Promising best of facilities to industry, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday made his maiden investment roadshow in the financial capital here that saw India Inc committing to pour Rs 33,000 crore into the most populous state.
Yadav also appealed the investors to look at the ground situation and not be guided by perceptions which say the state has law and order problems.
“I want to call you to invest in UP and I will be giving all the facilities,” Yadav told an audience comprising key executives from Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla Group, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, RP Goenka group, the Tatas and Adani Group, among others at the UP investors’ conclave.
He said over 40 agreements have been signed as part of the summit, which entail an investment of Rs 33,000 crore and create employment for 1.50 lakh people in the state.
The commitments were led by Japanese electronics major Toshiba Power, which is building a 660-MW thermal power plant at Harduaganj at an investment of Rs 3,500 crore, while others who signed agreements included Korean electronics major LG, Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular, Godrej Agrovet and ITC.
On sectoral basis, infrastructure sector leads in the agreements signed, with Rs 13,405 crore, followed by Food and Agro processing at Rs 6,630 crore and manufacturing at Rs 6,150 crore.
From the public forum, milk cooperative Amul announced an investment of Rs 600 crore. Telecom gaint Idea Cellular said it will invest Rs 500 crore and power solutions provider Jackson Power said it will invest Rs 500 crore.
With questions being raised repeatedly over the actual investments on the ground following the mega announcements at such summits, Yadav said he is confident of money flowing in, as all the companies which have signed agreements already have a presence in the state in some form.
It can be noted that a slew of Indian states have started organising such mega events to attract investments following the successes achieved by Gujarat over the last decade.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who led the Gujarat model, has now been speaking of the need for the states to compete with each other for investments for the benefit of its people.
In the past, other chief ministers including Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal have held similar meeting in the city.
Yadav said UP has an efficient bureaucracy that will ensure ease of doing business, and also pointed out that having the largest population also makes his state the biggest market in India.
He also sought to correct some inaccuracies, pointing out that his state is the largest milk producer in the country and not Gujarat. Similarly, he claimed that UP is also ahead of Maharashtra in sugar production and can compete with Punjab on wheat production.
Yadav also sought to change perceptions of his Samajwadi Party, which has for long been accused of being averse to liberalisation, market integration, and against technology.
In support of this, he said UP government has distributed over 15 lakh laptops across the state and also sounded very open to the realities of the market.
“Ever since markets have integrated, trade has also been integrated. Every Government is looking for investment,” he said, adding that investment will come to those where the sentiments are good, policies are better and the market opportunity is big.
On the policy front, he said even as a debate ensues nationally over land acquisition, UP has successfully acquired land to build an over 320-km expressway between Agra and Lucknow, and rued that nobody is asking his government for its experiences in making this possible.
When asked as to why he has come to Mumbai seeking investments, Yadav retorted saying he will take this issue before the Prime Minister.
With migration from UP into industrially developed states still a contentious issue, Yadav made light of a specific question on whether he expects people from Mumbai to return.
Citing the example of Mumbai BJP leader turned UP Governor Ram Naik, he asked, “where has the Governor of UP come from.”