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At a time when the Narendra Modi government at the Centre is espousing the cause of greater defence indigenisation under its ‘Make in India’ programme, the Yogi Adityanath-led dispensation in Uttar Pradesh is also gearing up to showcase the state as an ideal destination for domestic defence manufacturing.
India is projected to invest $250 billion in defence procurement over the next decade. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants India to shed the tag of the world’s largest importer of arms by encouraging foreign firms to collaborate with Indian players and manufacture defence wares in the country itself, with a related policy already rolled out.
Against this backdrop, the Yogi government would make a pitch for defence manufacturing in UP at the global investors’ summit to be hosted by the state on February 21 and 22. About 5,000 business delegates, industrialists and investors are expected to participate in the mega summit.
UP Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner (IIDC) Anup Chandra Pandey told Business Standard the state had prepared a blueprint to develop specific industrial corridors in the state with an emphasis on emerging and greenfield sectors.
“We are focusing to showcase defence manufacturing, pharmaceutical and biofuel technology at the summit, a first-of-its-kind mega event to be hosted by the state government,” he informed.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PMs of Mauritius and Nepal, apart from the ambassadors of foreign countries, would be invited for the two-day summit, he informed.
The state government is eyeing almost Rs 50,000 crore worth of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Indian and foreign companies at the summit across sectors. “Our main focus would be to ensure fructification of these MoUs going forward,” said Pandey.
During the earlier Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav regimes, MoUs to the tune of over Rs 50,000 crore had been signed. However, most of those proposals never took off, thanks to weak or no follow-ups, policy flip-flops and the perception of a bad law-and-order situation in the state.
Also, top industrial nations like the US, UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are also to be roped in as ‘partner countries’ for the summit.
Meanwhile, the state government is gearing up to announce new policies in various sectors, including agriculture, textiles, electronics manufacturing, solar energy, information technology, filmmaking, etc, over the next few weeks, to further leverage the summit for larger investment.
Pandey said state agencies like the UP State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC) and the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) would acquire several thousand acres of land to create product- and sector-specific industrial clusters.
Earlier this week, the Yogi government had set up a state investment promotion board, with leading industrialists as members.
Adityanath is the chairman of the board, which includes 11 industrialists from different sectors as members. It is mandated to promote ‘Brand UP’ through the creation of a conducive investment climate, rationalisation of procedures and labour reforms.
The state government had already implemented its new industrial policy, apart from new ones in some other sectors, such as the one for food processing to spur private investment and create a pro-business environment.
Since Adityanath came to power in March this year, the ambassadors and high commissions of several countries, including Israel, Thailand, Netherlands and Japan, have met him and are believed to have discussed investment avenues.
Last month, a delegation comprising representatives of US companies, including Boeing, Adobe, Facebook, Uber, Honeywell, Coca-Cola, Mastercard, P&G, Oracle, GE Health, Monsanto, Medtronic, Cargill and Azure, had arrived in Lucknow to meet Adityanath and explore investment opportunities in various sectors. The visit was organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.