As the new Finance Minister for Haryana, Captain Abhimanyu, has taken charge of his portfolio and has announced his first mission is to make Haryana debt-free.
He has publicly spoken of the financial mess that the state is in, with a financial debt of Rs 81,000 crore, which he has inherited from the previous government. This has been the cumulative result of wrong policies, mismanagement of public funds, misappropriation and sheer wastage of public money, by the previous government. He assured that these would be looked into and action taken, wherever necessary.
Haryana's problem has been that the state was not really investor-friendly and that any potential investor had to approach various departments to get a series of clearances, prior to starting any project in the state. This caused delays in launching a project and the time delays resulted in cost escalation. The other fallout was that this gave rise to opportunity for corruption, at various levels.
Captain Abhimanyu has now assured that the state has started work to ensure that a 'Fast Track Clearance System' is introduced that will facilitate a single window clearance for all projects. The new facility will ensure an investor-friendly system, which will minimise the need to approach various departments separately to get clearances.
All applications will be cleared through an initial screening process, where the potential investor would need to fill out complete information only once, at the time of application. The coordination with various departments will then be done internally by the respective state departments concerned. The single window clearance will fast track projects and encourage more business houses to set up their businesses in the state.
Through the boom years between 2006 and 2010, Haryana could well have emerged as the most attractive destination for investment, however, due to short sighted policies that discouraged businesses, Haryana lost a great opportunity, as did its people. Captain Abhimanyu is now on a mission to correct that and put Haryana back on the path of rapid development.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the central government has already initiated the process of attracting international investment to India, with Japan, China and the US already committing to invest in infrastructure and development. The challenge and opportunity for a state like Haryana, with its proximity to Delhi and Northern region, makes it an ideal destination for investment.
But investment goes to states that provide a suitable and friendly ecosystem for businesses to prosper. Therefore, if Haryana is to ensure that international businesses make Haryana a preferred destination, the state will have to come up to speed on infrastructure development. With years of neglect by the previous regime, the infrastructure cannot change overnight but the good part is that the new BJP government that has taken over, is fully aware of the need to improve all aspects of infrastructure, in order to make Haryana a priority destination for business.
The $100 billion Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project has a part of it (130 kms) extending into Haryana. The central government has already given impetus to the project and the process of land acquisition and development has already picked up pace. With a certain part of the project falling within Haryana, this is a great opportunity for the state to improve its infrastructure and invite businesses that will create new jobs for the state.
Captain Abhimanyu has already seized the matter and is in the process of initiating several steps, the impact of which will be seen in the coming time.
The people of Haryana have placed their hope in change and have voted for the BJP government. In a break from tradition, the state has also elected a non-Jat Chief Minister in Shri Manohar Lal Khattar, which only proves that the new government throws open opportunities to all. The state has the full support and cooperation from the centre to push reforms and transform the state into a modern and developed one.
While the government is now in a fully pro-active mode, the state government invites suggestions from people on what changes they would like to see in Haryana. This is a government that listens and would like to include people in the process of development. The responsibility to build a Naya Haryana lies with all the people and not the state government alone. India is set to bring back the days of high growth; therefore, let's all ensure that Haryana remains at the forefront of this development.