By Namita Tewari
New Delhi, Aug 29: Forget the legacy of the past where the leadership’s microscopic vision was restricted to ‘mines and minerals’ as it is a changed Jharkhand now with a futuristic approach and a road map for 15 years that offers plethora of untapped opportunities for investors, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said on Sunday.
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At the same time, the plans to push for more jobs to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Schedule Tribes (STs) under the state’s employment reservation plans would never prove to be a deterrent for industries, Soren said.
“My government is moving ahead with a futuristic approach. I have said this time and again, the results of what my government is doing will be visible in 10-15 years. I believe in long-term sustainable impact which will benefit my people not just for my term but for eternity…the leadership (in the past) could never think beyond mines and mineral based industries. The state could not showcase a concrete policy,” Soren told PTI in an interview here.
In neighbouring states, many industries are thriving on resources from Jharkhand; be it, mines and mineral-based industries, agro-food or meat processing, auto assembling units or textile for that matter, Soren said.
“You may not know that we are the largest producer of Tasar Silk in India. We are the second largest producer of horticulture crops in India, almost 40 per cent of the mineral wealth is in our state but the silk city of India is in Bihar. We are nowhere in the agro-food and meat processing industry. Why? Because of the microscopic vision of the leadership,” Soren said.
For future investors, he said they could be sure that a substantial part of the state is still untouched where a plethora of opportunities are waiting to be tapped.
“We rank 5th in ease of doing business in the country and we provide investors with a robust single window facility. If they come and invest in Jharkhand, I will stand with them and get industry established. I want to move forward with (a motto of) ‘Come, Let’s Walk Together, Grow Together’,” he said.
Asked that some see the reservation policy for employment in private sector industries as a deterrent, Soren said contrary to the perception it would be beneficial for the industries as Jharkhand houses honest and committed manpower.
“Reservation was not meant to discriminate some and benefit others. Whatever is good for the people of Jharkhand, we will do that. Talking about the new investors, would this affect them? No. If at any point in time, they find it difficult to fulfil their workforce requirement from locals they can claim exemption. There are provisions,” he said.
All potential investors who would commit to engage 35 per cent of their workforce from Scheduled Tribes / Scheduled Castes communities will be incentivised over and above the existing provisions of the new Jharkhand Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (JIIPP) 2021.
A large number of migrant workers from the state have suffered during the pandemic and Jharkhand evacuated them from different areas realising their pain and hardships and if investors absorb them it would be a great job, he said.
More jobs to SCs and STs come against a backdrop of the Jharkhand State Employment of Local Candidates Bill to ensure about 70 per cent job reservation for locals in private sector jobs having a salary ceiling of up to Rs 30,000.
“if someone wants to invest, they won’t find a better place and a better support system. We are in conversation with multiple investors. Our EMC (Electronic Manufacturing Cluster) at Adityapur is ready and operationalised. This is eastern India’s largest EMC and an ideal hub for investments in ESDM (Electronic System Design and Manufacturing) sector,” he said.
Most of the potential investors, if not all, appreciated “our draft policy on EV and termed it as transformational and holistic. We have taken their inputs and very soon we will launch one of India’s best electric vehicle policies and create a world-class infrastructure for EVs,” the CM said.
Soren said in his view any policy, be it for farmers or industrialists, should not be harassing in nature.
“Policies are a give and take matter, if you give someone the space to grow, that will return in terms of development of the state/country. We believe in a two-way communication which is bound to yield the best results,” he said.
The Chief Minister said if someone wished to come and establish their industry, they won’t have to struggle to find a suitable piece of land.
“We have ample space. As I told you, we have the capacity, we need support to grow. The government has established a separate entity, JIADA, for the allocation of land. If that doesn’t suit someone, we can talk and find the best suitable land for that industry.”
He said the state has called for private institutions to come and help it run engineering colleges as many of the college buildings are ready but they are kept unused.
“I invite interested corporate houses to come and help us create an infrastructure that will help our youth attain the necessary skills to thrive in the 21st century,” he said.
Asked about Naxal menace in the state, Soren said Naxalism is now stuck in very few distant pockets of the state. “Even there, our police personnel and forces of the paramilitary have tackled the concern well. Many of the big leaders have either surrendered or have been arrested. So, this will never be a problem,” he said.
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