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The seventh edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit that promises to turn Gujarat into a “Global Business Hub”, through the biggest congregation of businessmen from across the globe, will see 22,000 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) being signed between the state government and business houses.
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector that will represent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make In India” campaign at the summit will account for over 80 per cent of the total MoUs that will be signed in 2015 edition of the summit.
“We have targeted to sign 22,000 MoUs or Investment Intentions as part of this Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015. Of this, 17,000 MoUs will be from the MSME sector,” said a senior official state government official on conditions of anonymity about the summit that is scheduled to be held between January 11 and 13 in Gandhinagar.
Both Industries Commissionerate and Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) are handling the MoUs that will be signed by the MSMEs. About 12,800 MSMEs had signed MoUs in the 2013 edition of the summit.
“We will be signing 15-20 per cent more MoUs than what we did during the last edition of VGGIS,” the official said about the 2013 Vibrant Summit when over 17,700 MoUs were signed. In 2011, over 8300 MoUs were signed.
With just a little over a week to go, the state government has already about 15,000 MoUs or Investment Intentions by Thursday. “In the MSME sector alone we have already received 13000 investment intentions. In the next few days we will be reaching our targets for this edition of Vibrant Summit,” the official added.
The state government has a Investor Facilitation Portal where the corporates and business houses are expected to fill in the investment intention forms. However, there seems to little transparency from the state government about the fructification of these MoUs. Though the state government officials claim that the about 60 per cent of the MoUs signed at the previous six editions of the summit have fructified, there is little clarity on the quantum of investments or the number of MoUs.
Even large companies like Reliance Industries (about Rs 200,000 crore) and Essar Group (Rs 87,000 crore) who have announced investments from the dais of various Vibrant Gujarat Summits since 2003, have maintained a stoic silence over the current status of their respective investments in the state. Mails sent to the companies on the issue a fortnight ago remained unanswered.
The Dholera Special Investments Region has attracted one of the biggest MoUs signed during the past Vibrant Gujarat Summits — especially those held in 2009 and 2011 — where Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) had promised to invest over Rs 50,000 crore in the SIR. Similarly, Universal Success Enterprise (USE), a company pioneered by Prasoon Mukherjee, an NRI Businessman from Singapore had promised to invest an additional Rs 50,000 crore (Vibrant 2009 and 2011), which included the development of a Japanese city in Dholera SIR. However, there is little clarity about the present status of these promises.