Ahmedabad, Apr 3 (UNI) Emphasising on the need for bigger investments in infrastructure, Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said Gujarat will spend Rs 12,000 crore on this sector this fiscal and sought active participation of private sector to develop the existing facilities.
Addressing a gathering at the inaugural session of the CII-organised Gujarat Economic Summit, Mr Modi said, ''While Rs 7,000 crore has been allocated in the budget, another Rs 5,000 crore will spent by nagarpalikas, state-owned boards, public-private partnerships and the like.'' He said the biggest roadblock to infrastructure development in the country is the mindset of the people. ''If we want to build roads or expressways, we are accused of being enemies of the poor.
This has been the trend for years--our mindset is against development as we think poverty is a virtue.'' Stating that his government had always given priority to infrastructure, he said Gujarat was the first state in the country to observe the Urban Development Year, last year.
''While a massive river-front development project is underway on the banks of Sabarmati river in the city, we plan to replicate it in Surat near river Tapi,'' the chief minister said.
Elaborating on other initiatives of his government on the infrastructure front, he said that state is evolving a port-based economy and plans to develop 41 ports along its 1,600-km long coastline.
''The government plans to develop Special Economic Zones (SEZs) with world class infrastructure along these ports. We will invest thousands of crores of rupees for this. Apart from this, a 2,200-km long gas-grid pipeline has been planned to ensure clean energy.
Narmada river water is being supplied through pipelines to 80,00 villages,'' he said.
As Mr Neville Wran, former premier of New South Wales, Australia, was also present, Mr Modi called upon the CII to initiate the process of forming an exchange forum of parents of Indian students studying in Australia, so that issues and problems they face in that country could also be taken up at the government-to-government level too.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Wran stressed on the need to strengthen relations between both the countries. ''Australia has tremendous opportunities for education. India was fourth largest source of students for Australia. It has untapped capacity for creating finished products. It can cooperate with India for trade opportunities.'' Mr Modi released an assessment report on the Jyotigram Yojana, prepared by the IRMA.
The CII Entrepreneurship Award for the year was given to Mr Arvind Patel of Shahjanand Laser Technologies.
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