Red Car­pet Works

Most im­proved big state

India Today - - THE STATE OF THE STATES - by Uday Mahurkar

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.

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