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Cong raises questions on success of Dhami’s UK visit

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 1 Oct: Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Karan Mahara today raised questions on the success of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s recent tour to United Kingdom (UK). Addressing the media at Congress Bhawan here, today, Mahara claimed that the Global Investors’ Summit being organised under CM Dhami’s leadership will suffer the same fate as faced earlier by the Global Investors’ Summit held under leadership of then Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.

Mahara claimed that the proposed Global Investors’ Summit by Dhami Government is being organised in a copy paste manner of how it had been organised by Trivendra Singh Rawat. Mahara said that the then Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had also described the 2018 Investors’ Summit as hugely successful and as one that would create new employment opportunities and promote reverse migration. Now, Dhami is also saying the same things. Even at the time of Trivendra Rawat’s Investor Summit, it was claimed that investment agreements to the tune of Rs 74,000 crores were made during the Curtain Raiser events and, by the end of the Summit, MoUs worth Rs 1,40,000 crores were claimed to have been signed. However, not much actually materialised.

Mahara said that Dhami is also talking about the proposed investment of Rs 12,500 crores before the Investors’ Summit. Mahara said that those who were talking about bringing investment of Rs 2.5 lakh crore to the state seem to be happy with the proposal of Rs 12,500 crore, which is totally insignificant as compared to the targeted investment amount and, hence, can’t be claimed as an achievement as the government.

Raising questions on the investments being mentioned during the four-day visit of the CM to London, Mahara said that the Usha company with which the MoU was signed is a Ghaziabad based company. What was the need to show its investment from London when the MoU with Usha could have been done in India itself. Usha is already in the field of ropeways and already working in Uttarakhand, then where is the new investor?

Mahara said that the conditions of the state should be better to attract investors but, in reality, the conditions in the state are not conducive to attracting more capital. The Congress leader asserted that the investor invests in a state only after considering all aspects like law and order, electricity, water, roads, etc.

Mahara said that, in view of the fact that the ruling party is instigating communal riots and spreading religious frenzy in Uttarakhand, investors would rethink 10 times before considering investing funds here. Moreover, the indifferent attitude of the government after the disaster will also be an important factor to consider for the investors, he claimed. Mahara also cornered the government on the unemployment rate of the state. He said that, in October 2022, the unemployment rate of the state was 4.01 percent, which has almost doubled today to 7.8 percent in September 2023. Mahara claimed that, according to the website of Industries of Uttarakhand, no big industry or investment has come to the state after 2014. In such a situation, the Dhami government is only trying to mislead the public.

The government should reveal the figures of the Investors’ Summit held in 2018, how many companies have come and how many have been closed till now, he demanded. Mahara said that, in December 2022, the Dhami government of Uttarakhand had signed an agreement with an American company called McKenzie, which has not made any progress, so far.  He reminded that the Dhami government had signed a contract of Rs 100 crore with McKenzie Group on which the government is spending Rs 2.5 lakh per day. It was claimed that McKenzie Group would double the GDP of the state within 2 years. But the reality is that Uttarakhand is facing a deep debt burden even after 9 months, no work of the McKenzie Group is visible on the ground. Mahara claimed that McKenzie Group is a blacklisted company in many countries and big questions are being raised on its credibility.

In such a situation, the question arises why did the government enter into a contract with this company by paying such a huge amount, he asked. He also claimed that, till now, 3672 small scale industries have been closed in the state during BJP rule. This was revealed by the then Chief Secretary, Utpal Kumar Singh, at a press conference in 2021. He also claimed that BJP Government is making a pretence of holding the summit just in the view of upcoming parliamentary elections in the country in an effort to mislead the people.

BJP rebuts Congress allegations on Global Investment Summit

By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 1 Oct: Countering the allegations levelled by State Congress Chief Karan Mahara on CM Pushkar Singh Dhami’s UK visit and upcoming Investment Summit, BJP State Chief Mahendra Bhatt and State Media In charge Manveer Singh Chauhan claimed that Congress is indulging in politics over an issue that concerns development of the state.

Speaking informally with media persons here, today, BJP State President Mahendra Bhatt claimed that Congress is not able to digest the efforts being made by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to establish industries in the state. Anyone who wants to invest in India can meet the officials of the government anywhere and, if they want to sign an MOU, the Chief Minister would go there. Bhatt was referring to the MoU signed with Usha Company which signed an MoU with the Uttarakhand Government during the CM’s recent UK visit.

It may be recalled that Mahara had raised a question over the CM signing the MoU with an “Indian” company Usha in UK. 

Bhatt claimed that the owners of Usha Company live in UK and the company has established many industrial units abroad. There is nothing wrong with CM Dhami signing an MoU with the company while on a foreign tour. This, he claimed was a commendable step, not something to criticise.  By levelling such allegations, Congress has only exposed its anti progress agenda and mentality, Bhatt claimed.

On the other hand, BJP state media in-charge Manveer Singh Chauhan also claimed that the way investors have shown keen interest towards Uttarakhand before the summit and signed MOUs, it is clear that the Dhami government is going to achieve the target and all the investments will also be implemented on the ground. Chauhan claimed that the Congress government also needs to review its own performance between 2012 and 2017 when it ruled the state. At that time, due to instability, factionalism, scams and lack of will power, no new investment fructified. No attention was given to investment in Uttarakhand.  As a result, no investment came and the pace of development in the state became limited. Chauhan sought to stress that investment is necessary for the development and strengthening of the economy in the state. It need not be seen from which country the investment is coming.

The BJP leader claimed that the government’s intention is clear on bringing investment and Congress should also welcome it in the state, rather than raise questions. Work should not be seen from the perspective of political profit or loss. The owner of the company operating in India is a resident of Britain and he is signing an MOU there, so why should there be any problem with this?