Mumbai: At the fifth Madhya Pradesh Global Investment Summit (GIS) beginning on Saturday at Indore, the state government will present a report card on the status of investment commitments made at the four previous such investor gatherings.

A top MP government official leading the preparations for the biennial event said chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will present the report at the inaugural session on Saturday, 22 October. “We will show that the previous editions of GIS have been productive not only in terms of projecting Madhya Pradesh as the state which has long outgrown its Bimaru status but also in getting real, tangible investment commitments," said this official on condition of anonymity. (Bimaru refers to the economically and industrially backward states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh and loosely translates to ‘sick’ in Hindi). “No one calls us Bimaru anymore," the official said.

There is also “a political intent" behind releasing data about the status of investment agreements signed at the GIS which started in 2007, the official said.

“It is to blunt the criticism that all agreements signed at GIS remain only on paper and are never translated into action. We will show the rate of investment implementation and follow-up on the proposals committed at GIS. The report card will also mention the action we have taken on the suggestions investors and CEOs have made at each summit," said the official. Each of these summits has been held at Indore, the business capital of Madhya Pradesh and one of the cities selected by the Union government under its Smart City Project.

At the first GIS held in Indore in 2007, Madhya Pradesh signed investment agreements worth $18.3 billion. The investment commitment doubled to $36 billion at the next GIS in 2010. The 2012 event fetched investment MoUs worth $44 billion and the last GIS in 2014 saw signing of agreements worth $66.1 billion.

“There is a steady growth in investment commitments which indicates growing trust in governance, political stability and continuity in policy making, and government’s constant endeavour to bring in more business-friendly policies," said an industry department official, who did not wish to be identified. In 2007, the event saw participation by only 301 companies, mostly domestic. By 2014, the number of participants had gone up to 5,000 including a number of foreign companies.

Madhya Pradesh has been one of the fastest growing states in India, recording an average annual growth of 9.5% in its gross state domestic product (GSDP) from 2013 to 2015. In 2015-16, it reported a GSDP growth of 10.5% against the national growth of 7.3%. In its 2015 report rating the Indian states on the Ease of Doing Business agenda, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) ranked Madhya Pradesh fifth. The same report ranked Madhya Pradesh number one for allotment of industrial land and online construction permits.

“We have a land bank of around 25,000 hectares of which 9,000 hectares is fully developed. All information about land availability and status of land is on the portal of Madhya Pradesh Trade and Investment Facilitation Corporation. The portal also categorises land as developed or under-developed depending on the facilities we have provided. That makes it easy for investors to choose the land," the official said.

Over 3,000 delegates including 500 from five partner countries—the UK, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and United Arab Emirates—are attending this year’s summit. On 21 October, there will be a CEOs’ dinner with chief minister Chouhan to facilitate “an informal discussion and get feedback from the investors on what is stopping them from investing in Madhya Pradesh", according to the industry official.

“About 125 top CEOs including some global companies are attending this dinner. Some of them have attended previous GIS and the chief minister is keen to have their feedback. Also, an informal discussion is always better than a public forum to discuss problems and bottlenecks," said the official.

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