Apart from talking extensively to BT on why Gujarat is a hot destination, Chief Minister Narendra Modi marshaled the numbers and facts in a set of written answers to questions emailed to him. Edited excerpts:
What do you think differentiates Gujarat from other Indian states when it comes to the state’s economy and doing business there?
Gujarat represents uniformity of development as well as unanimity on the issues of development. Gujarat is a state where infrastructure development has kept pace with economic growth, where rural development has kept pace with urban growth, where satisfaction of workers has kept pace with industrial growth.
Not only have the multinationals and big companies done well, but a large number of medium, small, rural and domestic ventures have also prospered. Not only has industry and agriculture grown fast; but education and health services have also expanded equally fast. We are known not only for exporting quality industrial products, but for our agri- and horticulture produce. Even in those fields where India as a country has not been able to do well, Gujarat is doing well and producing a model for others.
Every state dreams of infrastructure that compares with the developed world but Gujarat is perhaps the only state that delivered. How and what are the best practices that helps your administration deliver this?
Yes, we have been very keen and committed on developing infrastructure. I personally believe that infrastructure is the enabler of development. There are a few elements that have helped us:
- We have vision documents for 20 to 30 years. We plan infrastructure in an integrated manner.
- On the one hand we are planning for big and robust infrastructure and on the other hand we see to it that even the remotest part of the State is benefited by that.
- We are aiming to build the best of infrastructure from a global perspective. For example, Ahmedabad’s Bus Rapid Transport System has not only been a successful story but has been acclaimed worldwide. The new ports that we are planning to build, the SIRs that we are planning … all are globally benchmarked.
- Gujarat is not only the pioneer in public private partnership but the state is recognised as the ‘Most Admired PPP Enabler’.
The Gujarat model of attracting industries is infrastructure-led, not incentive-led. Don’t you think of losing out when other states are also catching up on infrastructure?
Gujarat’s infrastructure has reached to the second stage of development. We have to worry only about the best quality and global benchmarking instead of spread of infrastructure. We are now working on more futuristic social and physical infrastructure.