Challenge mounts post summit Andhra Pradesh

A Herculean task ahead to convert MoUs into ventures

AP Chief MInister Chandrababu Naidu gives a presentation on real time governance in the State on the second day of CII Partnership Summit and Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Investment Meet in Visakhapatnam on February 25, 2018.

AP Chief MInister Chandrababu Naidu gives a presentation on real time governance in the State on the second day of CII Partnership Summit and Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Investment Meet in Visakhapatnam on February 25, 2018.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

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Many projects put on hold in anticipation of SCS

The tactical change in approach notwithstanding, the State government has a gigantic task ahead in achieving high conversion rate of the 735 MoUs inked at the recently held CII Partnership Summit and the Sunrise A.P. Investment Meet envisaging an investment of ₹4.39 lakh crore to provide jobs to 11.02 lakh people.

Going by its experience with a large number of MoUs signed in the earlier two summits held in Visakhapatnam, for the first time post-bifurcation, the government was also aware of the challenges ahead as general elections are scheduled to be held next year.

With the differences deepening between the Telugu Desam Party and the BJP-led NDA government over meagre allotment of funds in the Union Budget now under discussion in Parliament and the failure to fulfil the commitments made in the A.P Reorganisation Act, the task ahead becomes loud and clear.

The war of words between the alliance partners also had an effect on the outcome of the summit as only Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu and TDP’s representative in the coalition, Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, took part in the three-day deliberations.

It is an undeclared secret that several investment offers are put on hold in anticipation of incentives, promised under the Special Category Status and later the Special Financial Package in lieu of the technical difficulties cited by the Centre to implement the SCS, will materialise any moment.

The government is under attack from the Opposition parties for what they termed turning the summit into a ‘publicity stunt’ with dismal performance in translating the proposals into action. “A white paper should be published on the huge amount spent on wine and dine arrangements and the achievements made on MoUs spent so far. The government owes an explanation for spending tax-payers’ money on the gala jamboree,” YSR Congress Party city president Malla Vijaya Prasad said.

A cursory look at the number of MoUs signed with investment proposals made during the earlier editions of the summit reveal that there is drastic fall in the number of offers received to build the Sunrise State this time. While the first summit held in 2016, almost a year after Cyclone Hudhud devastated the State’s commercial hub Visakhapatnam, had attracted 290 MoUs with an investment of ₹4.6 lakh crore, the subsequent summit had received 586 MoUs with the proposed investment of a whopping ₹10.5 lakh crore.

Based on the feedback, this time the government decided to entertain only serious players. “In fact, some of the proposals were rejected at the summit as the authorities did a lot of checks before entering into a formal agreement. Hence, we expect this time the realisation will be more,” CII national council member and former AP unit chairman G.S. Shiv Kumar said.

“The government could get a realisation of 29.8% from the proposals received in the first and second summits, which is considered impressive as Vibrant Gujarat’s realisation is 14%,” pointed out Ganta Srinivasa Rao, HRD Minister.

90% realisation is Naidu’s target

Oozing confidence on the grounding of various projects, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said: “I want to set a target for my team to ensure 90% realisation.” He announced clearances within 21 days and asked the investors to send their grievances by calling 1100 and promised them the complaint would not be closed till they received confirmation of its redressal.

Putting up a brave face, Mr. Naidu in no uncertain terms said he had learnt the art of converting challenges into opportunities and the State would continue its growth trajectory by maintaining double digit growth. His Power-Point presentations on real time governance and the vision to make Andhra Pradesh ranked among top three States by 2022, India’s top performing State with highest happiness index by 2029 and world’s best investment destination by 2050 impressed most of 2,500 delegates, 40% from abroad.

Impressed by the growth rate and use of various technologies to achieve real-time governance, Gautam Adani, chairman and founder of the Adani Group, said: “Gujaratis world-over are known for their entrepreneurship. Now the way Mr. Naidu is able to achieve top rank in ease of doing business and bringing investments to a newly-formed State, I strongly feel Gujaratis have to learn from his inspirational leadership.”

Business Ambassador from Business Russia to India Olga Kulikova said they were very much interested in facilitating collaborative ventures. Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said they had signed several agreements to develop the futuristic capital at Amaravati.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 8:23:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/a-herculean-task-ahead-to-convert-mous-into-ventures/article22921053.ece

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