Odisha: A Top Destination For Investment
Thanks to the liberalization which has explored and exposed many unexposed and unexplored sectors, regions and states in the realm of the trade investment and market movement. Earlies such sectors, regions and states which were remain untouched, now become hubnub for economic activity owing to liberalization paving the country for restructuring their economy suitably attracting the foreign investment in early 90s.After such experiment of more than two decade, many states have often realized that foreign investment is an integral for economic development. Thus economic diplomacy have overside the political diplomacy for attracting huge foreign investment. For this many states have often redevised new strategy/policy framework attracting the foreign investment. Odisha being a fastest growing economy, the state lubricating its economy through various reform/policy measures offering the state as a top platform for investment. Odisha is one of the most preferred destination for huge investment owing to its several advantages in terms of following positive attributes.
The economy of Odisha has been lagging behind the national economy by several decades as it based on the traditional agrarian foundation. But after the globalization and SAP, the Odishas economy has witnessing a paradigm shift through the sectoral Shifts in GSDP from agriculture to industry to service. Although Odisha is now a poorest state according to planning commission estimation is basing on the HDI, but the state witnessing a very high growth rate owing to high industrial growth. There is no dearth of statistics that indicates to this visible change in the economy of Odisha. The government taking at most care for reducing the rich-poor and urban-rural gap only by the rapid industrialization. By this the state could able to reduce its poverty as much as 20 per cent from 57 per cent to 37 per cent from 2004-05 to 2009-10(NSSO).
The state is witnessing an annual average growth rate of economy to nearly 9 per cent against the national rate nearly 7 per cent in the 11th plan period. Overall literacy rate of Odisha is nearly 74 per cent at par with the national average. The state also offers a large market base for consumers. The rapid progress in percapita income, reduction in poverty and low. Inflationary situation, considerable collection of taxes and no fiscal deficit etc. Attributes to the state to emerge as one of the most progressive economies of the country” soul of India”.
Favorable socio-cultural environment
Odisha mainly a progressive, modern and liberal society. To this effect, the mostly Odias are endowed with the quality of highly qualified, industrious, openness, knowledge in Hindi, English and technology, migratory and pro modernization-westernization. There is abundant educated and able workforce with above average skill level. Besides, Odisha is known for its rich cultural heritage and tribal pockets, which often attributes significantly the state an investors friendly atmosphere.
Abundant mineral resources
Odisha enjoys a special status in the country, as it has vast and diverse mineral deposit amounting to almost 16.92 per centof the total reserves of the country. According to all India mineral resources estimates , the state has deposit of chromite, nickel, cobalt, bauxite, iron ore are about 98.4 per cent, 95.1 per cent 77.5 per cent,52.7 per cent and 33.4 per cent respectively of the total deposit of India. Besides other important resources of the state are limestone, china clay, quartz, precious and semi precious stone, cupper, coal, dolomite, iron ore, iron ore, manganese and bauxite.
Attractive government policy
The Govt. of Odisha has made several policy announcement in order to boost industrialization is various sectors of the economy. These policy documents devised in order to fully utilize the states resources, create gainful employment and improve the quality of life the people. Such historic policies are outlined as:
1) Information and communication technology policy 2014(ICT).
2) Odisha industries facilitation act 2004.
3) Orissa Resettlement and rehabilitation policy 2006.
4) Orissa MSME Development policy 2009.
5) I.P.R 2007.
6) Public private partnership policy 2006.
7) Odisha tourism policy 2013.
8) Agriculture policy 2006.
9) Industrial policy resolution, IPR 2007.
10) Odisha food Processing policy 2013.
11) Odisha protection of interest of depositors bill -2011.
12) Foreign Direct Investment policy, 2006
13) Odisha Industrial policy, 2007
14) Odisha State Port Policy
Huge infrastructural inputs
Over the years, the Odisha economy has been boosted with the presence of modern infrastructural facilities. The state has very excellent transportation system upgraded with well maintained road network, an international airport, major ports and rail network connecting all major cities of the country. The extensive telecom network in the states mostly of modern microwave systems and optical fibers. Bhubaneswar the state capital has been ranked by the world bank as one of the 3 best places in the country for business which having high quality connectivity to all key locations of the country through rail, road, air, N.H. Besides, the single window clearance system, cheap labour skilled and semi skilled workforce and power tariff and the state is also fast emerging as a hub for education, IT, software and healthcare facilities and urban infrastructure of global repute.
Over the years IPICOL, IDCO, Department of I.T, Department of Tourism, Department of MSME are plays vital role as nodal agency for promoting investments linkages are the positive attractive attributes.
