The foundation of investment projects worth more than Rs 2 lakh crore has been laid in UP through two ground-breaking ceremonies and other events.
By Rahees Singh
During the inaugural address of the Investors Summit held in Lucknow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that change is visible in Uttar Pradesh. This ‘change’ is the result of chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s implementation of the strategy for the development of the state within a year. The PM also said that UP has the potential to become the growth engine of the country, and to make it a reality, he chanted the 5P mantra—potential, policy, planning, performance and progress. The first four are mandatory for the implementation of the last P, i.e. progress. The question is: Whether the Adityanath government was able to fulfil all these criteria? And to what extent was UP able to match this scale in 2019?
The gestation period for materialisation of basic infrastructure is much longer than smaller schemes, and so these are not able to emerge as a brand in a short period of time. But these have the capacity to change the picture of the state. Likewise, the infrastructure on which the government is working on will lead to change, be it Jewar Airport, Bundelkhand Expressway, Ganga Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway, defence industrial corridor to be built from Aligarh to Chitrakoot, waterway from Prayagraj to Haldia, or initiatives being taken in the field of MSME and agriculture. These will prove to be the strongest arteries of the development of the state.
There was a time UP fell under the category of Bimaru states, and it was considered absurd to talk of new hopes, opportunities and possibilities. The way in which the mechanism of political stabilisation and system worked earlier, the state was pushed behind not only in terms of ease of doing business, but also with respect to competitiveness, inclusive and sustainable economy, even though it has been a land full of skills, rich in resources and fertile. CM Adityanath is aware of the economic and demographic potential of the state, and knows that changes cannot be made easily without potential, policy, planning, performance and perfection. So, he focused more on those areas that could enrich financial or economic capital while enriching human capital. It is a different matter that basic change takes time.
The foundation of investment projects worth more than Rs 2 lakh crore has been laid in UP through two ground-breaking ceremonies and other events. These projects range from infrastructure to manufacturing, which are the backbone of the economy. These will also lead to employment for lakhs of people (to mention, till now, about 5 lakh people have got employment from these projects). Along with this, the Business Reforms Action Plan has been implemented under Ease of Doing Business in the state, which makes UP amongst the leading states with a 92.87% score.
The government’s development vision is the One District One Product (ODOP) scheme. Each district of UP is known for a specific product, but neither their capabilities are exploited nor do they get any recognition. In view of this, CM Adityanath decided to present this unique capability of these districts on the national and international stage. After the Investors Summit and the launch of ODOP, the MSME industry of the state became active, and the dependence of rural life on the agricultural economy started to reduce. Accordingly, the situation of agricultural surplus has started to reach the corresponding ratio. As a result, not only the output of the rural economy per unit increased, the proportionate output per capita also increased, resulting in an increase in per capita rural domestic produce. It is natural that villages and districts together started moving towards a self-sufficient economy. It also provided an opportunity to move towards the establishment of socio-economic justice, along with inclusive and sustainable development of the state. This is the reason why the PM commented on ODOP, saying that while we were familiar with the cluster approach, ODOP can create a holistic economic system.
PM’s vision is to make India a $5-trillion economy by 2024-25. Recently, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the US that the goal is realisable. But the important thing here is that the path to achieve this goal will pass through UP. Therefore, CM Adityanath has prepared a vision to achieve the target of $1-trillion economy for the state. He also believes that UP can feed the entire world by producing foodgrains on its fertile land. For this, he has started holding meetings with the World Bank, ADB, IIM Consultant Forms and PwC. The government has identified potential areas—development of industrial clusters near major cities; skill development according to clusters; support and suggestion of local-level educational institutions, universities, engineering colleges, management institutes; and creation of posts like a mayor or CEO for each cluster. In fact, there is constant monitoring from the CM’s office on the steps taken for the clusters, and setting timelines for each goal. So that the development is inclusive, district-wise GDP (gross district production) evaluation has been arranged.
Infrastructure is a lifeline for any economy. The defence industrial corridor will prove to be a lifeline for Bundelkhand in the coming times. Both the Purvanchal Expressway and Bundelkhand Expressway will expedite industrialisation in these regions. The proposed Ganga Expressway, Jewar Airport and the proposed Logistics Hub will provide momentum to the economy. The Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors will enrich the state’s rail connectivity, thereby increasing the inflow of investments and speed of exports. For the past several decades, tourism in UP was proportionately far behind. But Kumbh and Deepotsav not only connected the state with the Indian faith across the world, but also connected the spiritual economy to tourism economy, and converted it into a formal economy. Tourism should be established as a multiplier of economic growth, and when the spiritual economic circuit of Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura, Vrindavan is complete, it will give a new look to UP’s economy.
Overall, under CM Adityanath’s leadership, the environment of development, trust and order has helped UP move towards both Ease of Doing Business as well as Ease of Living.