Global Investment Summits: Is investment really coming to Madhya Pradesh?

The Global Investment Summit that was recently held at Khajuraho was declared a success by most newspapers.

But hardly any newspaper questioned that how many Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed in the past materialised and whether the huge figure of investment promised at the Khajuraho summit was realistic or it was just a jugglery.

Were figures of investment promised in the past Global Investment Meets were added to push the investment amount up? Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should be congratulated if it's true that the state bagged investment proposals of Rs 2.35 lakh crore.

The investors ranged from Kumaramangalam Birla to Anil Ambani. It was said that 107 MoUs were signed at the two day business meet in Khajuraho which was attended by representatives of 70 groups from 17 countries.

While Ambani is interested in setting up power plant, Essar group is investing in cement and ferro-alloys. Major MoUs were also signed in mining and some other sectors.

Indore-based evening newspaper Agniban reported that Anil Ambani's group did not sign a new agreement at Khajuraho, rather, the previous MoU of R 50,000 crore signed at the Indore summit was again mentioned here by raising the cost to Rs 75,000 crore. So isn't it a joke?

The newspaper wrote that for 25 years the state will buy electricity at a much higher rate from Ambani's upcoming plant and the group will thus earn an additional Rs 15,000 crore in process. The finance department had objected to this loot but it was overruled.

Madhya Pradesh has vast land available for industrialists and has huge natural resources along with cheap manpower. This is enough to tempt the big businessmen but while inviting the investors, the state must not lose focus and ensure that the exercise shouldn't remain a jugglery.

Are industries coming and locals getting jobs? That's the foremost question and the state can't afford to lose sight of it while going ga ga over holding 'successful summits' in plush hotels in different cities of the scenic state.

Hospitality is fine but how much of it is translating into real investment, infrastructure building in the state and bringing employment? This should be the criteria before declaring such business meets as successful or unsuccessful.

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