What Narendra Modi did for Gujarat
Gujarat before Narendra Modi:
Many skeptics argue that the wheel of prosperity of Gujarat was already spinning when Narendra Modi had stepped in. It is a fact that, Gujarat had achieved 35% of its prosperity before Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Besides, if we take into account the industrial development of the state, it is evident that between the periods of 1960–1990 Gujarat had already established itself as a prospering state and was well ahead of the other states in terms of industrialization. Gujarat had been leading in industrial sectors like petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, engineering, textiles, chemicals, dairy, cement, ceramics and gems and jewelry, to name a few. From 1994 to 2002 (the post–liberalization period) Gujarat’s State Domestic Product (SDP) had touched an average of 14% per annum. But just as a good ship is useless without a competent captain, a prospering state can go downhill in no time in the absence of proper leadership. During his three tenures as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi has provided that indispensable leadership, steering the state towards greater economic goals and ensuring sustainability to the growth and development of Gujarat.
Efforts of Narendra Modi
Efforts of Narendra Modi for the extensive industrialization in Gujarat:
Gujarat today is the hub of industrialization and the state of Gujarat happens to be the first choice amongst the potential corporates, industrialists and investors. However, it is to be noted that the industrialists and investors are hardly concerned with the position that Gujarat holds in the economic development index of the states of India. It is the personality of Narendra Modi, who with his pro – business attitude and prompt delivery of validations necessary for industrialization had created the right ambience for industrialization efforts and a just work atmosphere, that they are attracted to. When the Tata Nano project was ousted from West Bengal by the Trinamool Congress and social activists, Modi not onlywelcomed the Nano project but had also delivered the necessary permissions for the project in just three days time.
So, when Modi had liberalised Gujarat for private investment – entrepreneurs, industrialists and investors started flocking to Gujarat. In Modi, they had found the perfect supporter of their cause for all intents and purposes. They found Modi’s beckoning irresistible, not only because it was unique but also the positive attitude that Modi had towards expanding business and his bang on deliveries. The business tycoon Anil Ambani now happens to be one of the significant members of the Modi lobby and in the Vibrant Gujarat conference had actually advocated the candidature of Modi as the future Prime Minister of India in the 2014 elections. The next important industrial personality to support this was Sunil Mittal.
Even the grisly riots of 2002, which had claimed the life of nearly 2,000 people, could not deter the prosperity of Gujarat for long. While Modi was accused of involvement in the said riots, he was granted a clean chit by the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team, absolving him of all the allegations so far.
While the skeptics may argue that a comparison with China is basically pointless because the country as a whole is far ahead of our nation, a fact just to highlight Gujarat’s economic development would be that, Gujarat’s automobile industries sector and the diamond polishing sector is almost at par with the China’s Guangdong industrial province. A survey conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industries of India reconfirms the fact that, Gujarat has recorded the highest of investment propositions both in value and numbers amongst all other states of India in the last five years. Gujarat is the present day choice of international giants like the Tata Group and Ford. So Gujarat stays ahead while the other states of the nation are still plagued by low investments and unemployment. As aptly commented by Prashant Agarwal, the Mumbai-based columnist for the business newspaper Mint, ‘I meet guys who marvel at the efficiency of Gujarat. The red tape, the bureaucracy, are gone. Gujarat is open for business. On the social front, sure more can be done, but that’s true anywhere (in India). Modi is generating jobs.’
A practical yardstick for the development of Gujarat under the Modi Government would be the biennial Vibrant Gujarat conclave. In the said conference the state showcases its strong points and the conference is attended by eminent businesspersons, potential investors and interested industrialists, in fact, the Who’s Who of India. In the last Vibrant Gujarat conclave of 2013, industrial pillars of our country like Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata had personally congratulated Modi on his successful attempts in the industrialization of Gujarat through his concerted efforts of making red tape vanish, strict anti–graft measures and his consistent accommodation of the industrialization through dispersion of dispute free lands. It needs to be mentioned here that, Japan and Canada had participated in the Vibrant Gujarat conference of 2013, as country partners, which reaffirms the significance of the growth and development of the state under the Modi Government in the global perspective. Simply put, Vibrant Gujarat can now be recognized as a nationwide platform for the assemblage of the important industrialists and investors who can make a discernable difference and gather here for the preparation of their future investment blueprints. Despite the UPA II Government’s drastic efforts to throw a scare in the potential investors attending the Vibrant Gujarat conference of 2011 with income tax investigations, two years later the Vibrant Gujarat conference of 2013 continued to radiate success.
In short, the business centered attitude, the unique executive style and the foresight of Narendra Modi is the reason behind the effulgent and radiant Gujarat of today, a state which otherwise would not have been branded for prosperity (and that too both in the national and global perspective) without a leader like Modi at the helm.
