Aiming to make Uttar Pradesh a trillion-dollar economy by 2024, the Yogi Adityanath government is considering setting up a UP Investment Promotion Board to channelise funds from various sources for the state's flagship infrastructure projects.
The government is likely to introduce a Bill in the state legislature to accord statutory status to the proposed Board.
“Our ultimate challenge is to make the state a trillion-dollar economy. We have to ensure that various instruments, institutions and infrastructure help achieve this goal. For this, first of all we need to have a focus area and a focused department,” UP MSME, Khadi and investment promotion minister Sidharth Nath Singh told Business Standard.
He said that state government departments have to pursue three to four different central government department and agencies for their funding and investment needs. These include the department of finance, department of economic affairs and Niti Aayog, apart from anchor funding agency.
“This is a time consuming process that also has a cost component. Therefore, the chief minister wants to have a channelised department or ministry to take care of such issues,” Singh explained.
“For example, there is a commerce and industry ministry at the Centre, apart from a separate heavy industries ministry. Similarly, the manifestation of the union commerce ministry in UP could be seen in the investment and export promotion department,” he said, adding that the matter was already before the CM, who would take a call accordingly.
Interestingly, the Adityanath government had first announced the setting up of a UP Investment Promotion Board in November 2017, in the run-up to the mega UP Investors Summit on February 21-22, 2018, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While Adityanath was the chairman of the Board, it also had, among others 11 leading industrialists as members representing various sectors. Industrialists in the Board included Jagdish Khattar (Carnation Auto), Pankaj Patel (Zydus Cadila), Kulin Lalbhai (Arvind Mills), Ajay Shriram (Shriram Group), U S Bhartia (India Glycols), Tarun Sahni (Triveni Group), Lalit Khaitan (Radico Khaitan), Shishir Jaipuriya (Ginni Filaments), Samir Gupta (Jackson Group), L K Jhunjhunwala (KM Sugar Mills) and Vinay Kumar (Banaras Hotel).
The board also has other members such as UP finance minister, UP power minister, infrastructure and industrial development commissioner (IIDC), agricultural production commission (APC), additional chief secretaries of the departments of industry, finance, power, revenue, tax and home, besides Pradeshiya Industrial and Investment Corporation of UP (PICUP) managing director.
However, the Board has largely remained inactive and could not convene a single meeting for almost two years, say sources. Therefore, the government decided to restructure the board in line with its tall socioeconomic targets by marshaling investments for its key projects, including metro rail proposed in 6-7 major cities in the near future.