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Uttar Pradesh govt engages EY to attract investments

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-09-2017 Utpal Bhaskar

New Delhi: As part of its attempts to attract investments in the state, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has appointed EY as its investment promotion consultants, said Alok Sinha, UP’s principal secretary, infrastructure and industrial development.

EY will help UP leverage its new industrial policy and prepare a roadmap for attracting investors from India and overseas through a series of roadshows and investor summits. The strategy to attract investors to the third largest economy of India that contributes 8.4% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) comes in the backdrop of the state holding the key to the 2019 general elections.

“They (EY) will come on board I think within the next two-three days. After that, we will plan an entire calendar (of events to seek investments),” Sinha said in an interview on Saturday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government has been pushing for big ticket infrastructure projects in the state, such as the Rs30,000 crore Purvanchal Expressway aimed at providing road connectivity to eastern Uttar Pradesh. Industrial townships are being planned along the expressway to provide jobs for the youth and market access for farmers.

The state government is looking to hold global investor summits in March and October next year to project Uttar Pradesh as an attractive investment destination.

This thrust comes in the context of UP’s industrial policy roadmap, which involves creating land banks, promoting country-specific industrial parks to attract foreign direct investment and helping set up private industrial parks around Lucknow-Kanpur, Kanpur-Allahabad and Varanasi-Allahabad zones.

“We will do whatever is required to bring investment to UP,” Sinha said, adding, “Even country-specific people are coming in and saying that they want to set up country-specific parks so that the units from that country can come and set up their units here.”

EY had earlier worked for the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government in the state which is key to the BJP’s chances in the 2019 general elections, the party having won 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats from the state in the last general election.

“It is like how do I get more investment into the state, particularly into the sectors where states want it,” said Gaurav Taneja, partner and leader, government practice at EY.

The plan involves leveraging the geographical advantage that UP offers along with the developed regions of Noida and Greater Noida while targeting specific sectors and areas for investments.

The BJP government in the state in July came out with an industrial policy which announced sops ranging from subsidized electricity and fiscal incentives to kick-start the development agenda promised before the elections.

The sectors to be focussed upon include information technology, ITES, electronics manufacturing, agro and food processing, dairy, green energy, handloom, textile and tourism.

Companies from outside which have manufacturing units in other states and those from within India also want to come to UP, Sinha added.

The investors are slowly getting interested in the UP story, long considered to be a laggard state with a poor law and order record. The state has witnessed investor interest from countries such as Taiwan and Japan who want to set up manufacturing units.

Some of the large infrastructure projects planned in the state include: a greenfield airport in Jewar in Greater Noida with the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority notifying 3,000 hectares of land for it and new metro rail systems at Kanpur, Meerut, Agra, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi and Ghaziabad.

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