Economic Lessons from Gujarat

When one hears of the development of India, it cannot be complete without talking about the state of Gujarat. Gujarat has been one of the most flourishing destinations not only in terms of industrial growth, but also budding infrastructure and mineral production and investments from abroad and exports. It accounts for about 20% of the country’s industrial produce, 20% of total exports, 43% of pharmaceutical products and 47% of India’s petro-chemical products.

Today, Gujarat ranks foremost in infrastructure and also is the petro-chemical capital of the country. In addition to this, it also entitled as the SEZ capital as it has 18 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) which is the highest number as compared to other states. The length of the road networks is 74,000 km and the number of airports and ports too is the largest in the country- 13 and 41 respectively. It is the only state to have all its villages connected by internet through GSWAN (Gujarat State Wide Area Network). Furthermore, the GSWAN is Asia Pacific’s largest IP (Internet Protocol) based E-governance system.

The River linking project which was initiated by the NDA government all over India was effectively implemented in the state. It ended up in connecting nearly 20 rivers in the state. Apart from this, the Gujarat Government brought about the World’s largest irrigation network through the Sardar Sarovar Project on Narmada. It was by this project that 45,000 villages and towns which earlier got water once in 15 days, now get it daily. Nearly 15,000 check dams are constructed on all major rivers and canals in order to increase the water supply.

The state has been playing a pivotal role in industrial sectors like textiles, petrochemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, dairy, cement and ceramics, gems and jewellery. The State Domestic Product has had an average growth rate of 14% per annum from 1994 to 2002. Per capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the state is 20 times greater than the national average. There has been a steep rise of 35% in the power generation capacity of the state from 1995-96 to 2000-01. In a span of 1000 days, the Gujarat government electrified nearly 18000 villages with 24 hours electric supply under the Jyotigram Yojna; which in fact is a privilege to most of the Indian villages.

In January this year, the Gujarat government organised the fourth biennial Global Investors’ summit under which entrepreneurs and policy makers from all over the country as well as from abroad were invited and given the opportunity to explore various business prospects in the state. The event was a monumental success as MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) worth USD 243 billion were signed in a brief duration. The earlier summits too got an overwhelming response bringing into large amount of investment in the state.

Much of these accomplishments can be credited to the Gujarat Government under the able leadership of Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi transcending all political barriers has brought all policies into execution. He organised the Government’s structure in such a manner that enabled to trigger progress along with cost- cutting. In 2004, the government received the CAPM Gold award from Commonwealth Associations for innovations in Governance. In 2005, the state was honoured as the Best State after a survey carried out by Rajiv Gandhi foundation, Most Economic Freedom Award by India Today and India Tech Excellence Award by India Tech Foundation for power sector reforms. Further in 2007, Shri Modi was privileged with the Best Chief Minister Award for the third time by India Today. Last but not the least, the state became known for the best use of IT in administration and public grievances by the Central Government’s IT Department.

Undoubtedly, there is a lot to learn from Gujarat in the economic and business arena. In a country like ours where corruption is degraded and ruined every activity at the economic sphere, the States shines out of all adversities. materializing the economic strategies and policies is certainly a sign of proficient management. It is not only a lesson to all management gurus and entrepreneurs but most importantly to administrators all over the country who are staggered by the greed of power and supremacy!

Prerita Vijay Chauthaiwala

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