Efforts of Narendra Modi for FDIs in Gujarat:
Unlike Odisha, the state of Gujarat lacks in natural resources which might have enhanced the interest of the foreign investors aiming for a particular natural resources sector. But the business acumen of Modi has made it possible to attract FDI even in the limited feasible sectors that Gujarat has to offer, a credit that obviously goes to Modi despite the fact that as a state Gujarat is a late starter and does not have a definite metropolis to boast of.
Efforts of Narendra Modi for curbing unemployment in Gujarat:
The NSSO survey data of 2009–2010 claims that Gujarat has an employment problem which in reality is ridiculous. Gujarat, as per the survey reports of Labor Bureau of India, 2012, happens to record the lowest unemployment rate of only 1% as compared to all the other states of the nation, where the national unemployment rate is estimated at 3.8% by the same report. The short claim for the MGNREGA in the state is a yardstick of the significantly high employment rates among the rural poor. It needs to be mentioned here that, Gujarat also records the highest employment rate among urban women as compared to the other states of the country.
Efforts of Narendra Modi for the eradication of poverty in Gujarat:
In fact, the estimations of the Human Development Index which features Gujarat in the fifth position after Kerala is also grossly misleading. Take for instance the issue of the population of the state below the poverty line. Planning Commission Survey data confirms that Gujarat has recorded a sharp curbing of poverty from 31.6% in 2004–2005 to 23% in 2009–2010. The steep fall in the rural poverty is also commendable and exemplary, from 39.1% to 26.7% in the last five years and all this had been achieved through the aggressive focusing and addressing of the respective issues by the Modi Government.
Efforts of Narendra Modi for the betterment of women and children of Gujarat:
It is also to be noted that quite contrary to the data furnished by the Human Development Index, the Modi Government is also proactive in specifically addressing issues like malnutrition or more precisely children welfare and improvement of the educational infrastructure. Narendra Modi personally had consistently advocated the causes for the girl child and had upheld the issue of power to women through variegated policies of empowering women. All these sustained efforts of Modi reflect in the healthy sex ratio of the state which had undergone a brilliant transformation under the excellent governance displayed by Modi. It also needs to be mentioned here that, the pre–natal and the post–natal medical facilities provided by the State Government has made Gujarat one of the states with the lowest child mortality rates – an impressive figure of 41 less when compared with the other states of the nation.
Yojanas implemented by Narendra Modi for the integrated development of the state:
As the leader of the state Narendra Modi had implemented several Yojanas (plans) for the overall development of Gujarat. Some of these are:
- Sujalam Sufalam : A program for an integrated development of water distribution, conservation and proper utilization in the state.
- Chiranjeevi Yojana : To contain child mortality rates
- Krishi Mahotshav : Research and development program to facilitate agricultural reforms
- Panchamrut Yojana : A five point policy for enhancing the overall growth of the state
- Beti Bachao : A concerted campaign to prevent female feticide and to maintain a healthy sex ratio in the state
- Karmayogi Abhiyan : An extensive training and education program for the Government employees
- Balbhog Yojana : Similar to the mid – day meal scheme to encourage children from extremely poor backgrounds to attend schools
- Matru Vandana : A program for providing medical facilities under the Reproductive and Child Health Scheme
- Kanya Kelavani Yojana : A program to initiate and enhance literacy in females as well as further educational developments
- Jyotigram Yojana : A program for the provision of electric supply for all the villages
The Budget for 2013 – 2014 as designed by the Modi Government:
Some of the important points of the budget for 2013–2014 as furnished by the Modi Government are listed below:
- A 75% increase in the grants for the Labor and Employment Division
- Appending of 5000 new seats in the ITIs and also inauguration of new ITIs in the tribal sectors
- Establishment of 48 new English medium primary schools with 18 for specifically tribal sectors
- Allocation of the Chief Minister Scholarship Fund for poor yet meritorious students
- 22 hospitals to be equipped with state of the art infant and nutrition care facilities
I guess now the question ‘What Narendra Modi did for Gujarat?’ stands well answered. Quite contrary to the skeptics who are of the opinion that, it is Aladdin with his Magic Lamp who is responsible for the Gujarat of the present day, the fact remains that the man behind the success story of Gujarat is Narendra Modi. Modi’s return to power thrice, marked by landslide victories proves beyond doubt the contribution of Modi in creating the exemplary Gujarat of today and also underlines the unshakeable faith that the population of Gujarat has in Modi. Modi had not only focused on the industrial development of the state, but on the integrated development of Gujarat as a whole. After the relocation of the Nano project in Gujarat, Ratan Tata had once commented that, ‘It is stupid if you are not in Gujarat’. Coming from the Chairman of the Tata Group of Industries, it is indeed one of the best accolades that Narendra Modi can expect as the architect of the new and shining Gujarat!