Economy

Trillion-dollar economy goal: 13 months on, Uttar Pradesh still weighing its options

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About 13 months after initiating the international bidding process for the selection of a consultant to boost the size of state’s economy to one trillion dollars and subsequently amending and cancelling the bids, the state government appears to be still working on its options. The objective was supposed to be achieved in five years by 2025.

The state government had issued a notice, calling for bids for the appointment of a consultant on June 19, 2020. It revised the RFP (request for proposal) with October 9, 2020 set as the last date for the submission of the bids. It opened the financial bids on November 27, 2020 and zeroed in on the selection of a consultant but cancelled the bids on March 22, 2021, saying, “Fresh tender notice in this regard is likely to be published soon.”

While a considerable period from the given timeline (2020-25) has gone by, there are indications that the state government is exploring the option of selecting a government agency as the consultant.

“Chief minister Yogi Adityanath is upset over the delay. Making the state a trillion dollar economy is on top of the state government’s priority list. The government will soon appoint a consultant by way of bidding or opting for a government institution/agency,” said a senior officer on condition of anonymity.

Those aware of the development said Invest India, a national investment promotion and facilitation agency, made a presentation on the issue at a high-level meeting early this month.

“We are in the process of taking a decision. We will take a call on revising the timeline only after a decision on selecting the consultant is taken,” said another officer.

“The Uttar Pradesh government has been talking about making UP a trillion dollar economy since 2018. But there is no clear roadmap to achieve this objective. If you look back at the performance of the state in the past three years, the rate of GSDP growth has been low and even negative in 2020-21. This does not inspire confidence that UP will achieve the target in the given timeline. Given the present size of UP’s GSDP, an annual growth rate of about 45% would be needed to achieve the target. It would be better if the state government works out a long-term perspective plan of development and the trillion dollar economy may be a mid-term target,” said Yashvir Tyagi, former professor at department of economics, Lucknow University.

The state government began working on the idea after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the issue at the Uttar Pradesh Investors’ Summit 2018 here on February 21, 2018.

Modi referred to his association with the investors’ summit as chief minister of Gujarat and later with the UP Investors Summit-2018 as the PM. He said Maharashtra had also set a target to become a trillion dollar economy.

“Can Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh compete with each other to become the trillion dollar economy? Will Uttar Pradesh government compete with other states? The more the competition, more will be the investment. This will result in the creation of more jobs and strengthen the concept of cooperative federalism,” he had said.

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