GANDHINAGAR: Corporates from India and abroad pledged to invest an astonishing Rs 25 lakh crore and signed 21,000 MoUs at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, matching the hype associated with this biennial event conceived by Narendra Modi in 2003 as the then Chief Minister of the state.
This is more than double the investment amount committed during the last edition of the Summit in 2013 at Rs 12 lakh crore (with 17,000 MoUs) and is over ten-times the investment committments announced at the recently held West Bengal Global Business Summit.
Announcing these eye-popping figures, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said these MoUs include as many as 1,225 'strategic partnerships', but did not give specific details of the individial companies that have committed these investments.
The companies that have disclosed their investment committments include Reliance Industries, Adani Group, Aditya Birla Group, Suzlon and Videocon, as also foreign players like Rio Tinto, Suzuki and CLP Holdings. The proposals also include creation of lakhs of jobs.
Addressing the valedictory session of the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Patel said that the presence of Prime Minister of India "created a hype across the world" about the event.
Speaking today on the second day of the three-day Summit, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that investments would significantly pick up in the coming days into India, as the new government has succeeded in stopping the reverse flow of capital that was seen in the last 3-4 years.
He also promised quick decisions and a stable tax regime, echoing the views expressed by Modi here yesterday when he said the aim is to make India easiest place to do business.
"The entire world has put their faith on us and now it's the sole responsibility of government of Gujarat and the 6.5 crore people of Gujarat to cooperate with the global industries.
"... in the previous six Summits, Prime Minister of India did no take part, but I am fortunate that this time Prime Minister of India graced the summit with his presence and created a hype across the world," she added.
Making an emotional pitch, Patel said, "Now its our turn to take the test... This is not just a biennial summit, this is such a river which keeps flowing continuously."
She took over as Gujarat Chief Minister after Modi became Prime Minister in May last year after leading BJP to a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
"I know all of you are eager to know the figure. More than 21,000 MoUs (memorandum of Understanding) have been signed during the Summit, which will usher in investments of Rs 25 lakh crore ($400 billion)," Patel said.
Sources said that MoUs or expression of investments has come across the sectors.
Among major announcements, Adani Group today committed Rs 20,000 crore investment in port sector in Gujarat, on top of another Rs 25,000 crore power sector plan announced yesterday.
Yesterday, Mukesh Ambani had announced Rs one lakh crore investment, while Birla Group has committed Rs 20,000 crore.
Patel said the event is a platform to eradicate poverty and promised investors that the state government would be 'proactive' in supporting them.
"The small and medium industries give employment to the most number of people. If industry will be established, people will come out of the poverty. The government thinks of poor, the person of the last strata, the children, widows, aspiring youths and this summit is a platform to eradicate poverty," Patel said.
The Gujarat Government has made several policies and several others will be formulated in the next few months to give the benefit of investment to all, to expedite the implementation of MoUs and to monitor the situation.
"We will set up a an updated and computerised cell in each districts where the proposed investors have signed the MoUs. The government will pro-actively help them in collecting or submitting the needed documents," Patel said.
A committee under the chairmanship of Chief secretary will monitor the situation related with the land acquisition and issues related to the environment to get them solved in time, she said.
On the role of Central government, Patel said as the situation in Centre is no longer 'difficult', it will be easy for the state to get the union government's permission to start a new project.
"We will focus on three 'Ps' -- Policy, Promotion and Progress. The state government will focus on those and will keep monitoring the situation by a committee headed by the Chief Minister", Patel said, adding that the committee headed by her will keep meeting once in three months.
Patel has also thanked 'Team Gujarat' consisting of ministers and bureaucrats for making the event successful.