Vibrant Gujarat more show than substance

Jan 12 2013, 01:23 IST
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SummaryThe bulk of India Inc’s A-listers were on the dais at the inaugural session of the sixth Vibrant Gujarat Summit, which began on Friday.

be shared with the state government.

On his part, Ruia said that the Essar Group has so far invested Rs 88,000 crore in the state and would invest another Rs 15,000 crore in ports and water supply in the state, but did not give a time frame.

Among notable absentees were Cyrus Mistry, who in end-December took over as the Tata Group chairman, Bharti Airtel chairman and managing director Sunil Mittal and AV Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla. Though Hero MotoCorp managing director Pawan Munjal was present on the dais, he was not called upon to address the audience.

Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava and Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, who spoke towards the end, did compliment Modi for his work but only reiterated the investments made by their companies so far. Maruti is setting up a new plant in the state that Bhargava said would be its second home after Haryana, and Tata said that the group has Rs 34,000 crore of investments in the state.

Chanda Kochhar and Aditya Puri, the managing directors of the country’s top two private banks — ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank — were present and in their addresses complimented the state as being a banker’s delight for the high credit to deposit ratio.

The lack of memoranda of understanding being signed this time at the event and quantifying the worth of investments seems to be a strategy by the state government against the backdrop of growing criticism that much of what gets committed never gets to see the light of day. The focus this time is on forging alliances and partnerships in innovation and knowledge sharing and boosting small and medium enterprises.

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