Story Of The Week

Vibrant Gujarat – Reality or Deception

One of the most talked about summit organized by a state on an international platform is the Vibrant Gujrat Summit. Brain child of the Prime Minister and former Chief Minister of Gujrat Mr. Narendra Modi, Vibrant Gujrat was launched as a biennial summit in 2003 to bring business leaders, investors, corporations, thought leaders, policy and opinion makers on a single platform to understand and explore business opportunities in Gujarat. Gujrat, being a preferred location for business and investments on domestic and international fronts, contributes around 7.5% to India’s GDP and has played a major role in India’s growth story.

After six successful summits, this year Vibrant Gujrat took place from 11th to 13th January, 2015 in Gandhinagar, Gujrat. This year’s summit had seven partner countries – Australia, Canada, The Great Britain, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore and South Africa. This year the spot light was on social sectors including health, education, women empowerment and specialized areas such as innovation and climate change. More than 21,304 MOUs were signed in the summit, out of which around 80% belonged to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Sector (MSME). In this summit we also saw another state stealing the show. Karnataka with a representation of 75 member delegation signed MOUs worth Rs.50 thousand crores including Rs.10 thousand crores investment going to hydro pumping station.

The paper facts show a very glorious picture of the success of the summit over the years, but the actual ground work does not support these facts.

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The facts above are taken from a business today article. According to this, till 2007, the facts support the Gujrat government’s claim of around 60% conversion rate of all the MOUs signed in the summits. But numbers have dropped considerably in 2009, where the conversion rate is just 30%, followed by 15% in 2011. The state defended this drop by saying that any strategic project takes about 6-7 years to come into picture and so these projects should not be evaluated so early. But this is not bought by the critics who see the over stated numbers as a deception. If we consider the projects that have been actually come to ground, then the success rate drops drastically to 8-9%.

Whether conversion is high or low, Gujrat has been able to position itself as a business friendly state with a lot of potential. Transformational changes can be seen in the capital, Gandhinagar as it is being turned into a financial hub. We also see major business houses investing in the state indicating favorable policies for business. Hence, Vibrant Gujrat cannot be taken as a failure as it has successfully promoted opportunities present in Gujrat and showcased its potential as a business hub.

References:

http://www.india.com/top-n/vibrant-gujarat-summit-2015-a-look-back-at-6-editions-of-narendra-modis-pet-project-245530/

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