Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that Jharkhand has finally got its politics and economics right. “In the past, the political priorities were quite different. And, therefore, even though investments kept trickling in, the desirable progress could not be achieved,” Jaitley said while speaking at Jharkhand’s first global investors’ summit. Jaitley added that corruption, coupled with political instability, too was one of the main reasons for Jharkhand remaining a laggard state.
“In fact, there was a time when a thought prevailed that people could win elections without economic development, through some sort of social engineering. Thus, development took backseat. The very desire to have a separate state, to be able to manage one’s own affairs, was a result of that,” said Jaitley. He further added that Jharkhand was among the rare states which had manufacturing in its core; having the capability to grow at 4 or 5 per cent ahead of the national average.
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A bevy of central ministers and industry captains, including Ratan Tata and Vedanta Group’s Anil Agarwal, as well as representatives from different countries attended the state’s maiden two-day Global Investors’ Summit.
In the presence of Ratan Tata, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das reminded the audience that 105 years ago, on February 16, the first steel bar in India was manufactured in the plant established by Jamsetji Tata in Jamshedpur. He underlined how the state has created the right eco-system for investment in the last two years bringing in reforms in governance, laws and taxation, besides formulating new policies in at least 16 different sectors.
Das also announced that the state would hold a three-day Pravasi Jharkhand Divas on November 28, 29 and 30 in 2018 and another global investor summit in 2019-20.
Recalling his first job at Jamshedpur, Ratan Tata said that Jharkhand has great potential and called upon corporates to seize the investment opportunity. “India will have to widen its industrial base and Jharkhand is one such place. With a government keen on development, we must embrace this opportunity,” said Tata.
Born and raised in the state, Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal said: “Ye mere liye ghar wapasi hai (this is like homecoming for me). One of my company’s top representatives was supposed to come here. But CM called me up and the sincerity in his voice was such that there was no scope for refusing”. Vedanta Group would invest Rs 1,000 crore this year, he said. Agarwal added that he wanted the MSME sector to join it in various initiatives as this sector is usually the engine of growth.
Other industry captains present were Jindal Group’s Navin Jindal, KM Birla of Aditya Birla Group, Rajesh Adani of Adani Group, Shashi Ruia of the Essar Group, among others. While Jindal claimed that he never had any problem in running the steel plant in Ramgarh, Birla promised investments worth over Rs 1,000 crore, besides another Rs 750 crore in cement manufacturing. Adani is already working on ultra-mega super-critical power plant in Godda.
Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the Sahebganj multi-modal port, coming up as part of the Inland Waterway Development, would open up gates for cost-effective business with the Northeastern states.
Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Information & Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu urged Jharkhand to go full throttle saying: “You have a CM, who is mindful, and a PM, who is helpful. What more do you require.”
Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is also the brand ambassador of ‘Momentum Jharkhand’ appealed to the investors to join the state’s journey in taking a leap.
Over 9,000 delegates from 26 countries, including four partner countries — Japan, Czech Republic, Tunisia and Mongolia -— attended the meet.