The comprehensive policy approved by the state’s cabinet in the backdrop of 100 days of Yogi Adityanath government is a leitmotif of what is to follow on the economic landscape of Uttar Pradesh, the third largest economy of India that contributes 8.4% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
In order to woo industries, the policy laid out a roadmap, which involves creating land banks, promoting country-specific industrial parks to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and helping set up private industrial parks around Lucknow-Kanpur, Kanpur-Allahabad and Varanasi-Allahabad zones.
The sectors to be focussed upon include information technology, ITeS, electronics manufacturing, agro and food processing, dairy, green energy, handloom, textile and tourism.
“The government will promote religious tourism and conserve the heritage sites in the state," the policy stated.
Some of the fiscal incentives, subsidies and concessions announced by the ‘Industrial Investment and Employment Promotion Policy of Uttar Pradesh 2017’ includes stamp duty exemption, capital and infrastructure interest subsidy, employee provident fund reimbursement and electricity duty exemption, subject to certain conditions, to attract investments.
The state also plans to organize a Global Investors Summit to project Uttar Pradesh as an investment destination.
“The policy emphasizes a need to ensure balanced regional development in Uttar Pradesh by means of facilitating linkages, fiscal incentives and leveraging regional advantages in Bundelkhand, Madhyanchal, Paschimanchal and Poorvanchal," the policy said.
Connectivity is an important theme of the policy and articulates the government’s vision of building new metro rail services, airports and a new road corridor connecting Mathura, Kashi, Jhansi and Gorakhpur on the lines of the Lucknow-Agra Expressway and upcoming Poorvanchal Expressway, thereby connecting the entire state.
“The long term strategy of the GoUP (Government of Uttar Pradesh) is to create a connectivity web of air, water, road and rail network that will help the state’s industries and manufacturing units switch seamlessly between different modes of transport as they send their goods to markets in India and abroad," the policy said.
The investors are slowly getting interested in the UP story, long considered to be a laggard state with an abysmal law and order track record. A case in point being the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which last week announced its commitment to invest $5 billion in states such as UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Also, ADB president Takehiko Nakao travelled to Lucknow last week to meet chief minister Adityanath.
Apart from a new metro rail being planned at Kanpur, Meerut, Agra, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi and Ghaziabad, the focus is on developing Bundelkhand, Poorvanchal and Madhyanchal. Also, the state government intends to develop new airports with the help of private sector participation.
This follows the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government clearing a proposal for setting up a greenfield airport in Jewar in Greater Noida. Also, plans are in the works to expand the Varanasi airport which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency.
“Equally important is the role of logistical infrastructure which enables delivery of products and services as and when they are needed and desired thereby serving as a major enabler of growth of industrialisation, trade and commerce in an economy," the policy stated.
The industrial policy said that the UP government intends to develop multi-modal logistics hub at strategic locations of the state and across the vicinity of western dedicated freight corridor and the eastern dedicated freight corridor.
This comes in the backdrop of the goods and services tax set to transform India’s logistics industry with the NDA government’s plan to set up 35 multi-modal logistics parks at an investment of Rs50,000 crore and develop 50 economic corridors.
Also, UP plans to set up a State Investment Promotion Board, skill its manpower and promote start-ups to push its growth matrix.The state government is putting the required manpower in place to see its plans through with Rajive Kumar last week appointed as UP’s chief secretary amid a major bureaucratic reshuffle. Kumar was repatriated to his cadre before the completion of his term as the Union shipping secretary.
The policy also aims to develop the state as an important centre for film production. In order to do so, the state government plans to set up film cities, promote multiplexes, revive closed and loss incurring cinema halls and set up a Film and Television Institute in the state. In addition, trade tax exemption, concession on entertainment tax and subsidy on amount paid as wages to the artists will be provided.
With security concerns being a dampener for attracting investments in the state, the UP government has announced measures to assuage investors.
“This dedicated police force headed by specialised officer will be deputed at industrial clusters/ areas in regions like Noida, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Bundelkhand, Poorvanchal. Integrated police cum fire station will also be established in major industrial clusters/ areas," the policy stated.
Tarun Shukla contributed to the story