Investment target crossed, MoUs worth Rs 92k crore signed, says Himachal CM

Navjeevan Gopal
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur asked the investors to make “Dev Bhoomi” their “Karam Bhoomi”. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh/File)

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Thursday said that despite many people expressing doubts, the state government had decided to go ahead and attract private investors. Speaking at the inaugural day of the two-day Global Investors’ Meet organised by Himachal Pradesh government at Dharamshala, he said: “We made an effort and today we organised this programme.” He added that the state government had “surpassed the target of MoUs worth Rs 85,000 crore by signing MoUs worth Rs 92,000 crore”. The meet was also addressed by PM Modi.

Speaking after Thakur, the PM said that Himachal Pradesh government was going in the right direction and had put an end to unnecessary procedural rules which delayed investments. “Unnecessary rules check the pace of industry,” Modi said.

About the decision to host the investor summit, Thakur said: “When all states are changing their policies to attract private players and are focusing on ease of doing business, we thought why Himachal Pradesh should lag behind.” The CM said the matter was discussed with Prime Minister and “he told us to go for it”, adding that Vibrant Gujarat initiative during the time of Modi’s stint as Gujarat CM inspired the Himachal Pradesh government to do a similar thing.

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Thakur pointed out that the state now offered attractive incentives under the Industrial Investment Policy to boost industrialisation and to the business environment industry-friendly. He said that various policies such as tourism policy, film policy, information technology policy, AYUSH policy, affordable housing policy were framed to attract investment in these sectors.

He said Himachal Pradesh was much better placed than other states on indicators like law and order, natural beauty and work culture, which would turn out to be major attractions for private players. He asked the investors to make “Dev Bhoomi” their “Karam Bhoomi”.

In his speech, PM said that investors looked for an ecosystem with a transparent mechanism and wanted to get rid of Inspector raj. Calling society as aspiring, government as encouraging, industry as daring and knowledge as sharing, Modi said the vehicle of development was moving on these “four wheels”. He said there was equal focus on service delivery and business.

Talking about potential of the states in investment sector, Modi said, “When potential gets the company of policies, it naturally brings performance. “

Bad weather plays spoilsport

The plenary hall where Prime Minister inaugurated the Himachal Global Investors’ Meet in Dharamshala on Thursday had to face vagaries of weather. Strong winds tore apart the posters on the sides of the plenary hall which showcased the mega event.

Himachali caps for delegates

Delegates attending the Investors’ meet were greeted by the organisers with Himachali caps and traditional shawls.

The plenary hall where PM made the address was jam-packed and many visitors had to stand for hours together during the event.

The guest list

Those who attended the event included Governor of Himachal Pradesh Bandaru Dattatreya, Union Minister of State for Tourism Prahlad S Patel, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur, Chief Minister of Sikkim Pawan Kumar Tamang, Cabinet Ministers of the state government, Vice Chairman NITI Ayog Rajiv Kumar and Health Minister of Bihar Mangal Pandey.

Managing Director of Adani Agro, Oil and Gas Pranav Adani, Head, Amazon India, Amit Agarwal, Vice Chairman Bharti Enterprise Limited, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Chairman Energy and International Airports, GMR Group, Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, R C Bhargava, founder and chairman, BRS Ventures, Dr B R Shetty, also addressed the event.