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Gujarat is no Pakistan: Fadnavis on Vedanta row

Source: PTI
September 17, 2022 09:10 IST
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Under fire over Gujarat bagging the Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor project, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said the neighbouring state was "no Pakistan", and also accused the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government of graft.

Photograph: @Dev_Fadnavis/Twitter

"Ten per cent commission" had to be paid for availing of any subsidy when Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government was in power and Gujarat surged ahead during this period, the BJP leader claimed.

Without naming the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, Fadnavis targeted the party for opposing big-ticket projects like a refinery in Ratnagiri and Vadhavan port in Palghar, and for stalling the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train and Mumbai Metro phase 3.

After taking over as deputy chief minister he met Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal and the state offered a tailor-made package to the company to match up the Gujarat offer, but he was told that a decision to move the project to the neighbouring state was in its final stages, Fadnavis said.

“The decision was taken even before we came to power. When we came to power, we tried every bit. The ones who did nothing are pointing fingers at us,” Fadnavis said.

 

Maharashtra fell behind Gujarat in attracting foreign investment during the MVA's tenure but in the next two years the present government would take Maharashtra ahead, said Fadnavis.

"Gujarat is no Pakistan. It is our brother. This is a healthy competition. We want to get ahead of Karnataka, everyone,” Fadnavis said.

The opposition's policy was to "stop everything", and with such policy Maharashtra could not beat Gujarat, he said.

Foreign investment in the state in 2013 was USD 6 billion which rose to USD 26 billion when he was chief minister during 2014 to 2019, Fadnavis claimed.

“Unfortunately, in the last two years our position slipped and Gujarat topped the list and it went from USD 3 billion to USD 23 billion and investment in Maharashtra came down from USD 26 billion to USD 18 billion," the deputy CM said.

One can not beat the neighbouring state by "simply making statements" but policies are needed for it, he said.

He also alleged that commission had to be paid when the MVA was in power for every subsidy.

“In the last two years, for every subsidy announced, a 10 per cent commission had to be paid....From 2014-19, not a single paisa had to be given. If you have to pay bribe for getting subsidy then imagine the situation,” he said, without naming the MVA.

Jamnagar refinery and Mundra port are key pillars of Gujarat's economy and the proposed refinery in Ratnagiri was supposed to be three times as big as the Jamnagar one, Fadnavis said.

But due to loss of time (on account of opposition to the project) the investment will be scaled down and Maharashtra had lost an opportunity, he said.

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