Madhya Pradesh to be logistics hub in GST regime: Jaitley

Business Standard By Shashikant Trivedi October 22, 2016. 22:38 IST

FM asks industry to increase the speed of investments and stay ahead of the government.

Madhya Pradesh would become a supply hub in the goods and service tax regime, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told investors here while delivering the inaugural speech at the state’s fifth Global Investors Summit.

The summit is a biennial affair of the Madhya Pradesh government to showcase the state’s potential to domestic and overseas investors.

“After the GST regime is implemented next year, there will be a flow of goods across the nation and Madhya Pradesh will become the supply chain hub for companies,” the finance minister pointed out.

“Despite economic challenges, we have been able to manage respectable growth with certain advantages like political stability, global oil and commodity prices, resources that we have saved to invest in infrastructure, and a good monsoon as a result of which we have surplus foodgrain production. It will check inflation and we will have a moderation in interest rates. With these advantages, we have an opportunity ahead of us,” Jaitley told investors.

Responding to a remark by Gopichand Hinduja, co-chairman of the Hinduja group, that the government needed to pick up pace, Jaitley said, “Generally, industry remains ahead of the government, but today we are at a historic moment when industry is behind the government. You need to pick up the pace.”

While laying stress on Madhya Pradesh’s achievement of double-digit growth, the finance minister said, “States with double-digit growth have seen chief ministers coming back to power. Madhya Pradesh has a leadership with clarity and a road map for progress.”

“Thirteen years ago we were advised not to travel by road in Madhya Pradesh. The state has now shed the stigma of a Bimaru state. By maintaining 20 per cent growth in agriculture it has empowered its rural people and they now have purchasing power,” Jaitley said.

“It is a successful state that is able to transport water from one corner to the other. It has sufficient power and adequate spending on resources to empower people,” he added.

Earlier, addressing the gathering, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “We have a long list of investors who are converting their investment into reality. A total of Rs 2.75 lakh crore investment is taking shape in Madhya Pradesh since the fourth season of the Global Investors Summit organised in 2014.”

“We have a huge land bank of 1.25 lakh acres for industry, nearly 18,000 Mw of power, skilled workers, a citizen’s charter Act to ensure faster delivery of services, and no man-days lost,” the chief minister said.

“If you need more support like further training of workers we are ready to provide it. We have created an ecosystem for our investors, and it is an opportune time to invest,” he added. Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Pradesh said Madhya Pradesh was playing an excellent role in infotech.

“Forty mobile phone-making companies are coming to India and one of them is coming to Madhya Pradesh,” he said.

Hinduja, on his maiden visit to Madhya Pradesh, said a recent visit by Chouhan to the UK prompted him to visit the state and he was ready to invest here.

Kumar Manglam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla group, said his companies had invested Rs 30,000 crore in the state and were investing a further Rs 5,500 crore in two projects. “We will make further investments in expansion of the Mahan alumina plant, the optical fibre cable business and other projects in Madhya Pradesh,” Birla said.

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Chairman Anil Ambani said his group had a fair share in the state’s total investment in recent years, particularly in the power sector.

“We are coming up with two defence projects in Pithampur and Bhopal. We have the world’s largest capacity thermal power plant in Madhya Pradesh and we look for future investment in the energy sector,” Ambani said.

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