government is open to reviewing and reviving the Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) signed with the private companies during previous state regimes, a senior cabinet minister has said.
Under the previous Akhilesh Yadav
government, MoUs to the tune of over Rs 1,00,000 crore were signed with companies in Lucknow, Mumbai and New Delhi during investment and industrial conclaves and road shows.
However, a majority of such MoUs never reached the fruition stage due to factors, including poor follow up by the government, failure of state agencies and departments to deliver on the promises, perception of poor law and order, land issues etc.
“We can consider such MoUs on merit if the concerned private companies approach the state government,” UP industries minister Satish Mahana told Business Standard on sidelines of a conference call after cabinet meeting in Lucknow on Tuesday evening.
However, he also said the previous regime had signed MoUs without exhibiting any earnestness and purportedly for gaining publicity.
The Akhilesh regime had organised several investment meets in Lucknow, Agra, Mumbai and New Delhi to showcase UP as an ideal investment destination and attract investment beyond the National Capital Region (NCR) territories of Noida and Greater Noida.
In June 2014, the state had signed MoUs worth Rs 55,000 crore with leading business houses in the New Delhi summit. Then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav
had held one to one interaction with select industry captains to goad them to investing in UP. Apart from India, investors and diplomats from Canada, Netherlands, Turkey, Poland, Italy and Taipei had also attended the summit. The MoUs were signed with Reliance Jio, Essel, GAIL, Duncan, Uflex, Sonalika, Shree Cements, Fortis, Azure Power, Amity, JVL Agro etc.
In September 11, 2015 in Mumbai, the state had signed MoUs worth over Rs 33,000 crore into various sectors. The summit was attended by investors, representatives from industrial houses and Bollywood. The MoUs had projected to create fresh job opportunities for more than 1,50,000 people.
Besides, several other MoUs were signed during the five year Yadav rule (2012-17), however, barring a few most such proposals ultimately came a cropper.
The Yogi government has been unsparing on Yadav for empty boasting about the development projects launched during his tenure, which in fact were half baked projects launched without proper planning, budget and timelines.
Now, the Yogi cabinet has decided to launch development projects only after proper financial planning. No project would be launched without a Detailed Project Report (DPR) encompassing the availability of land, budget, timelines, clearances etc.
“This has been done to ensure projects do not face the problem of cost and time overruns, since it leaves a huge financial burden on the exchequer, while delaying the important projects,” UP cabinet minister and spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh told the media.
He also said the state government would not impede any ongoing project over cost or time overruns issues, since money had already been spent and scrapping them would mean the public money going down the drain.