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Rs 1,800 crore advance extended under Mudra scheme: Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel

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Patel also called upon women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the women’s empowerment schemes, notably the Women Industrial Park, set up by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) at Sanand.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Bollywood actress Kajol light lamps at Vibrant Garima Business Women Conclave 2015 in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

PTI
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Saturday said Rs 1,800-crore advances were extended to small and big industrialists during a camp under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna’.Patel also called upon women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the women’s empowerment schemes, notably the Women Industrial Park, set up by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) at Sanand.”Rs 1,800-crore advances were extended to small and big industrialists during a camp under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna in Gujarat,” she said inaugurating the Vibrant Gujarat Business Women Conclave organised by Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patel said that industrial development in the state was no more restricted to urban areas and it has spread to rural and even remote areas in the tribal belt. The Chief Minister also asked women to fight social evils, superstitions and social inequality.Bollywood actress Kajol Devgn, present on the occasion, exhorted women to work, which she said was necessary for self-esteem. GCCI Women Wing Chairperson Grishma Trivedi said one purpose of this conclave is to encourage women entrepreneurs in rural areas.Under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna’ banks, NBFCs and MFIs would provide loans between Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh to the unfunded sections of the society.

Pressed against time, bureaucrats unhappy with timing of international education summit

The HRD ministry plans to hold a three-day conference from November 27 to 29 at Gandhi Mandir in Gandhinagar, a venue that has been hosting the Vibrant Gujarat summit.

Smriti Irani’s hurried plan of holding the international summit on education has left the bureaucracy in a tizzy as very little time is left for preparation. It has also left the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliated education bodies upset for being left out of the grandiose plan for hosting educationists and education ministers from 180 countries.Both are also confused about how an event of this scale be organised in less than four months time. The minister for Human Resource and Development plans to hold the summit in Gujarat in the month of November.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plan to hold a conference was first mooted in February, but the issue was then put in the back burner. It is now at the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office that the ministry has started reworking on the project.The HRD ministry plans to hold a three-day conference from November 27 to 29 at Gandhi Mandir in Gandhinagar, a venue that has been hosting the Vibrant Gujarat summit. Sources in the government informed that the venue was chosen over Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi. As a practice, all international meets take place at Vigyan Bhawan.”It was decided that Gandhi Mandir is better equipped and more experienced in handling seminars of a bigger scale than Vigyan Bhawan,” said an official of the ministry.What has however left both the saffron brigade and the bureaucracy agitated is the pace and the manner in which the things are being pushed. “The meeting is just two months away and till now the agenda of the meeting has not been finalised. We don’t know which countries are participating. We need to set our agenda,” said a functionary of an RSS-affiliated education establishment.The ministry has written to the PMO seeking Modi’s presence on the inauguration day. But it is yet to receive a conformation. It will take at least two weeks for the ministry to create a website for the summit. “We have started writing to the education department of countries apprising them about the event. The details will follow later,” informed a source in the ministry.It will take atleast two weeks for the ministry to launch its website for the meet. “For events like these, details of the program are available on the website and the countries are asked to register there,” added the source.Pressed against time, in a highly unprofessional style, the HRD ministry has decided to write the letter first, just making the countries aware about the event, the details would follow later. After the agenda for the meeting is finalised, Indian missions in foreign capitals will be asked to share the details with these countries.Internationally, November is not considered to be the ideal time of the year for holding these meets. The semester is about to come to an end and academicians remain busy. “Most of the people we interact with internationally have appointments planned a year in advance. We have doubts about the kind of people who will be attending the meet,” said the Sangh functionary. The Sangh sources also informed that there has so far not been consulted in deciding the panel. The tentative agenda suggests that both school and higher education will be discussed in the meeting. India will be sharing its achievements and will try to pick up good education practices from the western countries. Gandhinagar choosen over Vigyan BhavanThe HRD ministry plans to hold a three-day conference from November 27 to 29 at Gandhi Mandir in Gandhinagar, a venue that has been hosting the Vibrant Gujarat summit. Sources in the government informed that the venue was choose over Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi. As a practice all international meets take place at Vigyan Bhawan.

