DESCRIBING UTTAR Pradesh as an “irresistible destination for investors”, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said the economic future of India lies with states such as UP.
The President was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a defence industrial corridor for the state at the event.
The President said that with the UP government showing determination in facilitating environment for investors and starting to implement a business reform action plan, such “changes have boosted the confidence of investors”. He added that the state “comprises one of the largest workforces as well as consumer markets not only in India but anywhere in the world”.
Calling the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax as a “milestone”, the President said it has “broken down barriers between states” and taxes has become smoother. In the last three years, there has been a sharp rise in FDI from $ 36 billion in 2012-14 to $ 60 billion in 2016-17, he added.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the summit has not only “restored faith” of investors, but is the beginning of a new era for UP. He said the summit, which saw the participation of 6,000 delegates from 10 countries and 120 speakers in 32 sessions, has put forward UP’s “unlimited potential” before the country. It has given a new identity to the state nationally and internationally, he said.
Earlier in the day, speaking at the session on ‘Defence and Aerospace Opportunities’ in UP, the CM referred to UP as the “biggest market of the world”. He said that investors should come to UP because of various reasons, including its close proximity to Delhi, expressways and highways, existing airstrips in Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi and new airports coming up at Jewar and Kushinagar, second largest number of medium, small and micro industries in the country and now the defence corridor.
Promising all possible facilities to the investors, who would show interest in the defence corridor, the CM said his government will come up with a new policy in this regard.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who could not make it to the session on banking, attended the closing ceremony. “It is a big initiative in changing the entire agenda of UP,” he said. He said that under Adityanath, “change has started coming in UP’s economic condition”.
“A leader is one who has the capability to take decisions… investors see Yogi Adityanath has the capability to take strict and bitter decisions…,” said Jaitley, adding investors also see the speed in which decisions are taken.
“At the same time, an investor likes to invest where there is no corruption and no challenge to law and order… the way law and order has been established in the state in last 11 months… people now believe even this is possible,” said Jaitley. He advised the government to convert at least 20 cities like Noida and Lucknow, which would act as the “engine of growth” for UP.
On the defence corridor, Jaitley said: “…Defence industry is a specialised industry, which needs technical staff… the state government should plan engineering institutions, which can give required trained manpower for upcoming industries…” Along with tax concessions, industry will also look for trained labour and thus, focus should also be on skill development, he added.
Governor Ram Naik said the summit will be written about in golden words in the history of UP’s development. When investment would start coming in, people would not have to go to Mumbai and live in slums to earn their living, he said.
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