State Affairs

Jharkhand ready to sustain ‘momentum’

RANCHI: If the first day of the Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors’ Summit was about setting the right tone, the second day was more about taking stock and looking ahead.

By almost any measure, the organisers of the summit could claim the success, which was announced quantitatively, and stress on quality, by the time the valedictory session began around 1600 hours on Day 2, the final day of the summit.

Chief Minister Raghubar Das said that “this summit has encouraged us to develop faster, and a new journey begins today”.

He announced that the state had received proposals for investment worth Rs 300,000 crore.

A whopping 210 MoUs were signed during the summit with different companies, largely medium and small scale, which are expected to generate employment for over 2.10 lakh people.

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Das also declared that the government will work within a given time frame to complete the projects. “The authorities have been asked to prepare a separate list of MoUs that will be implemented within a year,” he said. “Another list of MoUs that are to be implemented in next two to three years is also to be prepared separately,” he added, addressing the audience in Hindi.

Das said that the formation of Chief Minister Investment Promotion Board recently was directed towards removing hiccups in the way of investment in the state.

He also promised initiatives from the government in identifying and removing the hurdles that the investors face. Sources say the government has short-listed 25 investment proposals which can be operationalised within six years.

“Jharkhand is eastern India’s fastest growing economy, poised to become the most sought after investment destination,” Rajbala Verma, Chief Secretary, Jharkhand, said.

210 MoUs were signed during the 2-day summit, with an expected investment amount of Rs 3 lakh crore

“Today we start a new journey towards development. It is our endeavour to end poverty and unemployment in Jharkhand,” Das said.

Another group of union ministers were present on the second day of the summit. Union minister for information technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad praised Jharkhand’s efforts towards the digital revolution and creating an investment-friendly atmosphere. “Jharkhand has arrived, it’s important to understand that”  he said.

Using cricketing analogy, he said that if the prime minister is the captain of the team, Raghubar Das is top order batsman now.

Nirmala Sitharaman, minister for state (independent charge) commerce and industry, pointed out how the state had excelled in the comprehensive ‘ease of doing business parameters’. “Jharkhand has excelled in all parameters in last two years,” she said, adding “Momentum Jharkhand is ready to fly. The state is going to make big turnaround.”

The results of this summit will be evident soon, we can see differences already, was how Ram Kirpal Yadav, minister for state, rural development, described the success of the summit and the state.

“There are lots of opportunities for investment in Jharkhand,” Sudarshan Bhagat, Minister of state for agriculture & farmers welfare and praised the state’s single window system which he said aids agriculture.

Congratulating the Jharkhand government on summit, RS Sharma, Trai chairman, said “I never expected an event of this magnitude.”

Governor Droupadi Murmu described Jharkhand was a sleeping giant. “I think now the time has come for the idea of Jharkhand to materialize. I sense an abundance of new energy and a sense of meaningfulness and purpose in the emerging leadership. When you come here to invest there will be hiccups. There will be challenges on the spot. I assure on behalf of my government that manufacturing, production of goods and services, sustainable development and creation of jobs for our people is our highest priority and nobody would be allowed to tamper with these goals,” assured Murmu to the potential investors.

One of the many cultural performances at the summit. Artistes had audiences agog at the state’s cultural diversity

According to figures provided by the organisers, about 25,000 people attended exhibitions across three halls and outdoor exhibits at the summit.

A total of 101 speakers spoke, while 12 central ministers attended the summit at Ranchi’s Khel Gaon. The summit had 4 partner countries, and 600 foreign delegates attended. Eight industry sessions were held, while a large of local artists took part in different cultural expressions.

A far greater number accessed the summit through 60,000 videos uploaded for summit. About 2.5 crore people engaged online. Facebook traffic was up 55 times; while Twitter was up by 58 times, according the state government.

The CM also thanked the people of Ranchi for ensuring the summit went smoothly.

The event was termed by many observers as the beginning of a ‘new innings’ for Jharkhand, which was separated from Bihar and created as a new state in the year 2000. The state has since seen political instability, with nine governments and three spells of President’s Rule till 2014, when the present government took over.

If any of the ambitious plans announced at the summit fructify, the days of poverty for Jharkhand may soon be history.

Musafir Namah Bureau

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