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Rediff.com  » News » Modi's tryst with 20 trillion and taste for twenty20

Modi's tryst with 20 trillion and taste for twenty20

By Keshav Joshi
January 23, 2015 13:42 IST
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Keshav Joshi’s tongue in cheek look at Narendra Modi’s mega plans.

Those who are talking and debating Narendra Modi’s ‘dream’ of growing Indian economy tenfold should know that it is not for the first time that he uttered ’20 trillion’! Last week at Global Economic Summit, Modi asked captains of the industry to dream of $20 trillion economy for India as against $2 trillion today.  

Before getting into details of his ‘20 trillion’ story, it is worth mentioning that Modi also spoke about adding 20,000 mw of generation capacity through energy savings even as actual power generation and consumption in Gujarat increased like never before his tenure as chief minister.

Modi is a wise person and he learns from mistakes though he has not made many in his career that took off after 2002. He did not spell out number of years for which India will have to snooze to see Indian economy taking giant leap.

It was about a decade back when Modi spoke ‘20 trillion’ from public platform for the first time. It drew attention of industry captains not only in India but also overseas when Modi announced discovery of 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Krishna Godavari Basin by state venture Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation. In 2005, Modi claimed that GSPC will start production in the next couple of years.

Representatives of some of the largest oil & gas companies visited Gandhinagar and the Gujarat government shared details of their meetings over enthusiastically with the media that barely checked the authenticity of the discovery. None of the global companies were ready to trust this claim while GSPC continue to be at loggerheads with unknown Canadian partner with 10 per cent stake in the ailing Deendayal Block. GSPC spent close to Rs 20,000 crore to develop and further explore Deendayal Block (in the neighbourhood of RIL’s D6) but it is yet to produce much needed natural gas.

After failing to live up to Modi’s tall claim, GSPC has been in talks with Gautam Adani’s conglomerate to commission a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal with initial nameplate capacity of 5 mmtpa with provision to ramp up to 20 mmtpa ultimately. Modi certainly has weakness for those who are also fond of ‘20’.  

Incidentally, Adani, who also attended The Economic Times Global Business Summit in New Delhi, is fond of the number ‘20’ and it is evident from registration plates of many of the group cars. By 2020, he wants to commission 200 million tonne of cargo handling capacity at ports, 20,000 mw of power generation capacity and achieve 200 million tonne of coal mining annually.

According to industry sources, Adani may achieve these targets well before 2020 due to his risk appetite and proximity to the new centre of power. However, India may have to spend unknown years in slumber to see Modi’s dream and claims turning true. 

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Keshav Joshi