Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will reach out to around 50,000 investors on Friday at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, inviting them to set up shop in Gujarat. This even as the Opposition says that the past six summits have hardly got Gujarat any concrete investment.
It's the sixth edition of Modi's pet project, all set to be unveiled. At the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar the preparations are complete for the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. The Modi administration says over 50,000 delegates from other states and 1,800 from more than 100 countries will arrive, but this time around it has decided not to make public the numbers of deals signed or the amount of investment that will be pledged.
Maheshwar Sahu, Principal Secretary, Industries Department of Gujarat, says, "We are not interested in lakhs and crores. Our only aim is that people should sign their intent to invest here and we will facilitate that."
Here's why the government has decided not to give out promised investment figures. Only about 15 per cent of the total investment pledged during the first four summits actually materialised. There has been a steady dip in the commissioning of large scale projects of over 10 crore in the past few years. While in 2005, a phenomenal 422 projects worth 16,500 crore began commercial production, the number dipped to 75 projects in 2011.
The Congress says not only has fresh investment slowed down since the first version of the summit, employment generation too has been sliding. GPCC President Arjun Modhvadia said, "As of today, there has been a 70 per cent decline in projects being commissioned as compared to 1995. Modi is a master at creating a lot of noise."
Clearly, the government has realised that the only way to mask the growing gap between pledged investment and actual investment is to project the number of investors and not the amount of investments.