Lucknow: Upset over removal of 'UP Rising' posters at Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh government has planned to organise a diaspora conclave of its own for the first time next month to woo investors and associate NRIs in development of the state.
"We are going to organise UP Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas (UPPBD) in the state for the first time. As per plans, UPPBD will be a two-day event from February 28 in which besides NRIs, investors from all over the world would be invited.
"We are also extending invitations to Ambassadors of many countries," state government Advisor for NRI Department Madhukar Jetley told PTI here today.
He said the state government has initiated a number of developmental projects like start of five metro rail projects, including one in Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Since 2012 when Samajwadi Party government was formed in UP, work on five metro rail projects, including one in Varanasi has been started. The Metro project in five cities, including Varanasi, Lucknow and Agra, alone will require an investment of about Rs 2.5 lakh crore," he said.
For investors, a separate NRI department was set up in May 2014 to facilitate investments by them in Uttar Pradesh, he said.
About the UPPBD, Jetely said, "The state is working on it and after the finalisation of the dates, we will discuss the list of prospective guests who are likely to attend the programme in which we will showcase UP's strength and potential areas where NRI could invest."
"The growth rate of the state is 6.8 percent which is higher than the national average, and the total investment in MSMEs is Rs 20,000 crore in last two years after formation of SP government. We will be targeting countries, where UPites are in good numbers as with UP connection they would be keen to come here," he said.
During the three-day Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Ahmedabad early this month, the UP government had put up posters and billboards at strategic locations there, inviting people to invest in Uttar Pradesh.
However, several of the posters with the tagline "UP Rising" and a picture of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were pulled down by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation citing technical reasons.
The UP government had objected to the move and the ruling SP also took strong exception to the removal of hoardings saying, "It seems Gujarat administration was afraid of development in UP."
"The hoardings highlighting development of the state were removed there.It seems Gujarat administration was afraid of development in UP. It is also possible that details of development in UP exposed Gujarat model of development publicised by BJP," SP spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said.