Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank on Monday asked Bahuguna government to dissuade Kolkata-based FMCG firm Emami from pulling out of Ayush Gram project in Uttarakhand saying its withdrawal will adversely impact the investment climate in the state.
'The decision of the firm to pull out of Ayush Gram PPP project is unfortunate. It will have an adverse effect on the investment scenario in the state,' Mr. Nishank, who promoted the Ayush programme in the state during his tenure, said.
The senior BJP leader said he will soon take up the issue with Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and ask him to dissuade the company from pulling out.
The project launched in 2010 during Mr. Nishank’s tenure as chief minister envisages setting up of whole range of health facilities including a hospital, wellness centre, a hotel and a herbal garden.
Emami entered into the agreement with Uttarakhand Government for setting up India’s first Ayush Gram spread over 10 acres of land at Bhawali town in Nainital district.
It had to set up a minimum 60-bed hospital at Bhawali. It had to make an upfront payment of Rs 2.5 crore.
However, the company decided to pull out from the public private partnership project due to alleged legal, political and bureaucratic hassles it is facing.
According to a state government official, the company has written a letter saying that it wants to withdraw from the project.
However, the official said the government will call a high-level meeting to take a final decision on the matter.
Confirming the development, Director, Ayush Department D.K. Sharma said that Emami has asked the government to pay Rs 2.5 crore paid as upfront payment and that too with interest.
The state government has plans to have one Ayush facility each in all the 13 districts of the state and Bhawali Ayush Gram project was being seen as a model project.
Considering the already decreasing investor interest in Uttarakhand in the wake of the recent calamity, Emami’s withdrawal from the Ayush project will give a wrong signal, Mr. Nishank said.
'We must not let companies which are already there in our state to make an exit,' the former chief minister said.