Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the eighth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, a biennial business meet he had launched as the chief minister of the state in 2003, at Gandhinagar on Tuesday afternoon.
The summit, which has made headlines in the past for the staggering number of MoUs (memorandums of understanding) inked at each edition, now aims to facilitate nearly 22,000 such deals with an investment commitment of around Rs 30 lakh crore at Mahatma Mandir over the next four days.
Ahead of the inauguration at 3.30 pm, Modi will host a lunch for several foreign delegates – including Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and Portuguese prime minister António Costa.
Later, Modi will chair a roundtable conference of around 60 nationals and international CEOs on Transforming India. It is expected to be attended by Cisco’s John Chambers, Boeing’s Bertrand Marc Allen and Suzuki Motor Corp’s Toshihiro Suzuki, among others. Indian business magnates expected to attend the meeting and the inaugural ceremony are Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani, Kumar Mangalam Birla of the Aditya Birla Group, Essar head Shashi Ruia and Reliance ADA Group chairman Anil Ambani.
Officials said the main objective of the roundtable conference was to brainstorm ways to turn India into an ideal investment destination.
Among Unions ministers expected to attend the four-day summit are finance minister Arun Jaitley and power minister Piyush Goyal. Jaitley will address a special GST session to detail rollout plans for the indirect tax regime on Wednesday.
Later in the night, Modi will host a dinner for the CEOs. The state government has roped in chefs from Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace hotel to prepare lunch for the state guests and dinner for the CEOs – both at Mahatma Mandir. Taj chefs will supervise the preparation of vegetarian meals, an official said.
Modi had conceptualised and built Mahatma Mandir – a convention centre aimed at promoting Gandhian philosophy – when he was still the Gujarat chief minister. Apart from auditoriums, it houses Dandi Kutir, a salt mound-shaped hall that exhibits the life and times of Gandhi in digital format.
Dalit leader detained
Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, who threatened to disrupt the summit unless the state government fulfilled his community’s demand for land, was detained in Ahmedabad earlier this morning.
Mevani alleged that the government, which “favoured corporate giants over Dalits and tribals”, was not allowing them to lodge their protest through peaceful demonstrations. “If Modiji is asked to reveal how many jobs would be created through these ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ summits, he offers no answer. If we complain about fertile land of farmers being handed over to industries, they dub us anti-development. While land is available for business groups and corporate giants, there is none for Dalits, tribals or the landless class,” he said.