In the run-up to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2009 (VGGIS) earlier this month,Chief Minister Narendra Modi claimed that 61 per cent of the investments promised during the VGGIS in 2003,2005 and 2007 had come Gujarats way but data compiled by his own government shows otherwise actual investment made until 2007 was less than 21 per cent of what was promised.
A state government document accessed by ‘The Indian Express’ says that out of the proposed total investment of Rs 633,829.9 crore during the VGGIS melas of 2003,2005 and 2007,only Rs 130,354.36 crore materialised. This works out to 20.5 per cent,as against the 61 per cent Modi announced. But for even this rate,all of some Rs 1,030 crore worth of projects,which the document says are still at a planning stage,have to fructify.
The 52 page document of MoUs and investment statistics and analyses (IC/IM.CS Rev Meet/3431) was put together by the Industries Commissioner for the Chief Secretarys review meeting on December 3,2008.
The document also puts a question mark on the projected employment-generation prowess of the Vibrant Gujarat meets. While Modi projected 25 lakh new jobs from the over 8,500 MoUs signed during the fourth VGGIS last fortnight,the document indicates that Gujarat actually got just 12.3 per cent of the 13,23,452 jobs promised in the 760 MoUs signed during the three VGGIS from 2003.
The document also suggests that the gap between proposed and actual investments has been widening perceptibly with each VGGIS meet while the number of MoUs signed and their worth,not the volume of actually implemented investment,is used for official projection of the success of these meets.
As per the document,of the Rs 66,068.5 crore worth of investment promised at the 2003 VGGIS meet,the actual investment,including projects still being implemented,was Rs 30,299.97 crore a conversion rate of 45.86 per cent.
Only Rs 20,942.3 crore worth of investment materialised from the Rs 102,460.41 crore worth of MoUs signed at the 2005 VGGIS,an effective success rate of 20.4 per cent. This rate was lower at the next VGGIS and IT Summit in 2007 of the combined committed investment of Rs 465,301 crore,only Rs 79,112.09 crore came in,including projects still considered to be at the planning stage. Only 106,648 of the promised 13,21,635 jobs came to Gujarat,which works out to just 8 per cent.
Incidentally,these figures discussed at the Chief Secretarys review meeting were lower than what the same Industries commissionerate had provided,in response to an RTI application for the same period. The RTI reply had pegged the success rate of the 2005 and 2007 VGGIS at an average 25.25 per cent.
M Sahu,Managing Director of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation,who piloted the 2009 VGGIS presentations along with Modi and played a lead role in organising the meet,told The ‘Indian Express’ that figures in the document discussed at the Chief Secretarys review meeting with 17 senior state bureaucrats were not authentic final figures.
The fact is,investors seldom give us real figures but only some statistics that they choose to,until they commence operation. We need to look at their balance sheet at the end of each year to find out actual investments made. We have no monitoring mechanism to decide if what they give us are actual figures. So we use the ones given only for discussion and periodic review purposes, Sahu said.
To assess success,he said the government would go by the number of MoUs,out of the total signed at each VGGIS,that have been commissioned or are under implementation. The quantum of investment that is projected to have actually happened cannot be a yardstick,he said.