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Khattar rolls out the red carpet in Happening Haryana

Chitra Narayanan New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on February 05, 2016

Manohar Lal Khattar Haryana Chief Minister

Woos investors with linguistic skills, tolerance of beef

“Konnichiwa,” said Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, greeting delegates at the Japan-Haryana Business Meet in Delhi, before proceeding to rattle off several sentences in the visitors’ language.

Ahead of ‘Happening Haryana’, the big bang investor summit the State is hosting in March with a target of attracting ₹1 lakh crore of investments, Khattar and his team are doing road shows globally as well as in India.

Khattar, who speaks Tamil too, has been to the US, Canada, Japan and China and will soon be pitching to business groups in Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore.

“We are going to beat our target even before the summit kicks off,” he told BusinessLine on the sidelines of the event, describing how during his Beijing visit, the Chinese group Dalian Wanda had pledged an investment of $10 billion to set up an industrial park near Sonepat. “That’s ₹60,000 crore already,” said Khattar, adding how 3,000 acres of land at Kharkhoda is being made available for the project.

“People fear that land in Haryana is a problem as it is very costly. But that’s not the case as farmers are willing to part with it for industrial development,” said the CM.

Khattar expects the bulk of the investment to flow in from Japan and China, but says he is heartened by the promise of ₹5,000 crore that his recent visit to West Bengal has yielded in the shape of 15 MoUs.

Given that Haryana was ranked a lowly 14th in the ‘ease of doing business’ among Indian States, how was he hoping to attract investments?

“That ranking is because of the past government, which, because of vested interests, created obstacles. But in the 15 months that we have been here, we are removing the bottlenecks,” said Khattar.

He said the recently announced Haryana Enterprise Promotion Policy has a single-roof policy for all clearances, which is a step beyond single-window clearances. Investors in 64 services can obtain online clearances. Both labour reforms and faster environment clearances are being tackled too, he said. “We are addressing both ease and cost of doing business and next time hope to be among top five States.”.

But what about cultural issues such as a ban on beef, which might alienate expat investors? The CM said the government had no beef with foreigners eating it and could look at mechanisms like special licences.

Published on February 05, 2016
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