Congress legislators were engaged in a war of words with ruling BJP members in the Gujarat assembly on Wednesday over the success of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summits.
While the opposition Congress questioned the spendings, the treasury benches dubbed the summits as a success.
Replying to a query raised by BJP MLA Arvindkumar Patel about the 2015 Vibrant Summit during Question Hour, revenue minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama informed the House that out of 21,304 investment intentions (IIs) signed in that summit, 12,670 IIs were realised.
Countering Chudasama, Congress chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput alleged that even after spending Rs 117.72 crore on this biennial event held in 2013 and 2015, government has failed to provide employment opportunities as promised.
“Even after spending such a huge amount on these summits, large number of youths remained unemployed in Gujarat. Though you promised to provide jobs to over 50 lakh youths, only 10% got jobs, as over 44% of all the projects signed in past summits have been dropped,” alleged Rajput.
In his response, Chudasama, who was replying on behalf of Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, told him that such expenditure is necessary when Gujarat was hosting delegates from across the world. He added that no unnecessary expenditure has been made in organising these events.
He also invoked the alleged corruption in organising the Commonwealth Games during the Congress regime in Delhi.
“When you are talking about unnecessary spendings, Congress must remember the CWG scam. Even some of your leaders were sent to jail for making unnecessary expenditure,” the minister said.
To corner the government on the issue, senior Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar asked Chudasama to reveal the exact figures of investments fetched by all the IIs signed in 2015.
In his reply, Chudasama stated that “Gujarat received an investment of over Rs 2.26 lakh crore from 12,670 projects. Around 1.92 lakh new jobs were also created from these projects”.
When Parmar insisted to know the reasons behind non-implementation of remaining 8,634 IIs, Chudasama asked him to have patience.
“There are lot of reasons why an investment intention is dropped by the promoter. Technically, the entire process takes three years to set up a plant. Thus, for the IIs signed in 2015, actual picture gets clear only in 2018. We will give you all the details at that time,” said Chudasama.