VISION-2023: As the TN Pegasus tries to fly high
Pegasus is a sign of lightning and it is believed wherever it lands it brings spring says the Greek mythology. Now it has made its presence in GIM 2015 (Global Investors Meet 2015), first of its kind in Tamil Nadu. With the literal translation of the flying horse’s name from Latin, we are bound to believe that the spring of Tamil Nadu has arrived and the growth would be like lightning and thunder. The profile of the state, ‘Why Tamil Nadu?’ in the official website of the meet presents itself as one of the fastest growing state in 9 of the 12 sectors in India. The GIM has a target of attracting 1 lakh crore investment (16 billion USD) which the government sources say, have already surpassed. Partnership from 9 countries and 21 organisations, housing about 1000 foreign investment delegates and 4000 from various parts of India in a single roof in the Chennai Trade centre, GIM has showed its might in the inauguration event.
There are lot of factors to be considered which have been a great hinder to the past investors like delay in clearance of documents, the electricity crisis and the unknown unions formed in the manufacturing units that participate in strikes most of the time. For the above mentioned problems, the government have answers.
The government in the GIM has promised the single window clearance in 30 days for the Memorandum of Understandings signed in the event. The government has registered its point that it is in the verge of turning in to an electricity surplus state. The statistics in the state also gives a clear picture that the strike rate in the state has decreased to a great extent from 2003 to 2012. It has also clarified that the closing of Nokia manufacturing unit in Chennai was not because of the Government.
Let us assume, TN gets the 1 lakh crore investments as planned and even surpasses the target. What does that have to do with the normal citizen living in Chennai or anywhere in Tamil Nadu? The investments have been guaranteed to be taken 40% from energy sector, 40% from manufacturing and 10% from IT and IT enabled Services.
First of all, this promises surplus employment opportunities in the future in the energy and manufacturing sector. ‘Do we have the skilled labour to achieve this target?’ is the next question that pops in our head. ‘Yes, we have or we will create it’, says the government and this statement were backed by HCL in the event, which has promised a skill development program for about 20,000 students in various fields all over the state.
Second, this would help improve the infrastructure of the state. Third, if all goes as planned Tamil Nadu will achieve its Vision, to achieve 14% growth rate per annum and a total 15 lakh crore investment by 2023.
I have intent to explore this second point. A state that is a hub for 6 international airports, lot of manufacturing units in automobile sector and textile and leather industry has posed itself a great challenge in this concern. The government has to realize that it is not enough to develop and maintain the areas of Meenambakkam and that of the areas stayed and visited by VIPs. The entire state needs the best infra to project to be the leading state in India, a feat the government has beset to achieve. In the past, the development in the state has destroyed a lot of natural resources. One such example is the Koovam River in Adayar. This generation would never accept it as river but as drainage. Lot of ponds and lakes have vanished in the name of urbanization.
Today’s state of Koovam River, Adyar.
Picture and quote credit: Arvind an IT professional at Athena health
Will the investments, in various parts of TN, destroy the left over natural resources? This question irks my mind. So does for the many other people in the state. The answer lies in the hand of the government which has given Environmental protection infrastructure subsidy up to USD 50,000.
Resources: Wikipedia, The Hindu, GIM website
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