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'No competition for Gujarat in years to come'

Last updated on: August 8, 2012 13:30 IST

'No competition for Gujarat in years to come'

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BS Reporter in Ahmedabad

Riding on financial and political stability, as well as a sound industrial policy, the Gujarat government feels it would not face competition in the state in the years to come.

Speaking at 'Business Standard Gujarat Round Table 2012' in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, Minister of State for industries, energy and petrochemicals, Saurabh Patel, said the state was way ahead of others in the country.

"The most important thing for a state is to have a strong foundation of financial stability. "Today, Gujarat is one of the most financially stable states in the country.

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Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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"We have passed the financial responsibility Bill and performed better than what we had promised in the Legislative Assembly," he said during his keynote address at the event. The theme for the event was 'Gujarat: Its Growth Challenges'.

The state's budget plan size rose from Rs 5,000 crore in 2002 to Rs 51,000 crore (Rs 510 billion) in 2012.

"I can assure you we are years ahead, compared to any state.

The only state with which Gujarat is compared is Maharashtra. In the last five to seven years, because of the political stability, clear-cut directions & policies and a clear road map, we have been able to do better than any other state in the country.

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Image: A devotee shows his back, with an image of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, as he flexes his muscles.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
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'No competition for Gujarat in years to come'

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If this continues at the same rate, which I am sure it would, I don't think there will be any competition for Gujarat in the coming years," Patel said.

The minister stated three major challenges the state was likely to face in the days to come -- land-availability for setting up new industries, skilled manpower and management of water in industrial units and farmland.

"Every day, one industry comes with a proposal for immediate availability of land with ready infrastructure.

"This is a difficult issue for us, as providing ready infrastructure takes time.

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Image: Chairman of Tata group Ratan Tata (R) shakes hands with Gujarat's Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
Tags: Patel , Gujarat

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"The demand we are receiving is a big challenge for us to meet," he added.

For skilled manpower, demand is more than supply.

"It is necessary that actual demand is identified by the industry.

"The government has started skill development centres in partnership with industrial associations.

"It is trying hard to meet the requirement of industry," Patel added.

"No one has thought of water as a challenge.

"Ten years down the line, water would be one of the biggest challenges in the country.

"If we look at the usage of water in the agriculture or industrial sectors, it is not at all efficient.

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Image: Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan (left) flies a kite during a shoot for a movie to promote tourism in Gujarat.
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"Because of inefficiency, the consumption is higher, especially in the farm sector.

"The usage of water would have to be restricted in the coming days. This issue needs to be tackled immediately," Patel said.

He said Gujarat's power generation capacity of 15,000 Mw was expected to rise to 30,000 Mw by 2017.

"One might think the figure is very high. But it is a fact, as most power plants have started work.

"This is going to be the most important strength of Gujarat in the years to come," he said.

Patel expressed concern over the fact that owing to the rise in the prices of land, it would be difficult for the government to secure big areas.

"The policy of setting up private industrial parks would, therefore, attract investors. Because of this policy, we will be one up over other states," he said.


Image: Employees of Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
Tags: Patel , Gujarat

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