At the groundbreaking ceremony hosted by the Yogi Adityanath government in Lucknow to launch projects worth Rs 65,000 crore, industrialists and business leaders sounded bullish. While some reiterated past commitments in the state, some announced intentions of making fresh investments in agriculture, infra, realty, and transport, among others.
PepsiCo India Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ahmed Elsheikh complemented the state for digitising documentation processes and improving ease of doing business matrix. The firm said it planned to invest Rs 514 crore over the next three years to set up a snacks plant in UP. The plan is in line with PepsiCo’s goal to double its snacks business in India by 2022 and is expected to help create over 1,500 jobs.
UAE-based Lulu Group Chairman Yusuff Ali acknowledged state support for its projects, including north India’s biggest mall coming up in Lucknow at an investment of Rs 2,000 crore. “Nearly 70 per cent of the civil work is complete. The project will give employment to about 15,000 people,” he said. Apart from a food processing plant in UP, Ali said the company also plans to set up a shopping mall in Sahibabad near Delhi. The company had earlier announced plans for two more shopping malls in UP at Varanasi and Noida.
Gautam Adani said UP had large potential in new age sectors such as data centres and defence manufacturing. He announced Rs 5,500 crore of additional investment to top up already committed Rs 5,000 crore in expanding food processing, inland waterways, multimodal logistics hub, etc. He also said his group was looking at partnering UP in the defence sector.
To underline India-Korea’s ancient relations, H C Hong, Samsung Electronics’ Southwest Asia president & CEO, recollected the legend of an Ayodhya princess visiting his country and marrying a Korean prince. He said the company had set up its first plant in India at Noida about 23 years back and today Samsung was among the top multinationals operating in the country, clocking $10-billion revenue. “We remain committed to UP. Last year, we had launched the world’s largest mobile phone factory in Noida at an investment of Rs 5,000 crore, which is a symbol of the Make in India initiative,” he said. Hong announced Samsung’s plans to make Noida the export hub and to manufacture devices for entire world from there.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the chief guest at the ceremony, said, “The path to becoming a $5-trillion economy passes through Uttar Pradesh, and I am sure that the state will contribute to it by becoming a $1-trillion economy.”
Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran observed UP as inarguably the most important state in India and its success was imperative for achieving the country’s $5 trillion economy vision. “The important factor is that UP offers potential for expansion and we see immense possibilities in renewable energy, mobility, electric vehicles, charging infrastructure etc,” he said. He said Tata Consultancy Services would continue to expand beyond Noida and Varanasi with another centre in Prayagraj (Allahabad).
Medanta Group Chairman Naresh Trehan said they were planning to open 1,000-bed hospitals in Gorakhpur, Varanasi, and Allahabad on the lines of the one being built in Lucknow. He said the 1,000-bed hospital in Lucknow would be inaugurated on October 15.
Torrent Chairman Sudhir Mehta said the company had invested Rs 1,000 crore in the state since 2010. Torrent has committed to invest Rs 6,000 core in power and gas distribution space, of which Rs 3,000 crore had already been pumped in. “We are exploring further opportunities in the state,” Mehta said.
Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy lauded the chief minister’s efforts to partner with the industry to drive inclusive growth. “UP is an important state for us. We are looking forward to partner with UP as we bring in the next 200-300 million customers to experience e-commerce and connect lakhs of MSME suppliers, small farmers and farmer-producer organisations to the marketplace while creating lakhs of new livelihood opportunities,” he said. Adityanath assured investors of providing all support, including security.
These projects are part of the Rs 4.68 trillion worth of 1,047 MoUs signed by the UP government at the UP Investors Summit in Lucknow in February, 2018, called the first ground breaking ceremony.
The second round breaking ceremony was earlier planned to be held last year. But it got delayed multiple times owing to reasons such as land acquisition and clearance roadblocks.