Red Carpet Works
Most improved big state
Gujarat is powering India’s growth story. It registered 10.08 per cent growth in the 10th Five Year Plan against a target of 10.02 per cent. Its target for the 11th Five-year Plan period is 11.2 per cent. A sure indication of the robust investment climate in the state came in January at the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit in Ahmedabad. Memorandums of Understanding worth over Rs 20 lakh crore were signed and all banks pledged investment credit to the tune of Rs 1.65 lakh crore for incoming projects. As Manish Verma, Gujarat’s additional finance secretary, puts it: “Bank lending in Gujarat is most aggressive because of the security of investment.”
The state had received some of the country’s largest big- ticket investments. After Nano came to Gujarat from West Bengal, auto majors Ford and Peugeot have followed with investments of around Rs 5,000 crore each, while Hyundai and Maruti are set to follow with equal or more investment in the state.
“Our strength is manifold, from assured power supply and quick clearances to a plethora of industrial projects. The labour situation in the state is also peaceful, as is the law and order situation, not to mention the fact that Gujarat’s long coastline dotted with ports gives us a headstart in export- import,” says Gujarat’s Minister of State for Power, Finance and Industries Saurabh Patel. Industries Secretary Maheshwar Sahu chips in, “What Gujarat has is a heady cocktail when it comes to attracting investment.”
A measure of gross capital formation in the state is the fact that 30 per cent of the total market capitalisation of Indian stock markets comes from Gujaratis. A substantial part
of this goes into companies coming up in Gujarat. Overall, stable and efficient governance lies at the heart of all the big investment that the state is attracting. Gujarat has pulled out all the stops for investors. Industrialists coming to the state to meet Patel, Sahu or even Chief Minister Narendra Modi never find themselves caught in the bureaucratic maze.
“The atmosphere for big as well as small investments in Gujarat is simply great. Governance in the state has been marked by a professional approach which is free from red-tapism. And it is also supported by an effective grievance redressal system. Officers who are involved in bringing investment to the state also bring a great sense of accountability to their work,” attests Nitin Shukla, who heads the operations of the Shell India’s plant at Hazira, near Surat.