Rs 42.56 cr spent over last two fiscals on Vibrant Gujarat Summit

Gandhinagar: Gujarat Government has spent Rs 42.56 crore in the last two financial years in organising Vibrant Gujarat Summit, the state Legislative Assembly was told on Tuesday.

The details regarding the expenses for financial years 2013-14 and 2014-15 (as on January 20, 2015) were sought by Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar during the question hour.

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Vibrant Gujarat is a biennial investors’ summit held by the state government.

In her written reply, Chief Minister Anandi Patel, who also holds the portfolio of Industries and Mines, stated that as on January 20 the government had spent Rs 42.56 crore during the two financial years.

The seventh edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit was organised between January 11 and January 13 this year at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

Though the previous edition of the conclave was held in January 2013 (before the beginning of FY14), the reply stated Rs 56.99 lakh out of the total expenses incurred was spent during fiscal 2013-14, while Rs 41.99 crore in fiscal 2014-15 (till January 20).

Replying to a sub-question on how much money was spent towards lodging, boarding and transportation of foreign delegates, Patel stated the accounts are still being prepared as on January 2015.

As per the break-up, a total of Rs 7.13 crore was spent on decoration, temporary furniture, putting road signs and other temporary structures.

The reply stated Rs 1.6 crore was spent on transportation and other amenities for participants, Rs 2.14 crore for the manpower, Rs 7.64 crore for making creative literature, Rs 10.68 crore for conducting pre-event road shows and Rs 1.13
crore on organising seminars and panel discussions.

PTI

No bigger ambassador for golf than PM Narendra Modi

Vibrant Gujarat. I am using these two words not to reflect on the on-going investment fair in the state but the growth of golf there. Because, with over ten golf courses, Gujarat ought to be called the golf capital of the country where you can tee off from against a royal backdrop to the brand new Jack Nicklaus facilities. With this industrial event and with all this global attention on it, hopefully the golf infrastructure is also getting its appropriate due.At Vibrant Gujarat, with an amazing roll call of global names led by US Secretary of State John Kerry, one hopes Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also making a pitch for the sport to grow in India, indirectly, if not upfront. The impression is that Modi is against golfing but the fact is, his state – thanks to the efforts during Modi’s tenure – remains at the forefront of golf growth. And the prime minister deftly uses golf where it helps the business. For example, Modi spoke about the sport as a business tool in his visits to Japan and Australia, business citizens of which are in love with the sport.According to Gujarat Tourism, some of the big deals in the states are being struck on golf courses. In what can only be called a path-breaking effort, Gujarat will now have its own golf union to make it a more organised sport. Just last week, the state pushed for more women to play golf by hosting a couple of professional golf tournaments.Later this month, Barack Obama is visiting India and while that should make for business and political headway between the two democracies, I am hoping Obama can help Modi with a renewed pitch for golf. The American president has played over 200 rounds since 2009. He used this time to discuss strategies with deputies or disarm adversaries. Either way, it’s fruitful. Golf is a mind-sport. In the past we have seen Obama being criticised for playing but White House finally got around it and made a statement middle of 2014. “Generally, I think sports and leisure activities are a good way for release and clearing of the mind,” said White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz. “Just because he’s in a different location doesn’t mean he’s not doing his job.”No doubt politics and golf remains a delicate dance but there is no sport this strong for track two relationships. It’s brilliant for discussions, breaking the ice, building new friendships and fixing old enemies. As we tee off into 2015, one hopes Modi will course-correct what seems to be an impression across the country, that he is anti-golf. Given that a few years ago he was seen sporting a T-shirt and driving a nice shot with Gaganjeet Bhullar, there can be no greater ambassador for a sport looking to rise in the country. If he understands business, he ought to understand golf.

