GUJARAT:THE GROWTH ENGINE OF INDIA

The western Indian state of Gujarat, which celebrates its Foundation Day on May 1, is the business and industrial hub of India, a state that has encouraged trade and manufacturing and ensured a high standard of living for its people

Gujarat will celebrate its 56th Foundation Day on May 1 and the Anandiben Patel government is determined to accelerate the pace of growth in the state through various initiatives.

A Gujarati is the Prime Minister of the country and the cooperation between central government and the state government is laying a stronger base for the welfare of the people.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi solved the long pending issue of increasing the height of Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam soon after coming to power, which will be a game changer for the state which has registered highest agricultural growth rate in the country.

Gujarat has always taken a lead in trends. Under the leadership of Mr Modi, Gujarat became the growth engine of India and it became the most favourite investment destination. The success of the Gujarat model topped the campaign agenda of Mr Modi and the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In May 2014, Gujarat witnessed historical developments. After serving Gujarat for almost 13 years as the chief minister, Mr Modi became the Prime Minister of India with a clear majority in the Lok Sabha. It was for the first time in three decades that a single political party got clear majority in general elections in India.

Following the elevation of Mr Modi as the Prime Minister, Mrs Patel became the first woman chief minister of the state. Carrying a legacy of inclusive growth, she introduced the slogan of “Gatisheel Gujarat” and emphasised on the speed of governance.

Under Gatisheel Gujarat campaigns, she sets target for different sectors and their activities. The first two editions of Gatisheel Gujarat registered target achievement of 139% and 126% respectively. Under the third edition, she set year-long targets spread over 16 sectors and 173 activities.

Mrs Patel’s government has done significant progress in strengthening public services, ‘swachchhata’ mission and women’s empowerment.

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For the first time, the government introduced the concept of ‘gender budget’ to empower women of the state through focused budgetary allocations.

She has made a number of reforms in revenue laws to ensure simplification and faster development.She announced providing copies of land records to farmers without any cost for the first time.

In September 2014, Mrs Patel launched “Swavalamban” in the presence of PM Modi. Under this initiative, 11 schemes were initiated, focusing on empowerment and welfare of various sections of society, including cattle-rearers, farmers, construction workers, physically-disabled persons and tribal people.

Gujarat and its rich history

Gujarat has always attracted and welcomed people from all over the country. Even Lord Krishna had chosen Dwaraka in Gujarat to establish his empire in the Mahabharat era. Over the centuries, Mauryans, Gurjars, Solankis, Muslims, Marathas and the British ruled Gujarat.

The state played an important role in the independence movement. Leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai, K.M. Munshi, Narhari Parikh, Mahadev Desai, Mohanlal Pandya, Bhulabhai Desai and Ravi Shankar Vyas all belonged to Gujarat.

Various Satyagrahas in Kheda, Bardoli, Borsad and Dandi (salt satyagraha) created waves across the country and forced the British rulers to leave the country.

MAHAGUJARAT MOVEMENT

Soon after the Independence, a Mahagujarat conference was organised in 1948 to integrate the entire Gujarati speaking population under one administrative body. The term

Mahagujarat represented all Gujarati speaking areas including Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch. The late Indulal Yagnik led the Mahagujarat movement in 1956 which made the demand for a new state stronger. Finally, on May 1, 1960, Bombay state was split into the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

GUJARAT MEANS BUSINESS

Gujarat had significant trade and business even during the Harappan era. Much later, the British East India Company established a factory in Surat in 1614, which formed their first base in India. Since then, Gujarat has always performed well as far as industrial growth is concerned.

Gujarat-based traders used to do business with various countries for centuries through the sea route and Gujaratis are recognised as one of the most courageous businessmen.

Gujarat has very strong fundamentals. The people of the state are entrepreneurial and they find it easy to go ahead with their ambitions as there is political stability and business friendly policies. The state offers excellent infrastructure and the government thinks ahead of the times.

Then chief minister Narendra Modi started the biannual flagship business summit, the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit in 2003 to promote the state as the best investment destination. Over the years it earned the reputation as the Davos of the East.

Gujarat has attracted huge investments through these summits between 2003 and 2015. It also became a platform for other states to exhibit their excellence. In addition to that, many other states followed the theme and started hosting their own investment summits. The Gujarat government has successfully showcased the state’s agricultural, industrial and service sector growth.

KEY FACTS

1. Strategically located on the west coast of India, Gujarat is well connected to the major cities of the world by air and sea routes
2. During 2005-2013, state domestic product (SDP) growth was as high as 10.1% and even during turbulent times, when many economies around the world suffered, it has maintained high growth rates, much above the national average
3. Gujarat achieved an annual growth rate of 9.51% during the 11th plan (2007-2012)
4. Gujarat is one of the top states in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India
5. Gujarat is the world’s biggest diamond cutting-polishing hub and nine out of 11 diamonds of the world are processed in the state, mostly in Surat
6. The state is India’s ceramic capital with more than 70% contribution to national ceramic production
7. Gujarat contributes 40% to India’s total pharmaceutical production
8. The government of Gujarat intends to invest $3.28 billion in the textile sector over the next 5 years which will also help create 1 million jobs
9. Gujarat contributes more than 30% to India’s total cotton production and 60% of its exports
10. Gujarat is India’s top denim producing state with a 61% share
11. Gujarat is also a leader in solar power generation. It has Asia’s largest solar park in Charanka in north Gujarat. It also has significant wind power generation capacity
12. Gujarat leads the country in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Special Investment Regions (SIR). Dholera SIR is one of the most ambitious projects of the state government.

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“We are not mere investors in Gujarat. We are part and parcel of this growth engine.”
Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group

“I am proud to say that RIL is first a Gujarati company, then an Indian company and later a global company. We began from Gujarat and we come back here again and again to invest.”
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)

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“In Gujarat, we see a culture of implementation and our commitment in Gujarat goes beyond industrialisation and investment. We, as the Tata Group, will continue to invest in the state.”
Cyrus Mistry, Chairman, Tata Group