By Vishnu Bisram and Pawan Upadhyay
The State of Uttar Pradesh, India, rolled out the welcoming mat on February 21 and 22 for investors from the Indian diaspora.
Uttar Pradesh (UP) is the largest state in India; it is from where the largest number of indentured laborers were sent to work on plantations in the Caribbean. It is also among he least developed states in India. The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is seeking investment from abroad, particularly the UP diaspora, to promote development. The state hosted the two day summit to attract investors and to honor prominent individuals from UP. Vishnu Bisram, one of the co-authors of this article, traces his roots to UP and is currently in India.
The two days summit is aimed at showcasing investment opportunities across various sectors in UP. The mega event brought together heads of states and governments, ministers from India and other countries, leaders from the corporate world, senior policy makers, heads of international institutions and academicians from around the world to further economic development in UP. The goal is to make the state investment friendly informing the world that red tape would be removed to encourage businesses to investment. Former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday was invited as a keynote speaker but he could not travel, and instead sent a taped message. The former Prime Minister of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth was a keynote speaker.
The investors’ conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. And President Ram Nath Kovind was scheduled to to attend the valedictory function on Thursday. There were several prominent industrialists from around India.
In his comments, Modi said the Maharashtra state government has set the target to become the first state to achieve the trillion-dollar economy tag. He challenged UP to compete with Maharashtra to achieve the target of trillion-dollar economy first. He said “this kind of competition will lead to development and generation of employment. Besides, this kind of healthy race will strengthen the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism”.
The PM Modi announced Rs 20,000 crore defence corridor for the Bundelkhand region to bring development in one of the most backward regions of UP. He said this is expected to generate employment avenues for 2.5 lakh people. The PM added that UP has a vast potential for progress and development.
The PM’s mantra is four PS — potential, policy, planning and performance. Modi said that “holding investor summit in UP and congregation of industrialists from all over is sign of big change.” He said the four Ps leads to progress.”Modi also said that “Uttar Pradesh has values and virtues, but it also needs value addition.”
The PM stated that the Yogi government has overcome media and investors negativity about the state and shown a ray of hope to people with positive changes. The prime minister also said that international airports will come up in the districts of Jewar and Kushinagar.
Yogi Adityanath welcomed the 5000 guests at the UP Investors Summit, telling them, “I have complete faith that Uttar Pradesh will move on a high growth path with your support, trust, and blessings.”
Several promises were made by top industrialists for the development of UP, which has so far been recognized as one of the most underdeveloped states of the country.
Figures released by he Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said UP has attracted investments worth Rs4.28 trillion (RS 65=$1). The CM has signed 1,045 pacts for that total value. The CM said: “It is a matter of pride for the state that fortune-500 companies are participating in this summit. I want to tell you all that till now we have signed 1,045 MoUs worth Rs4.28 lakh crore. I have recently presented budget of Rs 4.28 lakh crore and the figure of MOUs signed is the same… We are heading towards new UP,” Adityanath said he would himself oversee that the MoUs signed are executed, and those who are coming to invest in the state get all the facilities.“I welcome all the guests including industrialists. With PM’s guidance and blessings, UP is heading towards development and shedding its bimarutag.
We are trying to become developed. PM’s guidance helps us in good governance and taking the state on path of development”.
The state is going all out providing various facilities to attract foreign investors particularly from the UP diaspora that is very strong in the Caribbean, North America, and UK, among other places.