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Is ‘Magnificent’ MP going to work this time?

Monday - October 14, 2019 12:43 pm , Category : WTN SPECIAL


WTN- Despite repeated attempts at luring big ticket investors to the state over the last 10 years or so, not much activity has been seen in the industries or investment scenario in Madhya Pradesh. Grand functions are being organised every two years with all the fanfare and footage to showcase MP’s positive attributes to the world and facilitate investors as best as possible, but what has come in the end is not much more than a trickle. Compared to MP, states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are galloping like wild horses, cornering the major share of investments.

On October 18 again, a mega investors’ summit is being organised in the commercial capital of the state – Indore. The whole state machinery has thrown its weight around the event to make it a major success indicator of the new government. The Kamal Nath government is upbeat that by changing the format and approach of the summit, it would be able to garner investor confidence and support. The state in any case badly needs investment to generate employment and increase revenue.

MP has all the land in the world and its communication network and infrastructure has seen a major leap over the last decade under the erstwhile dispensation. The state also has a rising and promising talent pool to wing it and the availability of power and water here is better than many other states. Yet, we falter when it comes to convincing big industries to set up shop here. There can be multiple reasons for that and one of them might be ‘perception’. Perception plays a major role in guiding fluctuating investor sentiments and here is where the government needs to walk the extra mile. It needs time to build the right perceptions but for that work has to be done. Image building is a mandatory and precision exercise today and this area cannot be neglected. And also the reality must match the image. The law and order in the state has to be improved. The sense of security to industries has to be instilled. The police need to be more attentive and cooperative. Power has to be more consistent, cheap and penetrative.

Despite the strides, much has still to be done for road and rail infrastructure boost to come on par with Gujarat or Maharashtra, even if we leave the southern states which are examples in this field. Water scarcity is hitting the cities, which need urgent addressing. The traffic situation in cities of MP is worsening by the day and the infrastructure hasn’t been able to keep up with it, which too needs urgent steps. Healthcare facilities, though better than yesteryears, have still not reached the optimum level yet.

A company which puts in money sees these things before venturing and if it fears multiple impediments obstructing its further growth, negative vibes spread in the circles, which put off other prospective investors too. The positive image has to be created and simultaneously the real world coordinates have to be bolstered. Hasty makeovers and cosmetic facelifts like painting the roads afresh or putting up signage won’t work as investors are much better informed and more cautious today. If the neigbouring state offers better operating interface, they will certainly prefer that state to the one which is behind.

The state government in MP has to think innovative strategies to push the belief that here too every facility is available which is there in other states and even some more. A separate tailor made policy for every separate industry and giving space to serious investors only so that things move beyond the customary MoUs that we see every time, are encouraging moves which might translate into a better scenario. Yet, these might not just be enough to see an enthusiastic endorsement of MP as the most lucrative destination. For that, the government needs to chalk out some long-term plans and invest wisely in the essential groundwork.- Window To News