Country should not be dependent on defence imports: Manohar Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday government proposes to come up with an industry friendly policy on defence manufacturing and procurement in 2-3 months, a move aimed at promoting local production and reduce imports.Speaking at a seminar on the sidelines of Vibrant Gujarat Summit here, he said a US $20 billion import bill for defence was not affordable. “Such a huge import bill has undesirable consequences for the economy, development and unemployment in the country,” he said, adding that for strategic reasons too the country should not be dependent on defence imports. In the light of this background, the Minister said, the “government hopes to come up with a document in 2-3 months on a suitable model for defence manufacturing and procurement”.He said defence manufacturing will get a major thrust in line with ‘Make in India’ policy. He also stated that his ministry would soon be in a position to decide which items should be manufactured in India and gradually that list would be increased over a period of time. Later talking to PTI, Parrikar said the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2015 will have an “industry friendly” approach for defence production. India has recently taken steps like relaxed foreign direct investment norms to boost local manufacturing.Observing that there are “some gaps” in the current DPP, he said “since we are the only consumer and the buyer so whenever you deal with anyone there has to be guarantee of purchase from Make in India. Unless, you guarantee a purchase on successful production, there is no chance of anyone coming forward”. Current policies, Parrikar added, are “too cumbersome and bureaucratic nightmare” for the industry and needs to be reviewed. He hoped that with change in the business climate and setting up of new guidelines and principles, the process of local investment will start.

Corporates promise big investments at Vibrant Gujarat Summit

PM Narendra Modi with industrialist Gautam Adani and a foreign delegate at the Mahatma Mandir premises during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2015 in Gandhinagar

PTI
Big corporates — including Ambanis, Adanis and Birlas as also Suzuki and Rio Tinto from abroad — on Sunday committed to investing over Rs 1.6 lakh crore and creating more than 50,000 jobs, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to make India the ‘easiest’ place to do business with a stable policy and tax regime. Modi also promised “truly unlimited” development across sectors and regions, while business leaders lined up huge investment commitments and signed MoUs across sectors on the first day of three-day Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Ahmedabad.Taking the lead, billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani said Reliance Industries would invest Rs 1 lakh crore over the next 12-18 months across businesses.Adani group signed an MoU for setting up a solar park in Gujarat in partnership with US-based SunEdison at an investment of USD four billion (about Rs 25,000 crore), while creating 20,000 jobs. Adani group also signed an agreement with Australian energy major Woodside.Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla also announced Rs 20,000 crore investment in the state in cement and other businesses.Among foreign companies, Australian mining giant Rio Tinto’s CEO Sam Walsh said the group would add 30,000 jobs in diamond cutting industry in Gujarat, adding that entire Australia is looking forward to the state as a promising business destination.Japanese auto major Suzuki’s Chairman Osamu Suzuki said its new car manufacturing unit in Gujarat, being set up at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore, will be ready by 2017.Diversified Kalyani Group also said it will invest Rs 600 crore for upgradation and overhaul of Armoured Fighting Vehicles unit at Dholera, Gujarat, while Welspun Renewables announced an investment of Rs 8,300 crore to set up about 1,000 MW solar and wind capacities in the state. After inaugurating the seventh edition of this biennial global business summit, conceived in 2003 during his tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a predictable and fair policy environment and stable tax regime and assured the global community that India would be the “easiest” place to do business.”Since day one, my government is actively working to revive the economy. My government is committed to creating a policy environment that is predictable, transparent and fair,” he told an audience comprising US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and top global and domestic CEOs.Modi, who assumed office as Prime Minister in May last year after BJP stormed to power with a huge mandate, said that the atmosphere of “despair and uncertainty” has gone away within a very short span of seven months.The government will “hold your hands whenever needed…If you walk one step, we will walk two steps for you,” he said.Among major business leaders, Gautam Adani, Anil Ambani, Shashi Ruia, Sunil Mittal, Uday Kotak, Shikha Sharma, Adi Godrej, A M Naik, Arundhati Bhattacharya were also present. Mukesh Ambani invited the companies from across the world to invest in the state, while Birla said, “We have a personal bias for Gujarat and our ambitions are woven with the state.”Singaporean Minister S Iswaran said, “Singapore companies have strong commercial interests in Gujarat,” while British Trade and Development Minister Lord Livingston said they will open a new deputy High Commission in Gujarat in a few weeks.Netherlands’ Foreign Trade Minister Simon Smits said India should focus not only on ‘Make on India’, but also on ‘Research and Design In India’. Macedonia Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski expressed interest for collaboration and mutual economic empowerment for the countries.Modi said “people from more than 100 countries have gathered here under one roof” for this summit. Showering fulsome praise on Modi and on Gujarat, Kerry said that “Gujarat has become synonymous with possibilities, change and energy”.

