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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Only three companies have so far have commenced production since the first Make in Odisha conclave held two years back. According to the State government, as many as 124 industries gave proposals during the event held in 2016 out of which foundation stones have been laid only for 64. Interestingly, 15 out of these 64 were done on November 3 alone.

In 2016, the state government granted 30 acre land to Geetanjali Gems, founded by relative of tainted industrialist Nirav Modi for setting up a gems factory at a cost of Rs 636 crore at Ramdaspur near Cuttack. However, during a curtain raiser programme to Make in Odisha 2nd edition, which scheduled to be held in a few days’ time from now, the state government today said that it has cancelled the deal with Geetanjali Gems.

“Geetanjali Gems had submitted an application for setting up a gems park and we had allotted land to them. But their application has been rejected; the land allotted to them has been taken back while their invested amount has been forfeited,” IDCO CMD, Sanjay Singh said during the event.

Secretary of department of Industries, Sanjeev Chopra said during the last Make in Odisha conclave, 124 proposals had come from different sectors with investment of around Rs 2 lakh crore and at present 65 percent of those proposals are in different phases of implementation and approval.

Most importantly, while a government delegation recently toured six foreign countries and organised road shows ahead of the Make in Odisha conclave this year, much to the surprise, it is not sure of investment proposals from Italy, South Korea and China.

However, the government has assured that investment proposals during this year’s Make in Odisha will be granted approval through single window clearance mechanism within 20 days.

Meanwhile, Opposition has targeted the state government over the Make in Odisha conclave.

Quoting an RTI report, the BJP has said that while the state government had spent Rs 20 crore for organising the first edition of the event, 80 percent of the expenditure was meant for advertising.

“This is just a way to divert funds of the state government and the people of the state. It is in no way profitable for either of them,” said Odisha BJP Spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra.

Congress too alleged that the conclave has turned out to be a good medium for embezzlement of funds.

Congress leader Sarat Rout said many fraudulent industries come up and misuse the funds of the state government. “In reality there is no Make in Odisha, it is like ‘Make in Money’ for leaders of the ruling party,” said Rout.

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