According to a latest report by ASSOCHAM, Uttar Pradesh will benefit from double-digit growth in the near future (1). On the 15th of January, 2016, The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India organized an Investment Summit in Lucknow, labelled as “Uttar Pradesh @ Double Digit Growth: Unfolding Investment Opportunities”, which showcased Uttar Pradesh’s investment-friendly environment and the ample opportunities it offers its budding entrepreneurs. The state’s Chief Minister, Shri Akhilesh Yadav inaugurated the Summit.
Another essential growth statistic which has come to light is the state’s phenomenal GDP growth rate of 8.12%, far ahead of the national average of 6.9% during the same period (2013-2014) (2). The state has started to race ahead of national figures on several parameters such as economic growth, infrastructure development, industry, services sector rise and labour productivity.
These impressive growth statistics come as no surprise, for the Uttar Pradesh government has consistently worked towards generating investment in the state, along with providing a helping hand to entrepreneurs through its policies that aim to increase transparency and improve ease of doing business, such as the UPIGRS (Uttar Pradesh Industrial Grievance Redressal system). This e-governance system acts as a support system for entrepreneurs, and assists them in solving their problems. And the Government also set up Udyog Bandhu, an organization which aims to help entrepreneurs and accelerate the growth of investment in the services and industrial sectors (3).
Faster processing of information and applications for projects has been a major factor in propelling growth in the state. The state is also investing in its human capital by skilling its youth. The UPSDM (Uttar Pradesh Skill Development Mission) skills the youth with skills that will align them well with curent labor market consitions. Global firms such as Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have offered to help the MSME industries of the state and give them an edge in the market. The government has also been taking steps to encourage and keep businesses buoyant, for instance, the government will issue bonds worth Rs 3,677 to help reduce the debt of its ailing discoms.
The Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also applauded the success of the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, stating, “The Expressway will be extended to the eastern district of Ghazipur bordering Bihar. Kisan Mandis will be set up by the Expressway, which would help in the sale of potatoes, of which UP is the highest producer.” (2). Apart from this, the Government has also pledged massive investment in the transportation sector, and announced the start of the Lucknow Metro by the end of 2016. Construction of the Metro Rail in Varanasi, Meerut, Allahabad, and Kanpur is also in the pipelines.
The Investor’s Conclave organized in Mumbai in September, 2015, saw Akhilesh Yadav signing 40 MoU’s worth ₹33,000 Crores to promote investment in UP. “I invite you to visit UP at least once and urge you not to go by reports in the media. I assure you that when you see the state, you will find it as the most prosperous”, he stated during the Conclave (4). Due to the Government’s incessant efforts, investments in the state during 2013-2014 surpassed US$ 100 billion (2).
The Government’s endeavours to stimulate investment in the state are bearing fruit, and the results can be seen in the rapid growth of the state’s GDP, which grew at 14.2% in the period from 2004-05 to 2013-14 (2). Uttar Pradesh, in 2015, also had the second highest GDP (after Maharashtra) among 33 Indian States and Union Territories. And this trend will hopefully continue in the future, as Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav strives to turn Uttar Pradesh into the investment-hub of the nation.