Make in Odisha Conclave 2018 may be termed by the government as successful by virtue of the promises it has drawn so far, yet many believe the event failed in many aspects.
Organised in Bhubaneswar this November, Make in Odisha was attended by captains of Indian industry including Mukesh Ambani of Reliance, Kumarmangalam Birla of Aditya Birla Group, Naveen Jindal of Jindal Steel and Anil Agrawal of Vedanta Resources.
Since the focus of the conclave was on manufacturing sector, most investment came from industrial houses engaged in mining and metal production. Rest of the investment came for digital, sports and athletics, health and textile sectors.
According to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Make in Odisha Conclave 2018 witnessed an overall investment intent of Rs. 4,19,574 crore across 15 diversified sectors which would create 5,91,000 additional jobs.
However, these are all promises made. How much of them are going to be realized remains to be seen as the gala event failed in creating a dream for most of its population living in miserable conditions.
The State, being primarily agrarian, expected a sizeable investment in the food and agriculture sector to build infrastructure that would benefit more than 60 per cent of its working population engaged in farming activities.
Companies like ITC and Britannia did announce investments to scale up their existing food processing units, yet it would hardly benefit the farmers of the state.
At the same time, the government did not show any interest in reviving its heritage textile production centre – Odisha Textile Mill (OTM), or Konark TV – the famous brand of 1980s and early 90s.
Both these government-owned brands of Odisha had created a mark for themselves in the manufacturing domain of India. These two among many other state owned units were closed down in the name of disinvestment during the first term of Naveen Patnaik as the Chief Minister of Odisha.