Odisha’s economy bouncing back from Covid’s adverse impact: CM

Odisha’s economy is bouncing back from the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Thursday.

Inaugurating the expansion project of the Utkal Alumina Refinery at Kashipur in Rayagada district, through virtual mode, he said that investors are expanding their existing projects in the state, and Odisha has attracted investments to the tune of over Rs 4.5 lakh crore since the pandemic.

He said that the state’s GST collection in July had also registered a 54 per cent growth in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.

Noting the Aditya Birla group has been a key player in the state’s journey of industrial development, with its presence spanning across sectors like metals, cement, financial services, apparel, and retail, Patnaik said that the expansion is a testimony to the long-standing relationship between the group and Odisha.

He expressed confidence that it would help in further growth of the industrial economy of Odisha, especially in the tribal regions.

He asked the Aditya Birla group to guide their ancillary units and associates to visit the state, and explore more opportunities to invest there. This will certainly help build an industrial ecosystem that will benefit all the stakeholders through improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness, he said.

Joining the programme, through virtual mode, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said that Odisha has emerged as the top-most investment destination for his company.

He also appreciated the role of the state government in the success of Indian Hockey at the Tokyo Olympics.

With this expansion, the production capacity of Utkal Alumina has been enhanced to 1.5 million tonne to 2 million tonne per annum (mtpa).

Utkal Alumina was set up in Rayagada in 1993 with an investment of Rs 8,600 crore while Rs 1,500 crore has been invested for this expansion. More than 500 people have been employed for this new unit.