World Bank praises Indian economy, red flags enduring caste bias

World Bank said India can grow at 6.4% in 2015 and accelerate further next year, but cautioned that an enduring “bias” on the basis of caste and other factors can impede prosperity.The government, however, is well aware of this issue and the World Bank sees India as “a bright spot in an otherwise mediocre global economic outlook,” the multilateral lending agency’s President Jim Yong Kim said here. “Indian society has an enduring exclusion that is based, among other things, on caste identities. This bias can impede shared prosperity, serving as a basis for discrimination in many spheres, including in employment and other markets, as well as in public services,” he said.Acknowledging the government’s efforts to address such issues, Jim said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has focused on programmes to promote “broad-sharing of its benefits”, in addition to action that will accelerate growth. “Its (government’s) special allocation of a fund for entrepreneurs from among the Scheduled Castes, and its focus on fixing bottlenecks so that money earmarked for the Scheduled Tribes reaches them, are both ethically just and economically sound responses,” he added.Speaking at the Vibrant Gujarat summit, inaugurated today by Modi, the World Bank chief said that there is much reason for optimism among investors, entrepreneurs and CEOs thinking of doing business in Gujarat and the country as a whole. “According to our projections, its (India’s) economy is expected to grow 6.4% this year and even faster in 2016, he said.He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government are quickly putting in place the building blocks for even more rapid growth, streamlining the national regulatory structure, using public funds more efficiently, and promoting social inclusion. After slowing to sub-five% growth in the previous two financial years, the economy has started showing signs of pick-up as it expanded by 5.7% and 5.3% in the second and third quarter of 2015.

Vibrant Gujarat UGC’s first business summit

University Grant Commission (UGC) is spending about Rs two crore to put up a stall at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, scheduled from January 11 to 13. This is the first time, the regulatory body whose role is restricted to giving grants to affiliated universities and colleges and to oversee the workings of the university has gone out to participate in a business summit. While all the expenditure is being incurred from the public exchequer, the members of the UGC are also not aware of the commission’s extravagance. No budgetary allocation for the summit appeared in any of the UGC meetings. The various skill development courses of UGC will be up for a display in the summit. The UGC says it is a step towards Prime Minister’s Make in India concept. “PM has proposed Make In India campaign. We want to tell the world, How to make in India,” said a official of Information and Library Network Center (INFLIBNET) an autonomous Inter- University Center of UGC at Ahmedabad. Besides explaining the broader role and objective of the UGC, the agency will promote its various skill development courses. “We want to communicate to the international community that we have plan to train adequate manpower for industries,” said the official. However the idea of UGC putting up a stall at a state sponsored event has not gone down well with many in the UGC. Even the members of the UGC seemed unaware about any such development. They feel that the UGC is working merely as a subordinate office of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. “All that the UGC is trying to project at the cost of Rs 2 crore for two days is available on the UGC website. What is the point of spending so much money,” said a member. The members also feel that as a regulatory body, the UGC has no role of such kind of promotions and it is for the universities and colleges to project themselves. Questions are also being raised on spending money only in Gujarat and not other states. “Madhya Pradesh also did an industry summit and West Bengal is doing one. Why only in Gujarat has the UGC decided to put up its stalls,” said a member.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon arrives for Vibrant Gujarat Summit

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon arrived at Ahmedabad city airport on Saturday ahead of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit which kicks off on Sunday. He is headed for the state capital of Gandhinagar from the airport.A Gujarat government spokesperson and state minister Saurabh Patel said that Ban was also likely to visit Sabarmati Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi in Ahmedabad and few other places in the state. The global investor summit would be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

Vibrant Gujarat Summit drawing good response, claims Arun Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who arrived at Harni airport in Vadodra on Saturday night ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit which starts on Sunday at Gandhinagar, said the event was generating a good response.The summit had received a very good response from various countries, indicating that Gujarat was drawing attention of multi-national companies who wanted to invest in India, he said.Jaitley, a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat who has adopted four villages in the Karnali group panchayat in the district under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna, assured that he would visit these villages from time to time and ensure infrastructure development. The union minister would be visiting Karnali tomorrow morning.

