The recent Jat agitation in Haryana dampened proceedings on the first day of the ‘Happening Haryana: Global Investors Summit’ in Gurgaon Monday, with several speakers expressing concern over the impact such unrest could have on the confidence of investors.
“Before anything else, investors always look for security and a stable law-and-order situation and I would be dishonest if I did not say that recent events in the state did cast a shadow on that front. We support you and the state must ensure civil liberties are not encroached upon and the people’s social liberty and the social fabric is held intact,” said Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra and Mahindra.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was the chief guest at the event, reiterated the point and suggested long-term solutions to such “social challenges”.
“We must bear in mind that when social challenges emerge, one of the principal reasons they emerge is on account of inequalities between communities, regions or different sets of people.
Therefore, this development that is taking place in some geographical parts of the state has effectively to be addressed in some other parts of the state. I think it is extremely important that the network of educational institutions in those parts of the state be expanded,” he said.
Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu, meanwhile, highlighted the consequences such social unrest could have on investment. “What happened in the recent past in Haryana should never be allowed to be repeated.There is nothing wrong in making a demand, asking for anything, but there is a democratic method and everybody has to follow otherwise the name will be spoilt,” he said.
Elaborating on the idea of individual cases impacting the image of the whole, he added, “Some people are discussing about some universities. There are 740 universities in the country, 737 university students are focusing their attention on study, academic excellence only, nothing else, everything is peaceful, but because of happenings in some places, the image is gone.”
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal also spoke of the Jat agitation in the context of the doubts it created in his mind with regard to the two-day summit.
“Many people in and outside the government asked me to reconsider holding this summit. They felt that we would not get the response we were hoping for from our investors’ community. For a while, I wavered. but then I knew that right action was to carry on with the summit. natural calamities, and law-and-order disturbances are risks always in all locations of the world. What really matters is how the government responds. I was confident we had done the right thing by our people and our investors in the most challenging times in the history of Haryana,” he said.
The summit, however, did manage to secure major investments, including an MOU of Rs 110 crore from the DLF Foundation and three MOUs worth Rs 45,000 crore from the Gurgaon-based M3M Group, which emerged as the largest Indian investor. The largest global investor was Chinese real estate giant Wanda which committed approximately Rs 60,000 crore.