Keenness from US firm, Argentina Thank the Prime Minister
A line of gratitude is in line. Manipur must say thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Government at Delhi for choosing Manipur as one of the venues to hold the B20 conferece, the official dialogue forum of the G20 countries. It is not often that Manipur gets to feature in any international do that India gets to host and this is why a thank you to the Government at Delhi is due for this is akin to opening the door of Manipur to the international community to study and see how it can reap dividends- dividends which should benefit either side. The question is, how successful Manipur was in getting the needed attention of the international representatives who were here for a few days. And it is along this line that the information from the Chief Minister that a firm from the United States has shown the willingness to invest USD 500 million in the State should pique the interests of anyone. This was as informed to a group of reporters who gone to cover the sightseeing tour of the B20 representatives on February 18 and while the Chief Minister did spell out how much the US firm is willing to invest here, it would have sounded all that more appealing and interesting if the name of the firm had also been disclosed. Too bad that it did not strike the reporters present there to press for the name of the firm which has shown interest in investing in Manipur. Equally pleasant to hear was the information that World Champions Argentina had evinced interests in developing the game of football in this part of the country and if at all there is any State in India where football talent can be tapped and nurtured then it should be Manipur. Already known as the powerhouse of sports in India and a look at any of the major clubs in the country will testify the talent that Manipur has in football. Much before the Indian Soccer League (ISL) and Indian League (IL) came into prominence, a number of football players from Manipur had already made their mark in some of the biggest football clubs in the country, such as Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Salgaocar, Dempo and Chief Minister N Biren himself is a gifted footballer having played for the BSF during his younger days. 500 million US dollar investment and interest shown by Argentina to develop football here and clearly the B20 conference which Manipur hosted for two days, on February 17 and 18, seems to have scored the right note.
It should however not be forgotten that the interests shown by the US firm and Argentina is qualified by the term ‘willing, keen’ and this underlines the point that Manipur still has a lot do to ensure that the ‘willing, keen’ part is actualised. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi have done their job in picking Manipur as one of the venues for the B20 conference and now it is the job of Imphal and the BJP led Government here to act on it. This is where it becomes important for Imphal and the officialdom here not to forget that the visit by the B20 dignitaries is just the beginning. Imphal certainly rolled out the red carpet to the visiting dignitaries and put forward what it thinks is the best foot forward but this is just the beginning. The keenness and the interests shown by the US firm and Argentina should be actualised and how it goes about getting them to actually invest here will test the mettle of the State Government. An opportunity was created and how Manipur capitalises on it will depend on how sincerely, coupled with a clear vision, is the Government here willing to walk the extra mile. Get cracking are the two words that come to mind for here is an opportunity which the State Government cannot afford to lose. Investment, this is what Manipur badly needs at the moment and one hopes that the Government is able to act on the keenness and willingness shown to extract the best possible terms for Manipur and her people.