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Modi promises easy biz; cos announce big investments at Vibrant Gujarat Summit

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015,23:08 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Gandhinagar | Big corporates including Ambanis, Adanis and Birlas as also Suzuki and Rio Tinto from abroad today 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 threeday Vibrant Gujarat Summit here. Taking the lead, billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani said Reliance Industries would invest Rs 1 lakh crore over the next 1218 months across businesses. Adani group signed an MoU for setting up a solar park in Gujarat in partnership with USbased 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 KiMoon 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.
Seeking to address concerns of investors, Modi said, We are trying to complete the circle of economic reforms speedily. We are also keen to see that our policies are predictable, he said, while adding that tax regime would be made stable. He also brushed aside the criticism that nothing was happening on the ground by stressing that we are not only making commitments and announcements. We are also backing them up with concrete action.
Vibrant Gujarat Summits (VGS) have always seen huge investment commitments to the tune of billions of dollars by business leaders from India and abroad. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the VGS has become the country’s principle economic summit and other states, including Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal have begun organising summits events. At the recently held Bengal Business Summit, investment commitment worth Rs 2.43 crore were announced.
On the first day of the VGS 2015, various leaders and experts from across the world also called for greater reforms in the country. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who was also present, said tax and subsidy reforms are essential for inclusive growth in India, while he also warned against problems like an enduring bias on caste and other basis. At the same time, he said that India remains the only bright spot in an otherwise mediocre global economic outlook.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon lauded Indian government’s efforts in using more renewable energy, while US Secretary of State John Kerry said he is highly inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. USIndia Business Council President and Mastercard CEO Ajaypal Singh Banga said American investors want to be in India and he is here to bridge the gap between what can be done and what they are capable of doing. The world is awakening to the promise of a resurgent India, he added. Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said the state has become a global business hub and everyone would benefit from the summit.