Dharmshala: Any effort of the state government to attract investment to boost development is normally seen as positive initiative but the proposed Global Investor Meet 2019 (GIM) appears to be an “extravagant exercise” that is not likely to yield any concrete results. It will be more appropriate to term it as “Global MoU Signing Festival” rather than a serious investors meet effort to attract investment going by the manner the government is handling the meet. Signing MoUs can help create media headlines but it does not actually bring investment as has been the experience in other states where not even 25 percent of the MoUs have been implemented during the period of economic boom.
The media hype over investor meet for the past almost one year seems more a ploy to focus attention away from lacklustre performance of the state government over the past 21 months.
The entire focus is on publicity and no concern about the rules, regulations, environment and rights of the people which raised serious doubts about the investor meet. It may turn out to be another edition of “Himachal on Sale” the way government is easing all norms in a vague manner and without any concern for environment and bulldozing rights of people.
The provisions for NoC from panchayats and mandatory permissions from TCP Department have been waived which means there will be no public consultations and it will be a free for all like situation where any influential person can set up any project anywhere, making a mockery of bypassing mandatory provisions of law. The government has not learnt any lesson from the Himalayan Ski Village Project which could not be implemented due to opposition from local people. Such an approach will lead to turmoil and only portrays non-seriousness of the government to attract investors.Government should come out with a “white paper” and put black and white all the incentives, concessions and relaxations announced for various sectors and specific industries before the investors meet.