Vibrant Gujarat to go without ‘investment figures’

The fact that turnout ratio of huge investment promises made in earlier five Vibrant Gujarat Global Investment Summits is not something that the state government can boast about, the sixth episode of this event will not see announcement in terms of investment pledge.

When project realisation rate of past five summits is said to be only in single digit against several thousand MoUs signed, this time the state government will ask only the interested business houses to furnish project details and scope of employment generation.

"At the end of the summit, we will have figures for number of proposed projects and the employment it can generate," said Principal Secretary Industries Maheshwar Sahu. When asked about amount of pledge investment, Sahu said, "There will be no such announcement."

Even Intention of Investment Form available on portal does not have a column for investment to be pledged. It ask only about company name, project details and employment scope.

The organisers also maintained that an intense scrutiny of all proposed projects will be done before they get selected. "Scrutiny to be done by senior officials of principal secretary level," said Sahu adding that it would be done in two levels - at the time of registration and after signing MoUs.

However, Sahu denied that change has anything to do with low rate turnout of MoUs. "I will only say that we have improved our scrutiny process."

In 2003, the inaugural year for the summit, saw 80 MoUs proposing investments of Rs 66,068 crore. It was over Rs 1 lakh crore and 226 MoUs in 2005, and further to 454 and Rs 4.65 lakh crore in 2007. The 2009 summit witnessed signing of 8,860 MoUs, while the investment proposed was of Rs 12.39 lakh crore. The last summit saw investment pledge of Rs 20 lakh crore from 7936 MoUs.

The inaugural summit in 2003, which was held in backdrop of 2002 riots, to re-establish Gujarat as investment destination, the investment pledge became the selling point for the Narendra Modi government for its growth story. In successive summits, increased number pledged investment was used as measure for Gujarat as most preferred investment hub globally.

'Focus on best technologies to fuel growth'

The state government on Friday said, "FDI is required when saving rate is not so great. Like in case of India as a whole, at national saving rate of 26 per cent, FDI is a requirement to fuel growth. Against this, Gujarat, as a state with 37 per cent saving rate, do not require FDI," said Principal Secretary Maheshwar Sahu, adding, "Our focus is to get agreements on best technologies and practices to fuel the growth".

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