Reveal truth about MoUs signed, Vaghela tells Modi

January 17th, 2009 - 1:55 am ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Jan 17 (IANS) Union Textile Minister Shankersinh Vaghela Friday questioned the legal validity of the MoUs signed by the Gujarat government during the Vibrant Gujarat Investors meet.”I challenge the Gujarat government to tell the truth about the MoUs signed and the benefits accrued so far. If I am wrong the government can bring out a white paper saying these Congresswalas have no idea. The people of Gujarat and the country want to know the truth behind the MoU drama,” Vaghela told reporters.

Vaghela criticised the investment hype over the MoUs signed at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit, 2009, terming it as a “huge fraud” on the people by Modi to “gain personal publicity”.

According to the Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum (IEM) of the Union Commerce Ministry, only 16 percent of the total Rs.3,000,000 crore (Rs.30 trillion) investments pledged in the previous Vibrant summits in 2003, ‘05, 07 have materialised. “If all the MoUs with total worth of Rs.30 lakh crore had been implemented, where are the projects and why 50 lakh people are still unemployed? After so much hype not even 2.5 lakh employment has been generated,” Vaghela pointed out.

The charade has gone to the extent that all officials “were told to bring in MoUs”. “The Rs.12 lakh crore worth of MoUs Modi claims to have been signed is double that of central government’s budget,” mocked Vaghela.

Despite no MoUs a la Gujarat, Maharashtra still has attracted the highest investment as revealed by the industrial entrepreneur memoranda (IEMs) over the past 15 years. Gujarat still ranks second. Why? “If so much investment is coming to Gujarat, why is it not the number one state in attracting investment? It is still number two and has been that way for years,” Vaghela said.

An IEM is an indication of the intent of a company to set up an industrial unit in a state. It is legal and can be fully relied upon unlike an MoU which has no legal sanctity, Vaghela said.

According to IEM statistics, Maharashtra has attracted the 10,666 IEMs in the last 15 years, the most in the country. Gujarat received 6,671 IEMs worth Rs 204,810 crore (Rs.2 trillion) of which only 16.7 per cent actually materialised. In wake of the global meltdown, various projects worth Rs.250 billion have been aborted in the country, of which Gujarat’s share was Rs.230 billion, Vaghela said..

He pointed out that in the last summit, 26 acre of land was given to the infamous Satyam Computers. How can Modi give away land in this brazen fashion. He also promises tax concession to Tatas. How can he betray the poor man from whom the tax collections come and which is then given to industrialists like Tatas that makes the whole process a mockery and is nothing but a cruel joke on the people, Vaghela asked.

Flaying industrialists like Anil Ambani and Mittals for lauding Modi as being prime minister material, Vaghela said it ill behoves these industrialists to talk like “sick units”. “They can join the BJP and then go in for fulsome praise of Modi,” he said.

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