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Vibrant Gujarat Summit: Modi pledges Rs 40 lakh cr investments, critics remain skeptic


Gaurav Shah, Meghdoot Sharon, CNN-IBN
Jan 13, 2013 at 08:51am IST

Gandhinagar: The sixth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit concluded in the state capital Gandhinagar Saturday evening with promises from the Bharatiya Janata Party government of investments worth Rs 40 lakh crore for the state. However, the Narendra Modi government's track record of converting pledged investments into reality has been less than impressive, with even Modi, who swept through the Gujarat elections in December 2012 to become the chief minister of the Western state for the fourth time, choosing to downplay the numbers during the summit.

"Those people who weigh the success of this summit only on the amount of money pledged will not understand what this is all about. Maybe after 10 years, they will," said Modi, who has been speculated to become a potential prime ministerial candidate of the BJP for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, after his third consecutive win in Gujarat.

Vibrant Gujarat 2013 was the biggest so far with the summit seeing 17,719 business proposals and promised investments worth Rs 40 lakh crore, which is double the figure promised at 2012 summit. However, only 15 per cent of the total investments proposed in the first four investors' summits have materialised. If the summit in 2011 is also taken into account, the number is even lower.

There has also been a steady dip in commissioning of large-scale projects, which have an investment of more than 10 crore, over the past few years. While in 2005, 422 projects worth Rs 16,500 crore had begun commercial production, the numbers dipped to 75 projects in 2011.

"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," said Arjun Modhvadia, president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC).

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