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New Delhi, Aug. 4: The state today held Momentum Jharkhand, a curtain-raiser for the Global Investors’ Summit in Ranchi in February 2017 to create a buzz around big business opportunities.
Chief minister Raghubar Das, backed by a battery of senior officials from the state, tried to hard-sell what they called attractive industrial policies, conducive infrastructure support and easy availability of resources in Jharkhand.
Organised at a posh hotel in central Delhi at a cost of about Rs 6 crore, Momentum Jharkhand in Delhi, like previous similar events in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, was a mix of hits and misses.
The hits included Raghubar Das’s candour, the state’s recent investment pacts worth about Rs 1 lakh crore, some endorsements by captains of the industry, a much anticipated healthcare sector revival, a bureaucracy that, on the face of it, looked approachable and open-minded about addressing the sceptics present in the audience.
Not to forget the flying elephant logo and the www.momentumjharkhand.com website that chief minister Das launched today.
The misses were the absence of marquee names such as industrialist Gautam Adani, who looks set to set up a fertiliser plant worth Rs 33,000 crore in Jharkhand, Union commerce minister Nirmala Sitaraman and department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) secretary Ramesh Abhishek.
But, Das was ready to woo those present, including Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman R.S. Sharma, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) director-general Chandrajit Banerjee, Quattro Global Services chairman and managing director Raman Roy and others, with candid charm.
“The state has long been struggling with its image due to political instability and corruption issues, but our government has overcome that negative baggage,” the chief minister said. “We are offering an industry-oriented policy, easy availability of land, plenty of natural resources and human resources, all the ingredients that are required in any sector,” he added.
Chief secretary Rajbala Verma pointed out that 27 investment proposals-worth Rs 1 lakh crore-had been received across key focus sectors of mining, IT, education and healthcare, after similar events in three other major cities.
Industry secretary Sunil Kumar Barnwal said apart from signing some crucial agreements with global corporations like CISCO and Oracle to impart skills to prepare for the technology-leveraged future, the state also had hopes of investment from firms like Tech Mahindra, HP enterprise, Infosys and ACC Cement.
“Healthcare majors like Narayana Health (Narayana Hrudayalaya chain of hospitals) and Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, both headquartered at Bangalore, have also promised to set up institutions in the state, apart from giants in the mining and steel sector which remains our core strength,” Barnwal told The Telegraph. “We are hoping that the main event in Ranchi on February 15 and 16, 2017, sees investors from around the globe who are keen to come and set up their businesses in Jharkhand,” he added.
Trai chairman Sharma and CII director-general Banerjee also advocated the state’s rising potential.
Roy, the CMD of Quattro Global services, who is regarded as a pioneer of the Indian BPO sector and who attended the event as the National Association of Software and Services Companies vice-president, also called Jharkhand a “state with a lot of potential in the IT and ITeS sector”.
But, he gave a rider. “It also has to go a long way. To tap local youth in these sectors, the state has to have the right approach and policies and a business friendly environment,” Roy told this newspaper on the sidelines of the event.
There were some sceptics too.
“I know of some defence enterprises that are considering opening centres in the state, but security remains a concern. We will see how the state government helps us,” said Raman Sopory, founder president of the Defense Consultants Associations of India.
The government claimed it was “a matter of perception” that held back big-time investments in the state known for its unbeatable mineral resources.
A senior official, however, conceded it would be a challenge to get big-ticket investments take off the ground due to the “troublesome political culture and a history of chronic crony capitalism”.
“We are offering a plethora of incentives and are ranked at number three among Indian states (after Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh) in business reforms implementation according to a World Bank survey sponsored by the DIPP in 2015, but that’s probably not enough to draw industry giants to the state as yet,” he admitted, adding that power shortage and lack of skilled local manpower are major issues that many corporate houses raised from time to time. “We need to address that and are getting good signals. Roadshows like these are generating some buzz around investment possibilities in the state,” the bureaucrat said.
Ref : The Telegraph