Odisha will cement its place as investors’ paradise
While inaugurating the third edition of ‘Make in Odisha’ Conclave in November last year,
While inaugurating the third edition of the ‘Make in Odisha’ Conclave in November last year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said Odisha is fast emerging as a fulcrum of trade, commerce and industrialisation in Eastern India. This was not a bald statement, but a target that the State Government under his able leadership has pursued in a focussed manner with the backing of sustained reforms, supporting infrastructure and, of course, natural resources.
Situated on the eastern coast of India, Odisha has an abundance of mineral resources such as iron ore, coal, bauxite, chrome ore, manganese, etc. In a nearly complete reversal, there is now significant value addition taking place within the State thus adding substantially to the exchequer and creating jobs. Odisha’s mining revenue was a record 49,859 crores in 2021-22, a significant jump from 13,918 crores in 2020-21, and steel production is set to increase nearly three times to 80 million tonnes while aluminium production will double to 8 million tonnes.
It is but natural that minerals and metals-based investment will find its way to Odisha with expansion projects being the focus. What is heartening, however, is the diversification into other areas with 64% of the 183 projects committed during MIO 2018 being in the non-mineral, greenfield category with fertilisers, refineries and petrochemicals leading the way. The latest Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR 2022) released during MIO 2022 has identified Priority and Thrust sectors with an aim to attract investment in areas like IT, ITeS & Datacentres, Automobiles & Auto components, Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals, Green Hydrogen & Green Ammonia, etc.
Further, besides formulating policies specifically targeting MSMEs, the State Government has also prioritised the upliftment of women through its Mission Shakti initiative under which Rs 17,000 crores of loans have been provided to Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) during the last 5 years enabling them to become entrepreneurs. The annual average growth rate of the industrial sector of Odisha in the last nine years has been 5.36% as against 3.77% at the national level with the manufacturing sector contributing 48.4% in 2020-21 followed by the mining sector at 24.60%.
Odisha’s industries also continue to increase their contribution to the State’s Gross Value Added (GVA) with a 36.26% share as compared to 26% nationally. This is the outcome of enabling policies, a focus on developing industrial infrastructure and, most importantly, clarity of thought coupled with administrative efficiency. Forward-thinking policies have accelerated industrialisation in Odisha and will continue to attract capital flows to the State.
However, given the importance of sustainability, a policy which incentivises industries to meet ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) targets is crucial. Furthermore, as in many parts of the country, large-scale land acquisition remains a challenge even as Odisha has made progress in creating land banks. Finally, although ‘Skilled in Odisha’ is synonymous with high-quality skill development interventions, changing times will call for different skill sets.
As India marches on towards becoming the world’s third-largest economy before the end of this decade, a slew of policies targeted at the manufacturing sector presents a tremendous opportunity for Odisha. By complementing the Centre’s efforts to enhance the ease of doing business and reduce the cost of doing business, the State is fast emerging as an investors’ paradise.