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'Gujarat may cross double digit growth'

'Gujarat may cross double digit growth'

Author: R K Mishra/ Gandhinagar
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: December 22, 2003

A reduction in revenue deficit from Rs 7,000 crore to Rs 2,500 crore, revenue expenditure by four per cent and a corresponding hike in income by 30 per cent, saving Rs 300 crore in absolute terms through economic reforms and financial management coupled with a resolve to achieve a 10.2 per cent growth rate during the Tenth Plan, marks the completion of the first year of the Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat. "The state may cross double digit growth rate this year itself", said Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a Press conference in Ahmedabad on Sunday, on the eve of completing a year in office after the sweeping electoral mandate of December 2002, Mr Modi outlined the initiatives taken by his government in the form of "Panchamrat - a confluence of the five "shaktis" - gyan (education), urja (energy), jal (water), jan (power to the people), raksha (defence) - and spelled out the future course of development. Mr Modi pointed out that in "gyan, Gujarat remained the only state in South Asia to create the largest Information Technology (IT) network through GSWAN for E-governance. Only Gujarat has a 40,000-km-long optic fibre cable network and the highest teledensity."

Mr Modi observed that in the field of "jal shakti, the state has created a world-class revolution of sorts in water management practices having laid 1,400-km-long pipelines to carry the Narmada waters to places far and between. The surplus water from the Narmada was diverted into the Sabarmati, Saraswati, Banas Rupen and other seasonal rivers." He said that a permanent solution has been found to meet the perennial shortage of water in the drought-prone region with the Narmada waters bringing an end to the corruption-ridden "Tanker Raj". An ambitious river-grid project has also been taken up to link the Damanganga river in the rain-fed south Gujarat. "While the previous governments built 4,000 check- dams in 40 years, over 25,000 checkdams have been built during the last year", Mr Modi claimed.

The Chief Minister said that Gujarat was credited with being the intiator of private sector, joint sector seaport development with Dahej and Hazira, under development, as international LNG terminals. "In urja shakti, the government has adopted a long-term strategy to develop crude oil and natural gas as future engines of growth, working hard so that Gujarat emerges as the petro-capital of India. The gas-grid, part of the LNG infrastructure, is fast taking shape", he added.

The Chief Minister pointed out that post-earthquake, Gujarat had set an example in disaster management not only in the country but the entire world which won the state the prestigious UN-Sasakawa Award for disaster reduction. "The mega-event global summit - Vibrant Gujarat - organised during Navratri was a huge success and MOUs for investment in projects worth over Rs 66,000 crore were signed. Separate task forces have been set up for timely implementation of each project on a fast track basis. New policies for industry, agriculture, mining, tourism have been announced to complement the effort and remove all impediments in development," he added. Mr Modi said that nearly 65 per cent of the resolutions mentioned in the last Assembly elections' manifesto have been implemented in the very first year itself and the remaining were in various stages of being undertaken.

"Planned development to provide world-class urban infrastructure is going on at a rapid pace as is work on making available world-class infrastructure for ports and highways as well", he added.

Mr Modi made it clear that his government remained committed to the uplift of the have-nots, women's empowerment, skill development among the youth and strengthening agro-based rural economy.

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