Video: State Govt is being looted with ease on pretext of industries in MIHAN: B C Bhartia

Nagpur: The ‘ambitious’ MIHAN Project grabs headines for one wrong reason or another. The Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) was set up to attract industries and job generation. But all seems to be lying in cold storage. “The State Government had allocated Rs 1000 crore for infrastructure in MIHAN. But there was no move to attract industries. Only pouring of money will not bear fruit. MIHAN infrastructure is not only for one or two industries and its officers and their children. The project is for the local youths who have migrated to other cities and states for better future. Government should create suitable atmosphere so that the mingrated youths should return to their home town for jobs. Otherwise, there is no use in development of MIHAN. Moreover, following no development worth the name in MIHAN, many industries turn to Mumbai, Pune or any other city,” lamented B C Bhartia, National President of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). Bhartia was interacting with Nagpur Today over various aspects of development of MIHAN. “Nagpur should become a world class city with all facilities. Then only industries would come here,” he stressed.

To a question on few industries and more IT companies in MIHAN, Bhartia said that the IT companies have come hear to reap tax benefits. “The local youths have migrated to Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Gudgaon, Noida and other cities and working in IT sector there. The local youths are not being inspired or encouraged to make their future in the IT sector in MIHAN. What is being seen is far from ground reality. The IT companies that have come to MIHAN have eyed prime lands at cheaper rates apart from tax benefits. This aspect needed to be pondered seriously,” the CAIT President said.

Bhartia further stated that had the State Government allocated Rs 1000 crore for development of Butibori MIDC instead of infrastructure in MIHAN, it would have been a ‘wise’ move. “It is always better to develop whatever you have instead of craving for new things. Why Butibori, Hingna, Mauda industrial areas not being developed of world standards? The government is only ‘grabbing lands of farmers in the name of industries. The industires too get shut down. At least farmers would have done farming and earned income. But the government is indulging only in ‘branding’ and ‘publicity.’ Taxpayers’ money is being wasted,” Bhartia claimed.

Giving an example, Bhartia said that Patanjali was given land at throwaway price. “The government is being looted in the name of industries at MIHAN. The government is also facilitating its loot. Cheap lands, tax benefits but no monitoring of progress! Government is not bothered about industries coming in time, job generation for locals. I support the statement of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that 80 percent of jobs would be given to locals. The thinking is right. Despite a large number of colleges in the region, the local youths are not being groomed. For this to achieve, education system needs to be reformed. We are producing only peons. ‘Gifting’ of farmers’ lands at cheaper rates is wrong. The government can give land free of cost but at the same time it should ensure boost in its economy, taxes and productivity as well. Local youths must get employment. Local products must get markets. Government coffers must swell. Then only development happen. When we go out and witness industries, one thought comes to mind: The government talks a lot but the ground reality is totally different,” Bhartia lamented.

“The government should not focus only on MIHAN but also explore mining and minerals, tourism sector for increased employment. Job opportunities must be created for tribals through forest produce,” the CAIT President suggested.