Picture this – A State gets ravaged by twin blows of a killer earthquake in 2001 and communal riots in 2002. Hardly has it collected its remains after the earthquake that riots tear it apart again. Nature’s fury coupled with man’s rage makes sure that investor confidence in the State is at an all-time low. The future appears very bleak.
What would be our expectation from such a State? At best, it would be surviving on relief packages and hand-outs by the Central Government with people slowly getting their act together. If we had a shrewd politician at the helm, all he would have wanted was special status for the State. Yes, we are talking about Gujarat, but happily for most people, and sadly for others, what actually happened in Gujarat after 2002 was totally unexpected.
Ten years after being in such a precarious position, today Gujarat invariably lands on the podium wherever it competes. The reason for such a massive and rapid turnaround is the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. He realised that an influx of industries leads to an influx of investment which in turns leads to a spurt in employment. To facilitate the arrival of industries, he minimised the delays and roadblocks caused by bureaucracy. He was the first Chief Minister with a vision devoid of any political gain. That vision culminated in the form of Vibrant Gujarat Investor Summit which is held biannually since 2003.
As it has always been the case with him, anything associated with Narendra Modi cannot escape the criticism of ‘secular’ media. Ditto with Vibrant Gujarat. Something as innocuous as inviting entrepreneurs under one roof attracts a large number of conspiracy theories too. There are a lot of people now trying to find loopholes in the Vibrant Gujarat success story. Sorry, but these loopholes do not exist.
First of all, because it is not any normal mandatory Government scheme which has to be evaluated in terms of success percentage. Secondly because, it is a voluntary initiative of Gujarat Government to fast-track investments. So whatever investment materialises from the MOUs, is actually positive growth. There cannot be any negative about such an initiative. It should also be noted that routine investments also do take place aside from the Vibrant Gujarat Summit round the year. These numbers are often conveniently excluded.
A lot of hue and cry has been made about the actual investments made after the summits. 66,068 crore were pledged in the 2003 summit of which 52.5 per cent investments materialised. That is around 34,686 crore. In 2005, 50.88 per cent of the 1.06 lakh crore were actually invested, taking this amount to around 53,932 crore. MOUs worth 4.65 lakh crore were signed in 2007 and 35.24 per cent of the investment has come in so far. Thus the total investment is 1,63,866 Crore. The total investment promised in 2009 was 12.39 lakh crore out of which 15.10 per cent is already invested. This amount turns out to be 1,87,089 crore.
In 2011, MOUs worth 20.83 lakh crore were signed and investments worth 29,895 crore have been realised. In addition, projects worth 2.49 lakh crore are under implementation. Government records also suggest that MoUs (from the first four Summits) totalling a further Rs 5.03 lakh crore are in various stages of implementation.
Thus, while vested interests may try to paint a contrasting picture, the reality is that Vibrant Gujarat Summits are breaking their own records year after year. Even if we forget the MOU’s for a while, the actual investments rose from Rs 34,686 crore in 2003 to Rs 53,932 crore in 2005 to Rs 1,63,866 crore in 2007 to Rs 1,87,089 crore in 2009. Are these numbers a small feat?
Now, if we add up the investments received and those under implementation, the figure that we get is a staggering Rs 12,21,468 crore. This has materialised in a period of 10 years only due to the untiring efforts of Narendra Modi and his team.
Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2013 appears set to break all records in terms of MOUs, investments, ideas, innovations and entrepreneurship.
Most recently at Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2013
» Government of Gujarat has signed an MoU with Isis Innovation (a subsidiary of Oxford University) to promote research and innovation in the State.
» Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has signed an MoU with the Government of Gujarat to create 50 PhDs in various sectors evey year.
» Triveni Engineering has signed an MoU with the Gujarat Government regarding clean water projects.