Naveen Invites Industry Barons To Be Partners In Odisha’s Growth

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday invited industry barons from across India and abroad to be partners in Odisha for its inclusive growth and prosperity.

Addressing the plenary session on the second day of ‘Make in Odisha’ Conclave at the Janata Maidan here, he said it had been a challenging journey and a fulfilling experience for the government since last two decades which has enabled it to redefine its goals and ambitions with its collective energy to transform Odisha into a happening state.

The Chief Minister said that the first edition of the conclave in 2016 was a huge success with 124 investment intents, worth more than Rs 2 lakh crore and employment opportunities for over one lakh people.

The outcome of the conclave had paid off with about two-thirds of these projects in various stages of implementation.

“Odisha is a leading state in the country in mineral production and processing. Today, the state is the Aluminium Capital of South Asia, accounting for well over half of the country’s production, and is also the Steel Hub of India, contributing to about a quarter of the country’s steel production. With a view to give further impetus to certain key manufacturing sectors, we have laid down the ‘Odisha Industrial Development Plan: Vision 2025’ with a target to attract investment of Rs 2.5 lakh crore and create 30 lakh job opportunities in six identified focus sectors by 2025,” he pointed out.

He further said that the state government had recently launched a progressive Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Policy to capitalise on the competitive advantages of the state’s existing eco-system to attract investment in this high-potential sector.

“We have been planning a chain of ports along the East Coast Economic Corridor.  Apart from Paradip and Dhamra, we are developing deepwater ports at Subarnarekha and Gopalpur, a riverine port on Mahanadi River and a chain of 12 other non-major ports,” he added.

The Chief Minister also informed that the state government had launched the Skilled-in-Odisha Mission to build an iconic global brand. In recognition of its efforts, Odisha has been ranked number one by the Centre for two consecutive years in the field of skill development.

Stating that Odisha has one of the most progressive start-up policies in the country, Naveen said during the last 18 months, 310 start-ups have been registered and 40 of whom have already been provided with assistance. “The state aims to be among top three start-up hubs in the country by supporting at least 1000 start-ups by 2020. With 10 agro-climatic zones and a progressive Food Processing Policy, the state offers immense opportunities in the food processing sector. Besides, it has put in place a number of policy mechanisms to promote entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector,” he said.

In the MSME Sector, since 2014-15, more than 2 lakh 25 thousand MSMEs have “gone into production” providing employment opportunities to more than 6 lakh 70 thousand persons. Our exports have increased about a hundred times between 2001-02 and 2017-18, with a phenomenal compounded annual growth rate of 30 per cent, the Chief Minister said.

He also announced a new biotechnology policy to build an optimal biotech ecosystem with comprehensive government support.

Talking about the IT sector, the Chief Minister said the state government is setting up a greenfield Electronics Manufacturing Cluster and also developing other facilities to provide an enabling environment to support electronics manufacturing and ICT industries. Odisha is the first state to rope in TiE, Silicon Valley, USA for investment in ESDM and IT sector, he pointed out.

Maintaining that the quality healthcare infrastructure and services are the priority areas, he said that his government had joined hands with diverse stakeholders resulting in collaborations with a large number of hospital chains and healthcare providers. The largest public-private-partnership (PPP) programme of the country in the health sector is now being rolled out in the state, entailing an investment of Rs 1300 crore across 25 locations.

Drawing the attention of the distinguished industrialists, the Chief Minister said that the state government had built an 18-storey World Skill Centre, world-class infrastructure, in Bhubaneswar which will be managed by the Odisha Skill Development Authority with technical support from ITEES, Singapore. This centre will function as the centralised hub with all 71 government ITIs as spokes for implementation of the Rs 1400-crore Odisha Skill Development Project in which more than 1.5 lakh trainers and trainees will be trained in the next four years.

He also said that with increased air connectivity and growth in the hospitality sector, Odisha is witnessing record footfall of foreign tourists. “You may be aware that we are hosting the World Men’s Cup Hockey here in Bhubaneswar in a few days from now. Odisha offers enormous investment opportunities in areas of hospitality, sports and entertainment,” he informed.

Proposing the industry captains to plan a long-term strategy for investment in the state over the next 10 years, the Chief Minister assured that the state government will appoint dedicated teams to handhold the implementation of their long-term plans with unmatched facilitation support.

Sharing the success of the state government in the recent past, Naveen said the state government has been able to lift some eight million of its people above the poverty line and double the farmer’s household income in real terms in a decade. Besides, from being a food deficit state, the state has emerged as the third largest contributor to the nation’s granary.

Referring to the successful implementation of the housing schemes, he said the state government has constructed nearly two million houses within the last five years and is determined to convert all the remaining kuccha houses into pucca houses. The state government has also set the target for drinking water, electricity, quality education and healthcare.

“While taking pride in our heritage, we are ensuring that our approach and outlook are modern. The Smart City tag to two of our cities is a testimony to this changing paradigm. I take this opportunity to thank each and every citizen of Odisha, and congratulate them for their determination and the faith and trust they have reposed in my government,” the Chief Minister said.

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