Published On : Fri, Jan 9th, 2015

Maharashtra to observe 2016 as Digital Year, declares CM Fadnavis at PBD, woos investors


Nagpur: The glittering podium of the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) being held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, turned into a “cut-throat competition” among Chief Ministers of many a state. The Chief Ministers did not miss the opportunity to play the role of one-upmanship and presented their States as the best destination for investments in an array of fields.

Chief Ministers of states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Haryana and Jharkhand spoke as part of a seminar ‘Investment Opportunities in States’ held during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and left no stone unturned in wooing the investors attending the event.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis declared that next year (2016) will be observed as a digital year in the state. “We are going to invest around Rs 1 lakh crore towards infrastructure in Maharashtra. We are also creating 6-7 small urban centres with investment opportunities. We are also preparing a better IT policy and next year will be digital year for Maharashtra,” Fadnavis said.

Talking about its growth plans and admitting that Punjab did not grow as much as it should have, the state’s chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, stated that under the new central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab was working towards development.

“We want to bring Punjab on the top in industrial production. In several places, it is single window clearance. We have moved ahead from it to ‘single person’ who will be assigned duties of all departments,” said Badal while inviting the Indian diaspora to invest in Punjab.

Heating up the competition, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that his state had altogether formed a single door policy instead of a single window.

“My peer Parkash Singh Badal may have spoken of single window clearances, but we don’t need any window in Madhya Pradesh. We have in fact made a single door policy. Every Monday I meet investors along with my officials and quick decisions are taken,” Singh said.

Taking it further, Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh post-bifurcation, stated, “The others talked about single window and single door. We are relatively new state after bifurcation. It is difficult for us to compete with others. Hence, we will use computers. We will introduce single desk for investors to help them have complete access to information online.”

Anandiben Patel, chief minister of Gujarat highlighted on the government’s plan of making Gujarat a ‘smart state’ with emphasis being laid on ‘smart schemes for welfare’, ‘smart economy’ and ‘smart governance’,

Manohar Lal Khattar, chief minister of Haryana, on the other hand, highlighted the presence of multi-nationals like Suzuki, Honda, IBM, Harley Davidson, Hollister, Agilent, Nestle, Harvel, Siemens, Denso, Yakult, and Danone, among others, manufacturing products like passenger cars, two-wheelers, cranes, earthmovers, tractors, bicycles, sanitary ware, white goods, and footwear in the state.

“Haryana Government has made special provisions for the NRIs through policy and institutional mechanism. Up to 10% of the industrial plots in each industrial estate, set up by the HSIIDC, are reserved for allotment to NRIs and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), and for units with 33% or more FDI in total investment,” Khattar said while inviting NRIs to invest in the state.

Haryana also proposed hosting the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Gurgaon.

“Gurgaon is located just five kilometers from the International Airport of New Delhi and is counted among the highly developed cities of the country. It is my humble request to the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to give us the opportunity to organize the next ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ in Gurgaon, keeping in view the ultra-modern facilities available there,” Khattar added.

Meanwhile, calling for removal of regional imbalances and lopsided development, Rajnath Singh, home minister, Government of India asked the states to engage in healthy competition and co-operation.

“We want to do away with regional imbalances and lopsided development. Ours is a co-operative federalism and not a competitive one. There could be difference of opinion but there can’t be disunity. We have to work with collective wisdom,” Singh added.