India Inc responds warmly to invest in MP

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath

Indore, ┬áThe Indian and overseas industrial captains on Friday responded whole-heartedly to Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s request to invest in Madhya Pradesh by making the most of its central location in the country.

The one-day global investment summit realised much of what he has been promising during the past couple of months to draw from India Inc.

“Madhya Pradesh is situated in the middle of India. We want to cash on this advantage to accelerate investments (in the state) in post Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime,” Nath said while inaugurating the summit.

“You have so far known about “Incredible India”. We are going to put forth the blueprint of “Credible Madhya Pradesh,” said Kamal Nath. He said the conditions for getting licenses to develop colonies have been cut down to five from 27. This should boost the real estate development business.

MP is the first state that has tailored “Land pooling” policy to promote industrial development. He said that Bhopal-Indore Industrial corridor was being developed to expand infrastructure. The state has already invested in boosting the rural economy by waving 20 lakh farmers’ loans to make them the equal partners in the economic growth of the state.

“This summit is not a jamboree or fair where we gather multitude. This is not a summit to go in for memoranda of understandings signing spree,” Nath said apparently taking a did at the previous BJP government which signed hundreds of MoUs with hardly any substantial gain at the ground level.

“We want to talk investments seriously, to join hands with you all (investors) to accelerate industrial development and generate new jobs,” he said,

The first investment summit organised by the Congress government after coming to power last December has received investment proposals worth Rs 1.05 lakh crore, chief secretary SR Mohanty had said. “We have got firm investment commitment worth Rs 1.05 lakh crore after the Nath government came to power last December. These investments are expected to create 2.10 lakh jobs,” Mohanty said.

Industrial units with total investment of Rs 31,500 crore are already underway, he said, adding the state is expecting investments worth Rs 74,260 crore by March from 223 proposals. The previous summit held by the BJP government three years ago had attracted about Rs 5 lakh crore investment proposals but only Rs 1.20 lakh crore of investments were materialised-which is just under one-fourth of the commitment.

On Friday the Kamal Nath government rolled out red carpet to industrialists interested in food processing, logistics, AI and nano-technology.

Reliance Industries, chairman Mukesh Ambani announced setting up of national distribution centres in Madhya Pradesh with over 10 million square feet space across 45 locations.

The company, which has over 600 stores and 100 petroleum retail outlets in the state, is planning to more than double the same over the next few years, Ambani said. “Madhya Pradesh is a natural choice for logistics hub because of its strategic location,” Ambani announced through video conferencing. He said Reliance will also explore investment opportunities in area of renewable energy in the state to promote sustainable development and green economy.

MP has been known for auto, pharmaceuticals and textiles. It will now also focus on agri-processing, metals & minerals, logistics, data centres, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, bio-technology, electronics and design manufacturing.

While ITC plans to set up a modern food processing centre at a total investment of Rs 700 crore, Sun Pharma is looking to expand its two manufacturing facilities in the states.

Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director of ITC, announced the setting up of a new food processing plant in the State. “Land is with us. Design work is going on and we expect production to commence soon,” he said. Besides producing all the famous brands, including ‘Ashirwad’ and ‘Bingo,’ the plant would de-hydrate locally sourced vegetables, to be sent across the country.

Sun Pharma’s Dilip Sanghvi said his company has so far invested over Rs 500 crore in the state. Though, Sun did not have its own manufacturing units in the State, post the takeover of Ranbaxy’s assets in the State, it has two manufacturing units, Dewas and Mallanpur.

India Cement’s N. Srinivasan said work on new cement and grinding plants in the State is in progress. However, his only ‘complaint’ was that his company has not been able to keep up with the State Government’s.

Eleven industry leaders, including Godrej’s Adi Godrej, Bharti’s Rakesh Bharti Mittal, CII chief Vikram Kirloskar, Trident Group’s Rajinder Gupta and others participated in the one-day event.