Akhileshs pitch to investors: UP is safe, open for business

Written by Deepa Jainani | Lucknow | Updated: Jun 9 2014, 14:32pm hrs
With just three days left for the Investors Conclave in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, along with knowledge partner Ernst & Young (E&Y), is doing everything he can to make the show a grand success, both in terms of investment as well as sending a tough message that the CM has not lost the plot of the state.

The June 12 conclave is an acid test for the Akhilesh Yadav government, which is facing bad press over deteriorating law and order situation.

The gruesome rape and murder of two sisters in Badaun district has made it worse for the government, drawing sharp criticism from UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon and US State department deputy spokesperson.

Speaking to FE, chief secretary Alok Ranjan, however, sounded buoyant. Everything is going as per schedule. About 150-odd companies, including top names likes Philips, ITC, HCL, HPCL have given their approval for attending the conclave along with representatives of 7 embassies. We have firmed up talks with about 15-20 investors who will be signing MoUs worth Rs 25,000 crore on that day itselfand several more investors, who would be attending the meet, are likely to sign MoUs after the meet, he said.

According to sources, among those signing MoUs are the Essel group, which alone is expected to invest approximately Rs 20,000 crore in the state, while HPCL will sign an MoU for investing Rs 500 crore. Apart from these, several other investors are also likely to sign MoUs with the state , taking the final investment figures in the range of Rs 25,000-26,000 crore.

The state has been at the receiving end for the abject breakdown of law and order in the state, post the Badaun rape and murder incident.

Perhaps anticipating that this would be the most vocal concern at the conclave, the CM has been working overtime for the last few days, taking some tough measures to bring in a semblance of control in the state. The industrys major concern has been the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and in order to address their concern, the state government has gone into a mass transfer of police officials.

As many as 42 IPS transfers have been affected in a single day on Saturday.

This is perhaps the governments way of sending positive vibes across to the industry and saying that all is not lost. UP has immense advantages and strengths which we will leverage, along with our new policy reforms, said another official.

The main challenge is to clear the perception that UP is a bad state. Building confidence among investors will be the key move, added the official.

This event will also for the first time see CM Akhilesh Yadav going all out to sell his state to investors over a power breakfast. For UP, its a do or die situation. We need to break the myths surrounding it, added the official.