From Hype to Re­al­ity

Maritime Gateway - - From The Editor - R Ram­prasad Edi­tor and Pub­lisher ram­prasad@gate­way­media.in

In re­cent times my in­box is flooded with in­vi­ta­tions to nu­mer­ous trade and in­vestors sum­mits. Be­ing a wit­ness to the trends in mar­itime trade, I try to get a sense of how the in­vest­ments are go­ing to im­pact the growth in the man­u­fac­tur­ing space. While in the past the trade meets were mostly or­ga­nized by the trade bod­ies, but now it has be­come a reg­u­lar plat­form for states to show­case op­por­tu­ni­ties and mar­ket them­selves to the world to at­tract in­vest­ment. Years back Vi­brant Gu­jarat set the trend of shift­ing the goal posts for the trade meets and make them rather plat­forms for in­vestors to have a first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the state’s re­sources and con­ducive­ness for the growth of their busi­ness. Over a pe­riod of time this busi­ness model has been picked up by most of the states in the coun­try. While there are some states with emerg­ing econ­omy like West Ben­gal (Ben­gal Global Busi­ness Sum­mit), Odisha (In­vest in Odisha), Ut­tar Pradesh (UP In­vestors Sum­mit 2018), Andhra Pradesh (The Part­ner­ship Sum­mit) which are scout­ing for in­vest­ments to keep up the mo­men­tum of eco­nomic and trade growth, other states like Jhark­hand (Mo­men­tum Jhark­hand In­vestors Sum­mit) and As­sam (Ad­van­tage As­sam) with rel­a­tively smaller eco­nomic growth also joined this band­wagon with look­out for fresh in­vest­ments. But what sur­prises me is the fact that states like Ma­ha­rash­tra (Mag­netic Ma­ha­rash­tra sum­mit), Kar­nataka and Tamil Nadu with fairly es­tab­lished man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors still re­main in the race.

The pos­i­tive trend about these sum­mits is that it has made the pol­icy mak­ers much more re­spon­sive to the chang­ing dy­nam­ics of trade and in­dus­try. The amount of in­vest­ments com­mit­ted and Mous signed at these sum­mits are as­ton­ish­ing. This hype of Mous is now in­fec­tious.

Take the ex­am­ple of Ad­van­tage As­sam, which an­nounced sign­ing of 200 MOUS and in­vest­ment pro­posal to the tune of `1,00,000 crore was com­mit­ted. Sim­i­larly, Mag­netic Ma­ha­rash­tra Sum­mit wit­nessed 4,106 Mous worth `12.10 tril­lion. The list is end­less. But the mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion is how much of it is get­ting trans­lated into re­al­ity? How many of these en­thu­si­as­ti­cally an­nounced projects are grounded!?

The re­al­ity dawned on one of In­dia’s most show­cased state events Vi­brant Gu­jarat Sum­mit where the word ‘in­vestor’ was silently dropped. Re­ports in­di­cate that many of the tall in­vest­ment claims made at these sum­mits re­main rhetoric and void of ac­tion. In some cases it is to the ex­tent of re­cy­cling the Mous year-af­ter-year.

If the man­u­fac­tur­ing growth and job cre­ation has to be a re­al­ity, states should take a more prag­matic ap­proach to­wards con­vert­ing the in­vest­ments into re­al­ity by cre­at­ing a bet­ter ecosys­tem re­solv­ing the chal­lenges of reg­u­la­tory frame­work, land al­lot­ment and skilled man­power.

Oth­er­wise soon the eu­pho­ria will die down and the growth mo­men­tum is un­likely to sus­tain.

The mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion is how much of it (Mous signed) is get­ting trans­lated into re­al­ity? How many of these en­thu­si­as­ti­cally an­nounced projects are grounded!?

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