Several states were present at the recently concluded annual trade fair Hannover Messe in Germany to showcase their offerings to investors. Among them Madhya Pradesh seemed to be the most active with its commerce minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia actively scouting for investments. In an interview with Sandeep Singh, Scindia talks about issues that the Centre needs to address and how the state is progressing on attracting investments. Excerpts:
What are the issues that you want the Centre to address?
I think the GST is a challenge and it will be interesting to see in what form the government brings it. On the issue of land acquisition, we have to see, how we tweak our policies as right now we have a good policy where even diversion doesn’t need to be reported any more. We also have to see how ease of doing business becomes a part of Centre’s policy vis a vis state government’s policy.
Did the recent global investors summit, organised by the MP government, succeed in attracting investments?
After addressing the social issues, the chief minister worked to ensure that road, electricity and water is there for everyone. Once the basic infrastructure was there, we decided to go for our global investors summit. After that we have been doing one-on-one meetings with firms and now I can see investments trickling in slowly.
What makes MP attractive for investors?
We have excess land, power and water. I am also telling companies that we have relatively peaceful labour force and we have not had a single shutdown over last 5 years. I think there has to be a saturation point for other states and if we work hard, there is no reason why a firm will not come here.
The Prime Minister has said that states and Centre are working together as a team, have you benefitted from it?
Yes, the Centre is far more supportive now. We have National Automotive Testing Tracks (NATRAX) coming up near Pithampur on over 3,000 acres. It was supposed to be a 10-year project but it had not seen the light of the day. Over the last three months we have got it back on track and by 2016 it will be done. Also the Coca Cola investment plan was lying in limbo for more than two years and in three months we have got their land and other issues sorted.