Favorable geo-climatic factors
No doubt geography of a state plays a vital role in economic linkages with across the country. Odisha located on the east coast of India by the bay of Bengal. It is the 9th largest state in India in terms of area and 11th largest area by population. The state has a huge coastline of about 500km with having two major ports and 10 more ports get to start. Besides the coast has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The beautiful beaches in the east coast of the state, the minerally reach mountains, western Odisha and huge forget cover offers an attractive incentive for investment. Importantly one of the deepest port of India i.e Paradeep port having very rich mineral base. Besides the favorable climatic condition, five physiographic divisions, Chilika Lake, wide variety of flora and fauna, picturesque hills minerally rich mountains and finally more than two dozens of rivers are to be considered as vital attractive factor for investment in the state.
Unlike the other states and the Centre, Odisha has witnessed a very stable govt. and mere apparently during the last one and half decades under the BJD rule. The stable polity attributed by a supportive, responsive, flexible administrative framework controlled law and order situation leading to rapid industrialization. The stable polity facilitating to a progressive govt. for delivery of consensus and durable policies, which positively helps investors and attributing the state a top investment destination in the country.
It is pertinent here to assess the impact of such globalisation and the states experiment with SAP for nearly one and half decade. It can be said that Odisha is one of the first Indian states to have tackled its structural problems during post-1991. Indian economic reforms. In India, Odisha is the first state to start with the privatization of the power sector, i.e its electricity transmission and distribution business. The former state Electricity Board (SEB) was restructured to GRIDCO. In agriculture sector, despite of severe drought and adverse climatic condition and natural calamities and lack of adequate irrigation facilities over the years, the state has witnessed growth in this sector in terms of heavy production of food grains and the share of agriculture sector was hoped to rise to 17.4 per cent in 2012-2013. There has been witnessed an intense diverfication with special emphasis in allied sectors of agriculture, as it still engages more than 60 per cent of the work force of the state.
In industrial sector, there is an unprecedented growth owing to huge investments in steel, aluminium, cement, petroleum, power retinesses and ports. More than 90 globally reputed investors are in business in the state in above sectors prominently. In this regard, the union Dept. of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) data reveals that Odisha as the most attractive Indian state for investment in 2013. In that year only, there is huge investment of Rs. 97.833 crore for Odisha for 36 projects. These includes proposals for Ferro-alloy plant in Ganjam and slab unit in Jajpur from TATA steel, a steel plant at Kendrapara from Jindal steel. A urea unit at Jagatsinghpur from Paradeep Phosphate and a Fertilizer unit at Jagatsinghpur from IFFCO. The POSCO plant in Odisha expected to bring about meaningful growth and investment in India. POSCO with its advanced technology and huge capital base to the joint venture with India and offers India a step up in its goal to build its steel industry into a global power house. POSCO with its huge investment of USD 12 billion (Rs 52000 crore) will create nearly, 50000 direct or indirect Job and linked infrastructure development would definitely project Odisha as an attractive investment destination for other global investors.
Now state is claming among top three states in the country in the attaractive investment. It is seen that despite of the global economic slowdown, the state economy has grown at 9 per cent against the 5.5 per cent of growth rate of the country. As per the R.B.I report of the year 2012-2013, Odisha placed at the top as it attracted more than Rs. 53,000 crore investment, which accounts about 27 per cent of national share.
In IT sector, there is also an unprecedented growth over the year owing to India’s topmost IT consulting firms, including Satyam, TCS, mind tree. Price, water house coopers and Infosys have large branches in the state. Besides IBM, Syntel, Cognizant, Bosch and Wipro are doing the business centres in the state as one of the top IT hob in the country enabling the state to earn huge foreign currency.
The main concern for the state is to attach much importance for removing the intra-state imbalance, which has been receiving special attention in the plan strategy of the state. For this, the state should give the seasonable tax breaks for the private investors in labour intensives manufacturing, agro processing, tourism and other employment generating sector in the under developed tribal region. The areas of K-B-K, Kandhamal and labour surplus region like Ganjam, Balasore to be also taken care of in order to check massive exohodus of labour to Surat. Besides, utmost case also be taken for employment generation by enhancing employable technical and soft skills of unemployed youth. Since nearly 65 per cent of the state population is engaged in agriculture sector, therefore agro-based sector must be taken care of. Govt. gives utmost priority where there is several investment opportunities in the sector in agro-infrastructure like cold storage, lift irrigation, fishing and food processing, production of organic plants like tea, ginger, coffee, cashew and other industries which will add value to agricultural production. Finally, it would considered that investment would be an noble phenomena, if it address to the basic problems of the state i.e poverty, unemployment, rural-urban gap, HRD, agriculture, rural upliftment with an utmost care to the environment. Besides there is need to address to labour unrest and various seams.
By Sweta Kumar Dash
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