Odisha slips in investment potential rankings

Bhubaneswar: A month after Odisha dropped in the Ease of Doing Business rankings, an investment potential index survey published by the National Council for Applied and Economic Research (NCAER) revealed that the State has taken a sharp plunge, triggering sharp political reactions and concerns ahead of the Make in Odisha Conclave scheduled to be held in November.

The State Investment Potential Index, an annual survey report published by the NCAER has placed Odisha at 17th position which is 6 places lower than last year.

The rankings of the index were done based on four broad categories: factor-driven (land and labour), efficiency-driven (infrastructure), growth-driven (economic climate, political stability and governance), and perceptions-driven (responses to the survey).

While Odisha slipped four places in terms of labour index, it dropped five places in infrastructure, seven places in land index. The state has only moved higher by four places in economic climate index.

In July earlier this year, Odisha slipped three places – from 11th to 14th -in the annual business ranking of States and Union Territories released by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Experts believe that, while the state government is blowing its own trumpet about good business and investment-friendly ecosystem to attract investors and industry players, these rankings paint an exactly opposite picture.

State’s Industries Minister Ananta Das has however said that the state government is not responsible for the lower rankings.

“I think that probably the investors have not invested due to which the state’s rankings declined, but I don’t think that the government is anyway responsible,” said Das.

On the other hand, the decline in the investment potential rankings meanwhile has given a new reason for the Opposition to target the ruling-BJD.

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Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik said that the state government does not back away from providing land to new industries but remains unconcerned whether that infrastructure is put to use or not. “Besides, at times we have also seen government’s ruthlessness while shutting down an industry for political gains. Amid such a backdrop how would business and investment boom in the state,” Patnaik questioned.

Similarly, ridiculing Industries Minister Ananta Das’ comments, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said it is just an attempt by the state government to hide their failures.