Pradeep Pattanayak

At a time when the outcomes of the last two editions of Make in Odisha conclaves were not so encouraging, the State government has started preparations for its third edition, inviting strong criticisms from the State units of the BJP and Congress.

As a part of the government’s initiative to create an environment for rapid industrialisation, the government has been conducting road shows. While the industry department had earlier organised an investors’ meet in Dubai and conducted a road show in Ahmadabad, the next investors’ meet is all set to be held in Delhi on August 31. There, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to meet Ambassadors and High Commissioners of as many as 16 countries. 

Now, the question is arising about how much benefit the State would get from the crores of money being spent. This is so because the state has not received any discernable benefits from the previous two Make-in-Odisha programmes. 

As per the information shared by the State Industry Minister in the House, the two conclaves were organised by spending Rs 55 crore. The State received investment proposals worth Rs 6,26,000 crore. Then, it was estimated that the investment proposals would give employment to 7,28,681. 

Disappointing enough, of the total 286 proposals, 164 have been approved. And of them, only 16 proposals worth Rs 5,674 crores have materialized, providing employment to only 5,878. 

“Some 20 lakhs people are going to other states in search of works. This suggests how the government has failed in creating employment opportunities. In the IT sector, the state is yet to get such a big investment as to create employment. At the same time, several industries are also closing down,” said BJP State President Samir Mohanty. 

OPCC Chairman Sarat Pattanayak said, “They (the government) are only making castles in the air. They have failed in transforming their proposals into reality.”

Explaining the plans, Minister for Industries, MSME and Energy Pratap Keshari Deb said, “For investment in the State, we have been going to the people and making them aware of the government’s policies. After Delhi, we will go to Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Raipur and Kolkata.”

According to President of Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) Brahmananda Mishra, the State’s policies are good, but when it comes to reality, they lack their proper implementation. 

“There should be introspection as to why the progress has not been achieved as expected. It is to be found out if we have any shortcoming or if we don’t have the required coordination,” observed Mishra.