Ruling-BJD hindering Odisha’s development: BJP

Odisha has approved only 61 of the 202 investment proposals under the 'Make in Odisha 2.0' and the State's investment-friendly climate claim is questionable

Bhubaneswar: A couple of days after Odisha government approved five big ticket investment proposals worth Rs 2.04 lakh crore in chemicals, petrochemicals and metal downstream sectors, the State BJP today launched a scathing attack on the ruling-BJD alleging that the State government is intentionally delaying implementation of Central schemes and projects for vested political interests.

The saffron party further alleged that projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore is still pending due to lack of support from the Odisha government. On September 22, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Talcher fertilizer plant in Odisha and said that the Centre is committed to take the nation to newer heights of progress with renewed energy. However, the fertilizer plant got the high-level clearance from the Odisha government only after one year. Similarly, the Rs 78,000 crore Haldia Petrochemicals Limited (HPL) plant also faced delay in getting approval from the State, alleged the BJP.

Speaking at a press conference here at the party headquarters, Odisha BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty alleged that the State government is not giving clearance to Central projects like Rs 56,563 crore worth of highway projects, Rs 12,286 crore worth of railway projects, Rs 1970 crore-Bhadrak Textile Park project, Rs 200 crore-Paika Rebellion memorial project and NTPC’s Rs 10,000 crore project in Talcher. Besides, Rs 15,413 crore and Rs 560 crore investments in non-petroleum and Healthcare sectors are still awaiting Odisha government’s approval, said Mohanty.

The State government is not giving approval to several projects as it fears that PM Modi may take away the credit and his popularity will grow in Odisha. “It reflects shallow politics of the ruling-BJD,” Mohanty added.

Responding to the allegations of Mohanty, BJD MLA Amar Satpathy said that the Rs 2 lakh crore investment proposals of the State government are for the development of the State. “Those criticizing the proposals taken up by the government are just trying to show the State in a bad light,” said Satpathy.

As per reports, the State government has reportedly approved only 61 investment proposals out of the 202 that came to the State during ‘Make in Odisha 2.0’. Besides, the State has reportedly signed 301 MoUs in the last 10 years, however, work has been initiated only in case of 51 MoUs.

Meanwhile, experts believe that economic slowdown is the main reason behind the lack of interest among investors to come up with investment proposals in the State. Senior journalist Dilip Bisoyi said that more and more investors are attracted towards the State because they somewhere know that Odisha has an investment-friendly environment.