Gujarat’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: UP govt woos NRIs with 5 Metro projects

By: | Updated: January 7, 2015 1:11 PM

Showcases its NRI dept ahead of congregation

On the eve of the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), which is being held in Gujarat for the first time from January 7-9, political one-upmanship is on display.

At a media briefing held by the Uttar Pradesh state government, Madhukar Jetley, adivsor to the Uttar Pradesh government for NRI department, said the Akhilesh Yadav-led UP government has started working on five metro rail projects, including one in Varanasi, the constituency which the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, represents in the Lok Sabha.

“In last two years since the new government was formed in Uttar Pradesh, we have started working on five metro rail projects including one in Varanasi, whereas the metro work in Ahmedabad is yet to take off despite promises. We have set up the NRI department in May 2014 to facilitate NRI investment in Uttar Pradesh,” he said. He added that the entire project of five metro rails in cities, including Varanasi, Lucknow and Agra, would require an investment of about Rs. 2.5 lakh crore.

Recently, Uttar Pradesh government had put up posters and billboards across Ahmedabad at strategic locations, inviting people who would be visiting the state for the upcoming PBD as well as for the Vibrant Gujarat summit to invest in Uttar Pradesh. Several of the posters with the tagline “UP Rising” and a picture of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were brought down by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation citing technical reasons. On being questioned on the controversy following it, Jetley said, “If they have removed the posters, then Gujarat government must be scared of Uttar Pradesh. If Chinese President is welcomed to Gujarat, why not the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh? This year we will have a Pravasi Uttar Pradesh Divas as well and it will be hosted in Uttar Pradesh every year on same day on the lines of PBD.”

He further added that amongst all the Indian diaspora across the states, Uttar Pradesh has the largest number. “The growth rate of Uttar Pradesh is 6.8%, which is higher than the national average, and the total investment in MSMEs is Rs 20,000 crore in last two years. We are also looking at turning vintage and heritage properties into hotels to boost tourism. In power generation, the government has set aside a budget of $3.15 billion for transmission, $ 2.68 billion for distribution and $1.15 billion for renewable sources of energy during the current plan,” he added.

Akhilesh Yadav is expected to preside over the Uttar Pradesh-specific session in PBD to be held on January 9, 2015.

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