Yogi Adityanath government is yet to complete its first full year in office. But the saffron-clad chief minister has so far taken many bold steps. A year before 2019 General Elections, the latest from Yogi is the Uttar Pradesh Investors’ Summit 2018 in the state capital Lucknow. In a state infamous for crime, red-tapism and bureaucratic ills of all sorts, Yogi’s effort at organising a gathering of India’s top industrialists speaks a volume about his intent.
This is also first such large-scale investors’ summit in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow. His predecessor Akhilesh Yadav organised such events in Mumbai, Delhi, and Agra – cities frequented by people from across the globe – but not in Lucknow. Akhilesh’s predecessor Mayawati had organised one event to woo investors in Mumbai but without much success. Yogi’s predecessors never attempted such a large-scale investors’ summit. UP industry minister Satish Mahana recently told Hindustan Times that only Rs 80,000 crore was invested in the state in the last 15 years.
For the summit, Yogi government worked overtime to roll out the red carpet for industry honchos at the two-day event. The government also organised six roadshows ahead of the summit. Yogi himself attended one such event in Mumbai.
In the past, major investors had stayed away from the state fearing poor law and order and also red-tapism. The new government has promised to change the situation.
The crackdown on criminals in the past one year has also worked positively for the image of Uttar Pradesh outside the state. As UP Police’s Additional Director General (Law and Order) Anand Kumar told IANS that perception about the state is changing. “We have clear-cut directives from the government that rule of law has to prevail and that criminals cannot be allowed to have a free run,” he told IANS, adding police actions have instilled fear in criminals.
“The message is clear – people of the state will be given safety and security at all costs and the criminal element will not be spared,” Kumar told the news agency.
Probably for the first time in the state, the government has recognized that big money cannot come to the state in the prevailing atmosphere of fear of criminals and extortionists.
— CM Office, GoUP (@CMOfficeUP) February 21, 2018
Ahead of the investors’ summit, the state government had already signed over 900 MoUs and over 200 CEOs of national and international firms had accepted chief minister’s dinner invite.
In the inaugural session of the summit on Wednesday, the top leaders of the industry pledged over Rs 88,000 crore investment in the state. These included Reliance Jio – Rs 10,000 crore; Adani – Rs 35,000 crore; Aditya Birla groups – Rs 25,000 crore; Essel Group – Rs 18,750 crore; Mahindra & Mahindra – Rs 200 crore.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inaugurated the summit, said Rs 20,000 crore will be invested in the state to develop India’s only second defense industrial corridor in the state. This will be developed in the impoverished Bundelkhand region, generating job opportunities for 2.5 lakh people.
Some years ago,there was only one word to describe Lucknow city: Dirty.
Amazed to see its transformation into a clean city today.I asked if this was due to the investor summit..My local colleagues assured me it was not.They said it has become one of India’s most liveable cities!
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) February 21, 2018
CM Adityanath announced that fortune-500 companies were participating in the summit and 1045 MoUs worth Rs 4.25 lakh crore were signed by the government and industry. Proudly, he announced the value of the MoUs was equal to the Rs 4.28-lakh crore state Budget tabled recently. However, the bigger challenge for him starts now. That is to help UP realise the commitments made by the industry.