Rajasthan’s realistic focus made for a ‘Investors’ Summit’ with a difference

Unlike most such summits, the state is said to have worked overtime behind the scene and before the summit to make it a success

Rajasthan’s realistic focus made for a ‘Investors’ Summit’ with a difference

Prakash Bhandari

The focus of the two-day Investors’ Summit in Jaipur last week was more on investment in the MSME sector than on big names and mega investments. While big names like Tatas, Adani Group, Reliance and LN Mittal, the last named a son-of-the-soil in a way, were all represented, Rajasthan government made it clear that it was targeting more realistic investment in the MSME sector.

The approach, say bureaucrats involved with the summit, is expected to ensure that over 40% of the letters of intent and MOUs signed will show results on the ground. The focus, they pointed out, was less on capital investment and more on employment. While big industry will still be investing big in the ‘green energy’ sector, they said, their potential to generate mass employment will be limited because of automation.

Rajasthan has also been awake to the urgency of developing competitive education hubs, medical infrastructure and the hospitality sectors to attract investment. Investors, the sources explained, no longer looked at only policies and inventives and tax holidays. They also look forward to quality of life, education, faster transport and for entertainment.

Industries like textiles, crafts, mining, agriculture, food processing, metals and footwear, sources claimed, had evinced considerable interest at the summit and are expected to draw significant investment.

Rajasthan is also focusing on the petro-chemical complex coming up in Pachpadra in the border district of Barmer. Hindustan petroleum and Rajasthan government’s joint venture company are together setting up a Rs 36,000 crore refinery which is expected to provide 141 types of byproducts for various industries.

Exports from Rajasthan has exceeded Rs 72,000 crore and the attempt is to extend it to Rs one lakh crore with favourable policies of incentives for handicrafts and tourism, explained Industries minister Shakuntala Rawat.

Sivasubramanian Ramann, CMD of SIDBI said the state should create funds for the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small enterprises schemes so that loan guarantee from banks could go up to 90 per cent of the investment from the current level of 70 per cent.

Tata Power announced plans to develop 8000 MW of utility-scale projects, 1000 MW of solar rooftops and 1,50,000 solar pumps in the next five years in the state. Pravir Sinha, CEO & MD, Tata Power said the company, along with its fully-owned subsidiary Tata Power Solar, will expand its presence in Rajasthan to generate clean energy.

Tata Power is also setting up a robust EV charging infrastructure in the state to enable electric vehicles to recharge on the highways. The first such charging station will come up on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway, he informed.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Group too has signed an agreement with the state government to invest Rs one lakh crore in green energy. The L N Mittal headed Mittal group has also submitted a plan to invest Rs 20,000 crores in green energy projects.

Besides new cement plants in the state, the Adani group has plans to invest Rs 65,000 crores in the renewable energy sector. Adani company, AREPRL has also been given 6,115 hectares of land near Pokhran in Jaisalmer region to build a power plant.

“We anticipate investment of an additional Rs 7,000 crore to double our cement manufacturing capacity in the state.” said Gautam Adani. Adanis are said to be eyeing deposits of very high quality limestone from Sanu mines in Jaisalmer district. The group is said to be keen to set up a gas-fired cement plant in Jaisalmer using locally available minerals and water from the Indira Gandhi canal.

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