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Monday, January 19, 2009

Cong calls Vibrant Gujarat claims bogus

Cong calls Vibrant Gujarat claims bogus: Says Modi’s Figures Inflated, Only 22% MoUs Implemented In 2005-06

Publication: Times Of India Delhi; Date: Jan 16, 2009; Section: Times City; Page: 14

New Delhi: A day after he was lauded by the captains of industry as “future PM”, Congress cited official figures to slam Vibrant Gujarat as “fake” and asked India Inc to not get carried away by an individual just because he was feeding their bottomline.
Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil said the huge figures given in MoUs signed by industries were a “Narendra Modi-scripted lie” when it came to real investment. Even Modi regime seems to have confessed to the charge, if the information given under RTI is to be believed.
Only 22% of MoUs signed in 2005 and 2007 summits have been implemented while Modi had boasted to have passed with 63.5%. “He has failed very badly,” said Gohil.
To a question raised in the assembly, the government said 363 MoUs for 454 projects had been signed in two years between December 2005-07 and 45 projects had got rolling. At the same time, there was an offer of investment of Rs 1,54,197 crore of which only Rs 22,434 crore had actually come in. The real investment includes money in the pipeline. “It means if someone has signed an MoU of Rs 5,000 crore and Rs 1,000 crore has come, then the total investment figure includes the entire MoU amount,” Gohil said, hinting that actual money could be even less.
The “fudged figures” charge is accentuated by the fact that money in the MoU includes routine projects being executed by government corporations. Six civic bodies like Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation have signed MoUs worth Rs 1,26,000 crore.
Lashing out at the Vibrant bubble, on the back of which Modi was being toasted as “future PM”, the Congressman claimed that the state was discriminatory as it was doling out mind-boggling concessions to big industries for PR points and ignoring local industries which were dying for want of help.
“Diamond industry workers are committing suicide and their children are dropping out of schools. Around 62,000 SMEs have closed down in 11 months. But the government has refused to help. In contrast, one Nano car will cost the state exchequer Rs 60,000. It has been extended all infrastructural support besides a loan of Rs 26,000 crore to be payable over 20 years at 0.1% interest, a deferred VAT payment and a waiver of stamp duty and registration duty,” Gohil said.
While pointing to “fake industrial growth” and help to rich, Gohil also claimed that the state was giving weaker communities a step-motherly treatment. He said widows were unable to get “widow pension” as the state had added 15 tough points in the eligibility criteria.

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