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Modi's growth mantra for India

Last updated on: April 9, 2013 16:14 IST

Narendra Modi woos industry in Kolkata

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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said West Bengal will make the eastern part of the country powerful.

Calling West Bengal a unique state, he said knowledge spread its wings in Bengal even during imperialism.

The dreams of the people of Bengal will come true, he said addressing a special business session called 'Modi's Vision of a Vibrant Growth Model for India'.

Optimistic about a bright future, Modi said "I am not making empty promises. I speak on the basis of experience. The same files, the same employees, the same circumstances, even with all this, the country can move forward."

The Union government is pitting industry and agriculture. Gujarat has seen an increase in cultivable land. We have increased our cultivable land by 18 lakh hectare, he said.

Modi said Gujarat's economy is based on three pillars: Industry, Agriculture, Services. Government intervention is must in agriculture, he said.

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

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"Gujarat faces water scarcity. Only Narmada and Tapi are perennial rivers. Despite desert areas and scarcity of water, Gujarat has recorded 10 per cent growth in agriculture in the last decade," Modi said.

"The biggest feature of a vibrant growth model is the increase in purchasing power and per capita income," Modi said.

"Today we have covered 7 lakh hectare through micro-irrigation in Gujarat, an increase from 12,000 hectares in 2001."

Stating that farmers have their own Soil Health Card in Gujrat, Modi said farmers know what crops, fertilisers are best for them. "We want to give our farmers best of the facilities in the world. I want my farmers to dominate the world markets."

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Image: Vehicles move over a bridge built over the river Tapi at Surat, in Gujarat.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters.

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"Farmers have developed a confidence that despite lack of rains, despite less water, crops can grow. Government intervention is must in agriculture. Earlier governments only focused on subsidies. Gujarat has set up Agriculture universities, we have progressive farmers, focused on Agriculture department to distribute modern techniques to the farmers and revolutionise the agricultural sector. We don't want to stop there, like our Vibrant Gujarat Summit, we are also doing an Agro Tech Fair," Modi said.

Modi said he presided over a committee to reduce high prices, submitted the report over a year ago. "I am still waiting an update from the PM's office," he stated.

Today, we don't have real time data on agro produce. We should use technology to do this, Modi said. India can tackle food grain crisis and starvation if we can have such a mechanism, Modi explained.

"Wheat worth crores was wasted in the store houses, the Supreme Courts kept asking the Government to distribute it amongst the poor but Government did nothing. They waited for it to spoil and then sell them to the liquor industries, he said.

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Image: Men fill a basket with pineapples while unloading them from a supply truck at a fruit wholesale market in Ahmedabad.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters.

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Taking the example of Gujarat, he said, "We divided agriculture into 3 parts, regular farming, trees, and animal husbandry."

"Because of tree farming, when there is less rain, people can sell them and the economy is sustained. One third is animal husbandry. Hence our dairy sector is growing."

"We have organized cattle camps. In Gujarat cattle get cataract operations and dental treatments. Because of this, 112 diseases have been eradicated."

Economic development has many facets. Now we want to move to value addition, we want to focus on food processing. We have brought the best textile policy to help improve the industry. We have a formula to create a chain called Farm to Factory to Fibre to Fashion to Foreign."

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Image: Employees of Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters.
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Highlighting Gujarat's achievements, Modi said, "We are an automobile hub, we are leading in solar energy sector, we are also leading in oil refineries. Asia's biggest solar plant is in Gujarat. Gujarat is fast progressing towards becoming the solar capital of the world."

We were the first state who brought in a solar policy and we set the prices a 13 rupees a unit. The government of India offers Rs 19 rupees a unit for solar power but they have not been able to set up even 100 MW. We have got 3000 MW of solar energy and we are now achieving price parity, Modi said.

We have worked very hard to make Gujarat a tourist destination. Gujaratis are the best tourists but Gujarat was never been a tourist destination, Modi said.

"We have worked extensively towards it and in the past 5 years Gujarat's growth in tourism sector has been double of entire India."

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Image: Security personnel sit in a boat as they patrol the premises of a newly inaugurated solar farm at Gunthawada village in Banaskantha district.
Photographs: Reuters.

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Elaborating on Gujarat's economic success, Modi said, "When I took over the reins, our revenue deficit was Rs 6,700 crore (Rs 67 billion), today we are revenue surplus. In the past 12 years, we haven't raised taxes. We have only plugged leakages."

"The Gujarat Electricity Co had a loss of Rs 2,500 crore (Rs 25 billion) per year. Now we have a surplus. There was a shortfall of 2000 MW when I took charge but today every single village of Gujarat gets 24 hours of electricity."

"There are states where provision of electricity is news but in Gujarat power cut is a news."

"The central government is responsible for putting the country into darkness. We have coal and power plants, but files are pending in Delhi. It's as if patients need medicines, and medicines are available but there are no doctors."


Image: An employee works inside the newly inaugurated plant for the Tata Nano car at Sanand.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters.

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