developments in the state and claims to have learned from experience and has worked specifically by focusing on sectors where Rajasthan enjoys an edge over others. “We are assured of a 41 per cent success post our MoUs as the state has been able to complete all the necessary formalities in finalising deals in 520 out of the 4,192 MoUs and some 1,160 MoUs are being processed for positive results. This Investment Summit would not be a summit to showcase the opportunities available in Rajasthan, but it's going to be a submission to sign the final agreement to set up a manufacturing base in the state,” added Gehlot.

Shakuntala Rawat, the Rajasthan Industries Minister said that the state has adopted a new approach to the core area where opportunities are high. “With all our efforts we would be able to get 57 per cent of our targeted investments in the energy sector, 18.2 per cent in the petrochemical sector, 9.5 per cent in textiles, 5.9 per cent in petroleum and gas, and five per cent in cement,” she said.

According to the World Bank, India was one of the 15 countries worst hit by the pandemic; the country's economy is projected to have slowed by 3.2 per cent in 2020-21. Despite the challenges, numerous state governments, including Rajasthan have continued their efforts to attract investments by holding investment summits.   

Rajasthan is the first state that has made investments easy for the MSME sector with a three-year rebate on the Inspection Law enacted by the state government. Its active investor outreach programme, Invest Rajasthan, consists of domestic, national, and international investor meetings, embassy link programmes, and virtual seminars. The objective of the programme is to solicit investment proposals, process them in mission mode, and bring them to completion. It will celebrate the realisation of investment ideas by inaugurating finished projects and laying the groundwork for new investments.

The state is also eyeing to become a large contributor to India’s dream of achieving 500 GW of green energy with Rs. 10.44 lakh crore investments coming by way of solar only. With an abundance of desert land, Rajasthan will continue to draw investments in solar and wind energy development. Currently, the state generates 14,500 megawatts (MW) of solar energy; by 2030, that number will reach 100 gigawatts (GW). Thus, with the Union government's objective of 500 GW by 2030, Rajasthan would generate 100 MW on its own, contributing 20 per cent to the country's target by 2030, making it a strong and unequalled brand in the solar arena.

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