27 MoUs inked during Global Investors’ Meet 2015 dropped, 19 still in progress

The erstwhile AIADMK government led by former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said it had attracted 98 projects with an investment of ₹2,42,160 crore, and 10,073 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) projects with an investment of ₹16,532 crore.

Updated - January 05, 2023 04:48 pm IST

Published - January 04, 2023 12:02 am IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa addresses at the valedictory function of Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet at Chennai Trade Centre in Chennai on September 10, 2015. File

Tamil Nadu former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa addresses at the valedictory function of Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet at Chennai Trade Centre in Chennai on September 10, 2015. File | Photo Credit: RAGU R

This September would mark eight years since the erstwhile AIADMK government, led by then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, hosted the Global Investors’ Meet (GIM) 2015, where it announced that investment deals to the tune of ₹2,42,160 crore had been clinched.

But in reality, as of date, only ₹75,558 crore-worth investment commitments have materialised. Furthermore, of the 98 MoUs that were inked, 27 have been dropped. Nineteen MoUs are still under different stages of implementation, like construction, land identification and pending clearances, and a few are on hold.

Soon after GIM 2015 was held on September 9 and 10 that year at the Chennai Trade Centre, the erstwhile government said it had attracted 98 projects with an investment of ₹2,42,160 crore, and 10,073 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) projects with an investment of ₹16,532 crore.

Officials now say that as far as the Industries Department is concerned, 50 MoUs were signed and, of them, 37 projects have commenced commercial production and one is yet to start any activity.

Around 10 projects worth ₹37,068 crore have been dropped for various reasons. Two are on hold, including an MoU with Wonderla, an amusement park operator, whose project is yet to take off due to the local body tax levied in the State.

Big names in the energy sector came forward and signed 15 MoUs during the meet. Of them, two projects have taken off and commenced commercial production, while two more are under implementation. The remaining 11 projects, worth ₹75,256 crore, have been dropped.

The MoUs signed by the Information Technology Department seem to have fared well. Of the 17 MoUs signed, eight have taken off, and have also met the investment and employment commitments. Four are under various stages of construction, and clearances are pending for one.

Four MoUs have been dropped – two of these projects were worth around ₹450 crore, while the other two firms did not share details on how much they intended to invest.

According to data collated from a response to an application filed under the RTI Act with Guidance, the nodal agency that is instrumental in bringing investments to the State.

Of the 10 deals it had signed, the Handloom, Handicrafts, Textiles and Khadi Department saw two projects take off. Another six projects are still in progress, with clearances pending and land identification under way.

During GIM 2015, the Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Department signed four MoUs with investment commitments to the tune of ₹500 crore, of which one project has taken off while another is under implementation.

The remaining two projects are yet to commence activities. The Agriculture Department has said the two MoUs it had signed have been dropped.

Out of the 10,073 MoUs inked by the MSME Department, 6,673 are under implementation, entailing an investment of ₹7,273.57 crore and employment to 77,900 people.

Industrialists whom The Hindu spoke to said some projects may have been dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They, however, added that the current government should look into it and ensure that some of the investments come through.

“There is no point in showing numbers during every meet, and then saying the project has not fructified. When an MoU is formally signed, the government needs to make all efforts to ensure that the project takes off,” said an industrialist, requesting anonymity.

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