Although Akhilesh Yadav is in favour of reviving the UP Development Council (UPDC) and invite big industrialists with proven track records to invest in the state , the million-dollar question which haunts people is whether it would be a mere repetition of what happened in past or prove to be a dynamic industrial development advisory board?
According to sources in the Samajwadi Party (SP), some corporate houses have already congratulated Akhilesh, the chief minister-designate and SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav reminding them that they are still interested in playing a key role in the growth of the state.
The UPDC, with Amar Singh as chairman and Anil Ambani, Kumar Mangalam Birla and K.V. Kamath as its members, had promised an investment of Rs 30,000 crore. But it turned out to be a jugglery at a tea party.
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When Mayawati took over as CM in 2007, she abandoned the UPDC but allowed Jaiprakash Gaur and Ponty Chadha to be a part of her inner circle. About 40,000 acre was handed over to the Jaypee Group for expressways and power projects. Over 10,000 acre of farm land was acquired from farmers and given to Chadha's group for hi-tech townships and special economic zones.
While in some cases, the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court stepped in and a higher compensation was granted, in many cases the land losers accepted their fate. But the claim of development turned out to be a lie.
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Akhilesh has promised composite development and assured a roadmap to that effect very soon. He has also said that corrective measures would be taken regarding the sale of 32 sugar mills of the cooperatives to private houses between 2003 and 2007 at throwaway prices. "Development is my priority and very soon you will see it," he said.
Abhishek Mishra, a former teacher at IIM-Ahmedabad who has been elected MLA on SP ticket from Lucknow North, said, "It is true that only lip service was done in the name of development in last five years. But if you remember, 29 sugar mills were set up between 2003 and 2007, when Mulayam was CM. Although the previous government handed Business honchos bank on Young Turk over lands to private builders at throwaway prices and the builders charged exorbitant prices from flat buyers, you can see that the world-class hi-tech township of Ansals under construction in Lucknow and many other cities of the state which were started during Mulayam's rule are about to change the economy of the state."
Naved Siddiqui, an SP secretary, said, "Akhilesh wants to revive UPDC and invite all industrial houses to invest in UP. In one of our conversations, Akhilesh promised that there would be no red tape and ideal infrastructure would be provided to industries in UP in addition to proper law and order."
V.N. Garg, infrastructure and industrial development commissioner of UP, said, "We are committed to inviting investments in the state. The Udyog Bandhu would be expanded and unfavourable taxes would be revised."
Vijay Thadani, chairman of CII, northern region, hoped that things would improve in UP. "There is great scope for development in the state. We hope that the government will think about making the state a genuine investment destination," he said.
Courtesy: Mail Today