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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

75% deals since 2003 just on paper

Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times  Ahmedabad, January 12, 2011
First Published: 23:38 IST(12/1/2011) | Last Updated: 23:39 IST(12/1/2011)

Hardly 25% of the deals signed during the Gujarat investors' summits since 2003 have been successful. The rest have remained on paper.

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This has been the finding of an audit done by former chief minister and BJP leader Suresh Mehta.

"Of the 9,326 MoUs inked in the last four summits, only 844 translated into projects commissioned so far while 1,432 projects are under various stages of implementation," Mehta told HT. "This means only 25% of the MoUs have materialised."

During the summit in 2009, 8,660 MoUs were signed but only about 543 projects materialised while 1,238 are under implementation, the audit says.

One big project (Rs1.8 lakh crore) that did not materialise was supposed to be of a consortium of Hindustan Construction Company and Universal Success Enterprises, led by NRI Prasoon Mukherjee and the Shabir Bhatia group. They were to develop a township, power plant and port near Ahmedabad.

However, Mehta said Gujarat had traditionally been at the forefront in attracting moneybags, getting more than 20% of the investment in the country at any point of time, and that continued irrespective of whether such summits were held.

"In the early 1990s, Gujarat had become a front-ranking state, replacing Maharashtra in getting investments in industry. During that period, work started on the Reliance Industries refinery in Jamnagar, Essar's refinery, the expansion of the Hazira industrial area in south Gujarat near Surat and the General Motors manufacturing facility at Halol near Vadodara."

"Very good rainfall in the last seven years and the robust economy in the country have resulted in industrialised states like Gujarat achieving higher growth rates than the national average," he said.

An IIM-Ahmedabad professor, who did not want to be named, said, "The Vibrant Gujarat platform is meant for marketing the government's achievements by inflating figures of investment," he said.


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