‘Make in Odisha’ proves damp squib

Bhubaneswar, Nov 30 (IANS) Despite the hype, the ‘Make in Odisha’ initiative of the state government to woo both domestic and foreign investors has failed to show tangible results so far.

The Odisha government has attracted proposals for investment of about Rs 1.61 lakh crore in the last two years. However, except for the Gitanjali Gems Ltd. proposal, no other company has come forward to invest, said a state official.
The government has given in-principle nod to Gitanjali Gems Ltd. to set up a private industrial park spread over 100 acres and investment of Rs 685 crore over seven years at Ramadaspur in Cuttack.
As many as 43 companies have shown interest to set up industries with investment of Rs 1,61,629 crore in Odisha.
While 14 companies evinced interest to invest Rs 70,956 crore at ‘Make in India’ week in Mumbai in February, the state government received assurances on investment of Rs 90,670 crore at ‘Invest Odisha’ meet in Bengaluru in August.
Meanwhile, Odisha has slipped to 11th position among all states in terms of ease of doing business.
It has slipped four places compared with its ranking released in September 2015, according to the study conducted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the World Bank.
“The state government should focus more on small and medium industries instead of large industries. The large industries are promising to invest in the state. But they do not come eventually. These are only publicity stunts,” said Ramesh Mahapatra, President of Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI).
With the state government organising a three-day Make in Odisha conclave at Bhubaneswar from Wednesday, Mohapatra said he does not think much will come out of it.
“I do not think much will come out of the conclave. It would be better if the government concentrates on small and medium industries,” Mahapatra said.
Large industries are also facing several bottlenecks in the state. While some are facing raw material shortage, some industries are confronting land acquisition and other legal hurdles.
While Arcelor Mittal has already withdrawn its project in Odisha, South Korean steel behemoth Posco, touted to be the largest foreign direct investment in India, is non-committal over its $12 billion steel project at Jagatsinghpur.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already admitted that the Posco project is a failure for the state government.
“There have been several failures like Posco, which is the biggest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country. This is because the central government changed its policies of giving mines,” the Chief Minister had said.
The state government has signed memorandums of understanding with 92 companies to set up industries with an investment of Rs 5.68 lakh crore.
Of the 92 projects, 46 have commenced partial or full-scale production with an investment of Rs 2.53 lakh crore, Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra had informed the state assembly.
–IANS
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