'Come, join the juggernaut', Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik urges investors

odisha-investors-meet-aayush Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with industralists during the 'Odisha Investor's Meet' in New Delhi on Wednesday | Aayush Goel

Odisha, the coastal eastern India state is fast emerging as an industrial hub. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik invited domestic and global industries to the state on Wednesday as part of an Odisha Investors' Meet and a soon to start 'Make in Odisha' initiative. “Come, join the juggernaut,” Patnaik beckoned at the national capital today.

Attending to his call for investors to the state were a host of big names and the who's who from the diplomatic community of a number of large economies. "You can reach 60 per cent of the world in five hours from Odisha. We are at the very centre," Patnaik said.

The Odisha chief minister said that, he had cleared investments of Rs 17,000 crore that are to take place in the state, in the month of August. Some of these investments include the important Dhamra port being set up by Adani Industries, one of the new major investors in the state.

Among the earlier investors, Tata Steel had a more than a century relationship with the mineral ore rich state. As a mark of which the steel major is setting up a major industrial hub at Kalinganagar.

Earlier, Sanjeev Chopra, Odisha's principal secretary (industries) had told THE WEEK about the state government's plans to become the next manufacturing hub and not just a mineral ore producer.

The second edition of Odisha Investors' Meet received good traction and investment proposals of Rs 200,000 crore were received during the conclave last year. "We can say that about 65 per cent of these investments are going to come up on the ground and are in various stages at this point," said Chopra.

The investment commitments also include a large scale project by Reliance Jio, to provide state-of-the-art communication bandwidth to the IT hubs in the state capital Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack and other places.

"We have the lowest cost of doing business. We have lowest labour rates, lowest industrial power tariff, lowest living cost and the lowest land cost in the country," said Aditya Prasad Padhi, Odisha chief secretary, quoting a study done by the state's industries department.

The state capital Bhubaneshwar had also topped the best cities to live in India list when the ranking was first constituted by the Union ministry of urban development in the year 2016.

"We have already put in place a comprehensive skill development policy and revamped industrial policy in the state. A clear set policy of setting up common infrastructures for industries has also been put in to place. We would provide incentives to industries for value adding," said Chopra, urging that the state was leaving no stones unturned to attract investors.

At the recent Odisha Investors Meet, Japan and SBI have come in as partners. Japanese food processing brand Nissin and a globally known refractory brand are likely to set up large bases in the state and have already signed agreements in this regard.

Patnaik said, he believed that the land of Lord Jagannath (from whom juggernaut is derived) will continue to bless industries in his home state after these policy changes. And industrialist Navin Jindal, who has a Rs 45,000 crore investment in the state, agrees with the chief minister.