Yogi Adityanath is on a mission—a mission to revamp the raggedy state of Uttar Pradesh into a major industrial hub. He is leaving no stone unturned to fulfill the mission and now news reports have come in that the state government is in touch with about 100 US companies that want to leave China due to the ongoing Wuhan virus crisis.
Uttar Pradesh officials held a webinar with 100 US firms in which many leading names like Adobe, Boston Scientific, UPS, etc. participated. Speaking to HT, the state cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh said, “The US has a significant investment in China. Prime Minister and Chief Minister want to use the opportunity where industries are moving out of China and see how they can be brought to India, especially to UP. Video-conferencing was held with over 100 American companies yesterday, in a webinar. They’ve shown interest,”
The companies participated in the webinar along with a team of senior officers, including industrial development commissioner Alok Tandon and principal secretary, MSME, and exports, Navneet Sehgal, represented the state.
At the webinar, the US companies were told about Yogi Adityanath’s sector-specific policies mainly in the defense, pharmaceuticals, food processing, electronics, and education sectors.
These developments come at the back of CM Yogi’s foresight decision a couple of weeks back where he had directed the bureaucrats to prepare a special package that could be offered to these companies, in addition to the existing benefits.
Reported by TFI, the CM had emphasized and directed the industrial development and MSME department to formulate a package for these companies, which could be offered in the second round of the investment garnering exercise.
The Yogi government has organized various investor summits and expos in the last few years to attract private investment. And these events have been quite successful, with the promise of investment worth 4.68 lakh crore rupees in UP Investor summit and more than 70,000 crore rupees in the defense expo organized a few months ago.
Uttar Pradesh has the existing capacity to replace China as the ‘factory of the world’ with a population of 22 crores and a young demography. Unfortunately, the state did not have an investment-friendly government before but with the arrival of Yogi, things have been moving rapidly.
The first thing Yogi fixed was the state’s fragile policing system. The government made a good investment in policing and increased the budget by double digits.
With the investment in policing and political backing, many encounters of the criminals were carried out and the corrupt leaders who extorted money from industrialists were put behind bars.
The Yogi government’s administrative efficiency has been at full display amidst the Wuhan virus pandemic where despite being the most populous state in the country, UP has been able to keep the number of cases in check, unlike the major metropolitan cities.
The opportunities are presenting themselves and it’s not limited to the US companies. Many other countries like Japan and South Korea are also jumping the sinking ship of China in the wake of Wuhan virus cases.
Japan has already earmarked US $2.2 billion to help its manufacturers shift production out of China. Similarly, Hyundai Steel and several other South Korean majors are all set to shut their China factories and are looking for new shorelines to put their anchor down.
Now, it is the right time for India to build consensus among states & centre on important legislations and welcome companies with open hands. By removing red tape, giving one window clearances, easing land acquisition norms, and revamping labor laws—states like UP can be best prepared to welcome these companies.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the state chief ministers to explore the possibility of attracting investments from companies exiting from China and that they should have ready strategies to welcome industries on a state-level.
And while a proactive CM like Yogi Adityanath whilst taking a cue from PM Modi’s call is looking to influx the state with foreign companies’ investments–even in the wake of a deadly pandemic, then there is a CM like Nitish Kumar.
Forget trying to woo any company to the state’s backyard, the defeatist leader has not even shown any sort of urgency and imagination to make the best of such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Both Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have similar geography and a similar set of obstacles but in the end, it all boils down to the leadership and if it is willing to take the gambit to uplift the state and its people from the trench of uncertainty and poverty. While one is coming out with flying colors, the other is plunging the state into misery year after year.
The Yogi government must be applauded for transforming the state from nightmare for industrialists to heaven for law-abiding companies. We are hopeful that his untiring efforts for the state might soon bear fruits.