What steps has this government taken to overcome challenges in attracting investors?
Before 2017, UP was the last preferred destination for industrialists. Now it is the most preferred destination. The first reason is that the government has created a friendly environment for investors. The law and order situation has improved. Earlier, there was a missing link between industrialists and the government. This relationship between industrialists and the industry department has now strengthened.
How did policy-making and Investors Summit play a role?
We drafted a policy in 2017 after consulting policies of various industry-friendly states of the country like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. I had multiple rounds of interactions with industry associations. Besides, we came up with some sector-specific policies. Lastly, when the law and order situation boosted confidence, we organised the Investors Summit in UP which came to be the turning point. Fortunately, we got the blessings of the Prime Minister (who had inaugurated the summit) and so the patronage of Modi ji and presence of Yogi ji as the CM built confidence among industrialists across the country (for investing in the state).
How much investment has UP attracted and what is the level of implementation?
More than ₹3 lakh crore worth of investments have come into the state over the last four and a half years, out of which 50% have materialised and the remaining 50% are under process. Some prominent companies that have come to UP are Adanis – they have gotten land in Noida and are in search for more land. Hiranandanis have started work, we have allotted land to Microsoft, AB Mauri has come. During Covid-19, Samsung Display was the first company to move out of China and come to Noida.
Are major investments still largely concentrated in western UP and Noida-Greater Noida region?
That is not true.
has recently started work in Barabanki. Brahmos is coming to Lucknow. Bharat Dynamics Limited has been allotted 200 acres in Jhansi, in Bundelkhand, so it would be wrong to say that. Our defence industrial nodes are across Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Kanpur and Lucknow (apart from Agra and Aligarh). AB Mauri has been allotted land in Chitrakoot.
What are the most popular and upcoming sectors in the state, apart from electronics?
There is defence, food processing, cement, investment in oxygen plants after we faced the issue of oxygen shortage during the second wave. We are bringing medical device parks along the Yamuna Expressway, a pharmaceutical park in Pilibhit. With a population of 230 million, we have opportunities for all industries to come to UP. At the MSME level, we have ODOP (One District One Product). Kanpur is at third rank in the country as far as hosiery production is concerned. There are opportunities for liquor manufacturing companies too.
Data suggests UP has lagged other states in attracting FDI…
In the last five years, we have been the leaders. Samsung came. There was a problem with IKEA for over four-five years but I resolved it, and they deposited an upfront sum of ₹850 crore and are starting work. Now that the multimodal logistics hub has started in Greater Noida, it will be a state-of-the-art project found nowhere else in the country. So, it is a progressing state (in terms of foreign direct investment).