Gujarat government responsible if bandh turns violent says Shankarsinh Vaghela

The Congress said on Friday that the Gujarat government would be solely responsible, if the statewide bandh on January 10, barring four major cities, against the Vibrant Gujarat Investors’ Summit becomes violent.”Gujarat will observe the bandh in its rural areas and in the entire state, barring four major cities, tomorrow. If the bandh gets violent, the Gujarat government will be solely responsible,” Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Gujarat assembly Shankarsinh Vaghela told reporters in Ahmedabad.Alleging that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union government had adopted an ‘anti-farmer’ policy, Vaghela said that the farming sector is on the road to destruction after the UPA rule. Vaghela took a dig at the Gujarat Government for not providing due facilities during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event at Mahatma Mandir Gandhinagar.”The so-called Mahatma Mandir has become an example of anarchy and misery. It is difficult even to get water or food at Mahatma Mandir. It is the biggest example of anarchy,” Vaghela said. “When Gujarat’s middle class is suffering to meet their two ends, the Gujarat government is offering food costing between Rs 2,200 and Rs 12,000. This is an insult of Gujarat’s middle class. Who will pay the bills of this lavish food and hotel stay of VVIPs,” Vaghela asked.Vaghela compared the functioning of the central and state governments’ functioning with the Moghul and British eras.”People are not even allowed to walk on roads and they (governments) force us to take law and order into our hands. Such authoritarian functioning put the British to shame. Even Moghul emperors did not waste money like water like today’s state and union governments,” Vaghela said.”At the salt-mound, sculptures of Gandhiji were shown nude. This is against the pride of Gujarat. This is an insult to Mahatma Gandhi. They call it Dandi Kutir but it is actually a palace. It is an insult to the kutir (hut),” he said.Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Arjun Modhvadia said that Gujarat would observe a bandh on January 10 and criticised the Modi-led union government for adopting the ‘ordinance-route’ to introduce the land acquisition bill recently.

West Bengal gets Rs 93,600 crore investment pledge on first day of Summit

Companies including state-run SAIL on Wednesday committed to invest over Rs 93,000 crore in West Bengal, while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said total commitments would exceed Rs one lakh crore during the ongoing two-day Global Business Summit. She, however, refused to draw any comparison with the Vibrant Gujarat summit, which typically gets huge investment pledges.Banerjee said that the two states were different and the Gujarat event had an advantage because Prime Minister Narendra Modi came from that state. On the first day of West Bengal Global Business Summit, investors committed Rs 41,600 crore in ports sector, while Rs 12,000 crore has been pledged for mining projects. Another Rs 40,000 crore worth investment pledge came today from SAIL, Banerjee said.”It will exceed Rs 1,00,000 crore,” Banerjee said on Wednesday on the first day of the two-day summit. Describing the summit as “positive and constructive throughout”, the chief minister said a lot companies have committed to invest in money into the state. SAIL’s investment announcement came a day after a 3900-acre land issue being resolved in the state.However, Banerjee refused to compare the Bengal summit with the Vibrant Gujarat event, which would start on January 11.”We can’t compare the two summits. The Prime Minister is from their state, so that is a big advantage for them. Gujarat is always developed. They don’t have to repay debts like we do. So, let Gujarat play their own role and let us Bengal play our own role. We want development for both,” she said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry to highlight US technology’s role at Vibrant Gujarat

US Secretary of State John Kerry will highlight the critical role that American technology plays in supporting sustainable economic growth across India during his visit to the country to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit next week, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.”The Secretary will join leading US business executives and innovators at the Summit to highlight the critical role that US technology plays in supporting sustainable economic growth across India and the Indo Pacific region, as well as strengthening trade and investment between the two countries,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, told reporters.The Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”This is the first time the United States will join the event as a partner country,” Psaki said.Kerry may travel to additional countries, but any other stops would be announced separately, she said.