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Neighbour’s envy. Hooda’s pride. That’s Haryana!
At the recently concluded India-Japan Global Partnership Summit in Tokyo, Haryana’s Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, made a strong pitch for investment in his State. In an exclusive interaction with B&E, Hooda says the state’s strong industrial base, infrastructure and agriculture are its drawing card.
Issue Date - 13/10/2011
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is just back from his visit to Japan after leading a high-powered delegation to the India-Japan Global Partnership Summit in Tokyo. Haryana already tops the list of investments from Japan in India and the state expects a lot more in the coming years. Almost 70% of the state’s population is still dependent on agriculture but the spate of development and industrial growth that Haryana has witnessed in recent years is nothing short of impressive. The industrial drive, which began around the new millennium has, under the leadership of Hooda, gathered greater force and momentum along the way. In fact, the state’s economic growth and multifaceted development is often cited by the ruling Congress-led UPA government at the Centre as a standing example for other states to follow.

In an exclusive interaction with B&E, Hooda says the response he received from Japanese investors looking to invest in Haryana was more than encouraging. “For Japan, Haryana is a different ball game altogether,” says Hooda. With one-third of Haryana falling under the National Capital Region, the state has been able to attract sizable investments from multinational companies, large business houses, foreign investors, NRIs and small scale entrepreneurs. Today, the state encourages industrial policies that are environment friendly and conducive for investment.

“The key focus of investments here is on small and medium enterprises, so that the people of Haryana also get more opportunities for employment and a better life,” says Hooda. During the visit, Hooda also met with Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and sought his help in spurring Japanese investment and flow of technology to creating new capacities in Haryana’s manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. The chief minister took great pains in highlighting Haryana’s sound economic indices – its high per capita income, decent industrial infrastructure, strong manufacturing base, advanced agriculture sector and vibrant service sector – to impress upon Japanese investors to step up their investments in the state. Haryana enjoys a particularly strong reputation in manufacturing sectors like automobiles & auto components, light engineering goods, IT & ITeS, textiles & apparel and electrical & electronic goods.

As per a research study of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Haryana ranks number one on Per Capita-Net State Domestic Product (PC-NSDP) among major States. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Haryana is expected to grow at 9% during 2010-11, per capita income at 7.2% and revenue receipts at 23.7% against 13.8% in 2009-10. Another study published by industry trade body Assocham points out that Haryana stands out among all States for showing the highest implementation rate of 81% on the pledged investments. Even though the protracted slowdown in the global economy is having an adverse effect on several industries, especially those from the MSME sector, Haryana has responded to the call by taking timely measures. “Even during the peak slowdown period, we took various steps which have led to the maturity of 70% of the investment proposals during 2008-09,” Hooda tells B&E. “This level of investment maturity was the highest in the country during the period,” he adds. A recent report by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) states that the performance of the service sector in Haryana has helped the state post higher than national GDP growth between 2004-05 and 2009-10.

Born to a renowned freedom fighter, Choudhary Ranbir Singh, in Sanghi village of Rohtak in Haryana, Hooda got his first opportunity to lead the state government as chief minister in March, 2005. He created a history of sorts in the Haryana assembly elections of 2009, when he once again led the Congress to victory. Since 1972, no party had returned to power in Haryana. An alumnus of Sainik School, Kunjpura, in the Karnal district of Haryana, and a graduate from the University of Delhi, Hooda is a veteran politician who was a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha for four terms in 1991, 1996, 1998 and 2004. He served as Leader of the Opposition in Haryana’s Legislative Assembly from 2001 to 2004. Earlier he was President of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) from 1996 to 2001 and has had the distinction of defeating the late Chaudhary Devi Lal, a stalwart politician from Haryana, in electoral battles fought in the Jat heartland of Rohtak for three consecutive Lok Sabha terms.

Haryana’s success in building its image as a state that stands apart from the others – especially in terms of investments, industrialisation and development – can be attributed largely to Hooda’s ability in attracting investment through investor-friendly policies and timely, smooth delivery of services. “We have made concerted efforts to remove bottlenecks for the smooth operation of industries,” says Hooda. During his tenure as CM, the state government has enacted the Industrial Promotion Act 2005, introduced self-certification schemes and made provisions for providing a conducive and enabling environment for investors.

The state’s policies on land acquisition have also won plaudits. Haryana offers the highest market rates in the country for land acquired from farmers for development projects. Still, there have been instances of protests against these very policies. Hooda says he believes that there is always scope for improvement and assures that his government is taking all possible measures to ensure that outstanding issues are resolved at the earliest. “Please remember that this state was the first to introduce the concept of annuity payments in lieu of land acquisition from farmers,” Hooda points out. Many suggest the state’s annuity payment concept for land acquisition, where the compensation is based on annuity and value-added market price of the land, can serve as a practical model for other states. Apart from offering lump sum compensation, it provides a 33-year annuity, annual hike, plots, jobs and even a 20% incentive for a no-litigation agreement.


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