By: Vivek Shukla
The once laid-back Uttar Pradesh is shedding its image where nothing works due to political interferences and rank corrupt bureaucracy. Well, it is fast emerging as not only among the favourite investment destination in India, but it is also implementing projects swiftly. When it comes to implementation or under implementation of projects, it is only second to Maharashtra. In FY22, work on projects worth Rs 17.31 lakh crore were under implementation or in the final leg of implementation in Maharashtra. And if we talk about the Uttar Pradesh, according to data sourced from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy and CareEdge, it has emerged No. 2 with Rs 9.79 lakh crore worth of projects under implementation or in the final stage of implementation. While Odisha Rs 9.11 lakh crore and Gujarat Rs 8.95 lakh crore emerged No. 3 and 4, respectively, in the state league tables for the same year. There were Rs 8.73 lakh crore worth of projects under implementation in Andhra Pradesh – placing the state at No. 5 among states in FY22. In Uttar Pradesh, the proposals of investment worth Rs 3 lakh crore were implemented in the past five year period. That’s staggering.
It goes without saying that while states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have been both attracting investment and implementing projects, the entry of Uttar Pradesh in this list is both welcome and surprising. Surprising as Uttar Pradesh was till couple of years ago hardly known for working overtime to woo investors and ensuring projects being implemented in time. That’s a huge paradigm shift in the nature of Uttar Pradesh. Surely with this kind of change, investors feel encouraged and happy that their project(s) are implemented in time. It gives confidence to all those investors who are planning to invest as well.
Naturally, the performance of Uttar Pradesh in implementing the projects is phenomenal to say the least. Imagine it is only behind to Maharashtra and ahead of states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka in terms of implementation of projects. It is suffice to say that it would go a long way in attracting private investments by the corporate sector. It is critical to higher growth rates and economic development. More investment creates a multiplier effect in the economy by generating both direct and indirect employment, boosting consumption and fostering further development.
Well, the overall mood looks very upbeat across India most of the states in India are looking for investments and investors. In the recent past, we have seen Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana courted global electronic majors, including representatives from Apple, Intel, Samsung and LG, as well as contractors and assemblers such as Foxconn and Jabil. Uttar Pradesh is promising more sops – ranging from concessional land to rebate on GST and capital and interest subsidy. The state is clearly going all out to woo prospective investors at a time when investment is needed to spur economic activity.
For India to grow, a healthy balance between co-operation and competition between the states is the need of the hour. The Prime Minister has called for ‘cooperative competitive federalism’ in his Independence Day Speech. The competition between states in achieving higher economic growth, and outshining each other on the parameters of development can only be a win-win situation for India.
Effective partnerships between the government and private sector in critical areas of infrastructure and long-term investments would expedite development. As Uttar Pradesh is a huge state with massive population, it requires investment from all the quarters for overall growth. Well, this is true for all states. The Uttar Pradesh government has introduced various formats in order to attract private investments, especially in roads and highways, airports, industrial parks and higher education and skill development sectors.
In this backdrop, Global Investors Summit (GIS) is scheduled to be held in Lucknow 10-12 February. The state aims to attract investments worth a massive 10 lakh crores through the summit. One has to remember that any country or state makes a big leap when the leadership works and acts like a statesman. In this regard, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is going all out to woo the investors and called upon global and domestic industries to take advantage of the massive opportunities being provided by Uttar Pradesh and to participate in the project of making “New India” a prosperous and powerful country.
Post economic liberalisations, thousands of youngsters have started their own ventures and are doing very well. Ravish Pipal is one such young guy from Agra. His father had a small factory of shoes in the city of Taj Mahal. Ravish Pipal was in double mind to do job or business post his college. Finally, he joined his family business and expanded it in a big way. Says Pipal, “We were doing small business till I joined my father. I looked at overseas market for our products rather than local market. To my surprise the overseas market was huge. I tapped it carefully and doing well.” According to him, this is a great time to start some business rather than doing a job as one can loan easily.
And if the Uttar Pradesh government has changed for better, it is high time that the youngsters of the state think beyond doing a job. They should consider becoming an Entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is all about the propensity to take risks, plan, organize, streamline and manage a new business idea in a dynamic global marketplace. Entrepreneurship is marked by job creation rather than job seeking. Entrepreneurs are independent-minded, innovative people. Entrepreneurship might be difficult, but it is a rewarding journey.
One thing is beyond any debate, if Uttar Pradesh has to think beyond politics, it has to create an ideal situation for investors to invest and youngsters of the state too have to think to become their own boss rather than seeking a job. It would like to be in the company of progressive states like Maharashtra and Gujarat rather than Bihar for obvious reasons. Uttar Pradesh has to maintain the current investors’ friendly policies so that investors love to invest in the hallowed land that had given birth to Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. If Uttar Pradesh changes, it augurs well for the country. (The author is the Ex editor of Somaiya Publications & can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)