Fearing poor response in investment meet, UP’s Industry Minister disowns investment figure

UP Industry Minister Satish Mahana has disowned the figure of ₹2.53 lakh crore as expected investment in the Investors Summit-2018 slated for Feb 21 and 22, as reported by some media houses

Biswajeet Banerjee

The much-hyped Investors Summit-2018 slated for February 21 and 22 in Uttar Pradesh is mired in controversy, as Industry Minister Satish Mahana has disowned the figure of ₹2.53 lakh crore as expected investment, saying he does not know from where this figure came.

“I do not know about this figure (₹2.53 lakh crore) as expected investment in UP. I have not given this figure to anyone. Somehow, this figure has been communicated to the media,” Mahana said in Lucknow. He said the government is not giving any figure of expected investment but expects a good response from industrialists in the Investors Summit-2018.

His statement is strange as it was the Industry Department which had issued a press release on December 29, 2017 saying that UP expects an investment of ₹2.53 lakh crore. The said release had quoted Industry Minister Satish Mahana and had even given a break-up of proposed investment "In the road show held in Delhi, we received proposals for ₹27,000 crore, in Banglore for ₹6,000 crore and in Hyderabad for ₹11,500 crore. Mumbai was the most fruitful where proposals worth ₹1.25 lakh crore were received, the release said. The Times of India and Financial Express, among others, carried these details in news reports.

On February 12, the Minister disowned the statement saying he had no idea how this figure has been circulated. The denial came almost one and a half months after the Industry Department had issued a press release, and when just over a week is left for the mega event.

Insiders in the Industry Department told this reporter that initial response of investors was encouraging and the minister and Industry Development Commissioner (IDC) Anul Chand Pandey believed that flow of investments would be good. “As the days are coming closer, the officials now realize that investments would not be of that magnitude. Bad law and order and the communal riots in Kasganj have made investors retrace their steps,” he claimed.

The official said that the clarification from the Industry Minister was just a cover up.

If UP fails to attract investments it will be a great set-back for the state as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to inaugurate the proposed Investor’s Summit while the President of India Ram Nath Kovind will deliver the valedictory function. Captains of Indian industry will grace the occasion.

Government spokesman Sidhartha Nath Singh said that the Chief Guest on February 22 will be Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who will address over 5,000 delegates and 1,200 executives.

“This will be one of a kind show which will be attended by industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, Kumar Mangalam Birla, M Chandra Shekhra, Subhash Chandra, GM Rao and representatives from other industrial houses like ITC,” he said.

He said former President of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth and Deputy Minister from Thailand Mrs Thatima will also attend the summit. Netherlands, Japan, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and Mauritius will be international summit partners.

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