Make in Odisha conclave: What’s buried in fine print?

Bhubaneswar: While the State government had a target of receiving investments worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore during the current edition of Make in Odisha conclave, the announcement that a whopping Rs 4.19 lakh crore worth of investment intents have been received has forced many to take it with a pinch of salt.

Proposals worth Rs 2.36 lakh crore have been received in mining and other allied sectors and most of them have been from Central government enterprises. Interestingly, the ruling-BJD staged demonstrations in front of the offices of the central PSUs a few days back alleging that they failed to provide jobs to youths in the State.

The largest investment assurance of Rs 70,000 cr has been received from West Bengal-based Haldia Petrochemicals. “JSPL assured Rs 69,950 crore worth of investments and Rs 43,000 crore from a Taiwanese company,” said Sanjeev Chopra, Industries department secretary.

Mahanadi Coalfields have assured Rs 58,797 crore, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) Rs 41,040 crore, Nalco Rs 37,861 crore and Indian Oil Corporation Rs 10,273 crore. The Industries department has stated that four central PSUs will create 1.15 lakh jobs for youths of the State.

Despite the fact that State government spent lakhs of rupees to send its delegates to Italy, Germany, Saudi Arab, South Korea, China and UAE, it failed to attract investments from these countries, said sources.

The State government has received an investment assurance of Rs 46,000 crore from foreign countries.

According to sources, after Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan held talks with CPC Corporation from Taiwan which has reportedly agreed to invest Rs 43,000 crore in Odisha.

However, the State government is hesitating to name the Taiwanese company which has assured investment in the State during the conclave.

BJP said the State government is trying to fool everyone.

“The Union Minister had met a delegation of the Taiwanese company earlier. They had come and visited the State. Now the State government is not mentioning their name. It is an attempt to hoodwink people of the state and it is telling blatant lies only,” said Golak Mohapatra, BJP spokesperson.

When the ruling-BJD said the Central PSUs are not providing jobs, how it could ask them to set up business here, Mohapatra added.

Countering the allegations, Industries Minister, Ananta Das said, “Be it the Central government or Central PSUs, they are not providing BJP funds. It is not the personal property of anyone. We are all working for Odisha as well as the country.”

Sources said Tata, Jindal, Vedanta and Steel Authority of India (SAIL) have assured for investments for project expansion only and there have been no substantial investments in new projects.

On the other hand, experts opine that the State government might face challenges in providing single window clearance to so many investment proposals.