Day ahead of investment summit, Odisha govt draws Opposition’s flakhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/day-ahead-of-investment-summit-odisha-govt-draws-oppositions-flak-5441077/

Day ahead of investment summit, Odisha govt draws Opposition’s flak

While BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said the Opposition's statements reeked of "jealousy", the state government's industries secretary Sanjeev Chopra said the investment implementation in Odisha has been "fair".

Day ahead of investment summit, Odisha govt draws Opposition's flak
In its eighteenth year in power, the BJD and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (in pic) intend to showcase MIO as proof of a business-friendly, job creating regime. (File)

The Odisha government’s flagship investment summit, Make in Odisha (MIO), has come under criticism from opposition parties, who claimed that there has been poor implementation and very less investment has materialised so far. The biennial event’s second summit will start on November 11.

In its eighteenth year in power, the BJD and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik intend to showcase MIO as proof of a business-friendly, job creating regime. The summit is expected to be attended by 800 top industrialists, including Mukesh Ambani and Kumar Mangalam Birla, as well as investors from Japan, China, South Korea, Italy, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Odisha BJP general secretary Bhrugu Buxipatra on Saturday slammed the government’s investment record. “They said MIO 2016 will bring investment worth Rs 2.3 lakh crore, but only eight per cent has materialised.”

The party cited State Investment Potential Index (SIPI) data by the New Delhi-based think tank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), which ranked Odisha at 17, six spots down from 2017. According to the index, Odisha slipped in land allotment, infrastructure and labour.

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Calling the MIO “propaganda piece”, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik said, “In the last eighteen years, a lot of MOUs have been signed. Very few materialised and many of among them have quit, including POSCO.”

While BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said the Opposition’s statements reeked of “jealousy”, the state government’s industries secretary Sanjeev Chopra said the investment implementation in Odisha has been “fair”. “Our investment intent (since 2016) was actually Rs 3 lakh crore from 124 companies, of which 76 are in different stages of implementation,” Chopra said.

However, according to the Commerce Ministry’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, the state’s rank slipped to 14 last year from 11 in 2016 in terms of ease of doing business.

Chopra said, “These (ranks) are like college cut-offs. When we were rank seven, we had 52 per cent compliance (with DIPP requirements) and now we are rank 14 with 92 per cent (compliance).”

Meanwhile, Purushottam Kandoi, president of the Kalinga Nagar Industry Association & All Odisha Steel Federation, claimed that “local politicians are harassing existing units under the guise of labour unions in some places”.