BJD Govt enters 5th year of 5th term : How Naveen Patnaik transformed Odisha in 24 years ?


By Tapan Moharana

Bhubaneswar: The Naveen Patnaik Government in Odisha has entered the 5th year of its 5th term on 29th May 2023. In his long and continuous period of rule, the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has transformed the state from a cyclone devastated state to an industrialized state. The state which was devastated like a war torn region in 1999, is now an industrialized and skill hub and dreaming to become an one trillion dollar economy.

Under Patnaik’s visionary leadership and focused governance, Odisha has attracted significant investments, developed robust infrastructure, and created a favorable business environment, leading to its emergence as a sought-after industrial destination. In this article we’ll discuss about the key initiatives and strategies employed by Naveen Patnaik that propelled Odisha’s transformation from a cyclone-prone state to an industrialized powerhouse.

Post-Cyclone Rehabilitation and Resilience

Odisha has faced severe cyclones in the past, causing significant damage to lives, infrastructure, and the economy. When Naveen Pattnaik took the charge, Odisha was recovering from the impacts of devastating super cyclone. The state undertook several short, medium and long term initiatives to counter the continuous impacts of tropical cyclones. Patnaik’s administration displayed exceptional resilience in effectively managing the aftermath of these calamities. With an aim of zero casuality, Patnaik’s government focused on swift rehabilitation, reconstruction, and preventive measures. The establishment of cyclone shelters, early warning systems, and disaster management infrastructure played a crucial role in minimizing the impact of cyclones and protecting lives. This proactive approach instilled confidence among investors and demonstrated the state’s commitment to ensuring a secure and stable business environment.

Investment Promotion and Ease of Doing Business

According to a recent report by Centre for monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE) Odisha has attracted over Rs.20 lakh crore investment in 2022-23 financial year and stood second among Indian state in terms of attracting investment.

Naveen Patnaik’s government implemented investor-friendly policies, simplified bureaucratic processes, and created a conducive business environment, attracting both domestic and international investors to Odisha. The ‘Make in Odisha’ initiative served as a catalyst for industrial growth, promoting the state as an attractive investment destination. The establishment of dedicated industrial parks, special economic zones, and industrial corridors provided the necessary infrastructure for industries to thrive. Moreover, the state’s consistent focus on improving ease of doing business rankings and streamlining regulatory procedures ensured a hassle-free experience for investors, fostering industrial growth and employment generation.

Infrastructure Development

Recognizing the importance of robust infrastructure for industrial development, Naveen Patnaik’s government invested significantly in enhancing connectivity, transport, and logistics networks across the state. The construction and expansion of roads, highways, railways, and ports transformed Odisha into a well-connected region, facilitating the movement of goods and raw materials. The development of ports such as Paradip and Dhamra bolstered trade and export capabilities, attracting major industries to set up their operations in the state. Additionally, the government’s focus on building world-class industrial infrastructure and smart cities further propelled Odisha’s industrialization drive. The state capital Bhubaneswar is now connected with international destinations like Dubai. The state has also announced its first metro train project connecting Bhubaneswar to Puri.

Sector-specific Policies and Incentives

To encourage investment in specific sectors, Naveen Patnaik’s government formulated targeted policies and provided attractive incentives. Odisha’s rich mineral resources attracted investments in the mining and metal industries. The state’s progressive policies and incentives in sectors like steel, aluminum, petrochemicals, textiles, and tourism facilitated the establishment of major industrial projects. Additionally, the government’s support for renewable energy projects and the promotion of information technology and electronics industries diversified the state’s industrial landscape, fostering sustainable and inclusive growth.

Skill Development and Human Resource Empowerment

Naveen Patnaik recognized the importance of a skilled workforce for the growth of industries in Odisha. His government launched numerous skill development programs and vocational training initiatives to enhance the employability of the youth. Collaborations with industry bodies and educational institutions ensured that the workforce was equipped with the necessary skills to meet the demands of the evolving industrial landscape. These efforts not only provided employment opportunities to the local population but also attracted industries seeking skilled talent, further boosting Odisha’s industrialization journey.

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