Raje Front-Loading MoUs To Make Resurgent Rajasthan Success
Resurgent Rajasthan will be a litmus test for chief minister Vasundhara Raje and she knows she has to make it a success to live up to her tall promises of catapulting the state to the league of developed states in the country. During her last tenure, she did the show that created a lot of buzz. But then, she didn’t have enough time to follow through the exercise as her government lost power in 2008 assembly elections.
But this time she cannot blame anyone. She has the mandate and the time in her side to realize the grand expectations from the summit. Given the work being done building up to the November event, the approach seems to have changed. The method is also very different from states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and even West Bengal which also conduct such business meets for attracting both domestic and global companies to make investment in their states.
Beginning this year, a lot of memorandum of understandings have been signed with a host of companies from a wide range of sectors. Be it electronics manufacturers or solar power developers, the MoUs signed with these companies account for more than Rs one lakh crore.
Officials in the chief minister’s office said that the reason behind signing these MoUs is that when the event happens later this year, the proposals of these companies will have cleared a lot of approval requirements. Also, such approval of projects will translate into a better realization of investments.
Investor summits generally face a common and, to some extent a justifiable, criticism that the announcements hardly materialize into investments. Given that background, the government as part of Resurgent Rajasthan summit has signed these MoUs to expedite the approval process. When the event actually happens, these announcements will be part of the Resurgent Rajasthan and the conversion from intent to investment will be much higher increasing the credibility of the government.
The state is also aware of the fact that it needs to create 15 lakh new jobs which the chief minister has already promised to the people of the state. Without such large scale investments, generating such a huge number of jobs will be a herculean task.
The state has also opened up its new industrial zone for ceramics for which it wants to attract investment. Besides, it is creating a land bank so that the new business proposals don’t have to wait for the allotment of land which is often the reason why projects get delayed indefinitely in the country.
The chief minister kicked off its global roadshow for Resurgent Rajasthan from a friendly country like Japan. The companies in Japan enjoy a great deal of confidence and comfort in working with the state given their experience in the Japanese Industrial Zone at Neemrana. The state has also opened a second zone for the Japanese businesses. Hope, the Japan story plays to its full potential in the state.
When the industry minister was in Germany and was hard-selling the state to the companies in the Europe’s largest economy, Gajendra Singh Khimsar had said that Rajasthan is open to establish an industrial zone dedicated to the German companies. The experiment with the Japanese zone has worked for the state. And a similar experiment can be successful if the state really follows through its engagement with the German companies.
But there is a thinking that the Resurgent Rajasthan summit has only been focusing on the manufacturing sector. Experts feel that an equal amount of focus should be given to the services sector which is a major driver of the state’s economy.
They also point out that a special focus should be also imparted to food processing sector for which Rajasthan has strong potential. But the chief minister knows Make In Rajasthan can fulfill its promise of creating opportunities for employment generation and that’s why the focus is on manufacturing.