While the government is going all out to promote the state as an industry-friendly destination at the two-day global investors meet, ‘Rising Himachal’, minister of state for finance and corporate affairs Anurag Thakur expressed displeasure at the Dharamshala cricket stadium and Dalai Lama not finding a mention in the presentations prepared by government officials.
Anurag, the former Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president, who is credited for bringing Dharamshala on the international cricket map, said, “Dharamshala is known for his holiness Dalai Lama, whom millions of people visit to seek blessings, and the international cricket stadium. There should have been a slide on that.”
Addressing investors, mostly from the United Arab Emirates, the largest serving HPCA chief, said, “Close to 7 lakh people come here every year just to see the stadium. We are coming out with a museum and other facilities, which will help us generate revenue.”
The four-time Lok Sabha MP, who is reportedly upset with the state government not involving him in the planning of the investor’s meet, also did not shy away from giving credit to himself. “I don’t want to restrict myself to the stadium and the game of cricket. But do a study of this town, what it was before 2005 and where it stands in 2019. Who started the four flights to this city, how five star hotels started coming here. It was just because of one cricket stadium, which turned around the economy of this region, not only Dharamshala but adjoining states as well,” he said.
Addressing the investors, he further said, “I am the minister of finance and corporate affairs in the Government of India who looks after department of economic affairs, expenditure, revenue, corporate affairs, department of investment public asset management and the department of financial Services which covers all areas of financial services, so do not limit me to expenditure only.”