Gandhinagar: Interacting via video conferencing with the Non Resident Gujaratis and Non Resident Indians who are celebrating ‘Gujarat Day' in USA and Canada, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi credited Gujarat's all-round growth to the Gujarati people. He called upon NRGs to participate in the state's march towards growth.
A celebration was held in 12 major cities of USA and Canada including Chicago under the auspices of Indian Gujarati Association of North America to commemorate Gujarat's 52nd Formation Day. Chief Minister interacted with the Gujarati families and Indian people from his residence at Gandhinagar via video conference on 7:00 morning IST. The interaction was live telecasted on cable TV channels and the Chief Minister's website, which was viewed by lakhs of people all over the world.
Mr.Modi said that Gujarat's growth has become instrumental in creating an atmosphere of faith within India that the country's gloomy condition can be changed. “Many countries which got independence afterward India, left behind our nation on the front of development. But Gujarat have shown a path to alter this situation”, he said.
Giving examples of Induchacha, Ravishankar dada, Mahatma Gandhiji, Sardar Patel, Shyamji Krishna Varma and Sardar Sinh Rana Mr. Modi said that Gujarat has never acted for narrow self-interest. It has acted in the interest of the country. Be it an armed revolt or nonviolent satyagrah, Gujarat has taken the leadership, he said.
Speaking about the State's development Mr. Modi said that even in the midst of difficulties like devastating earthquake and others the State has carried on its march towards growth. Ten years back, Gujarat's budget had a deficit of Rs.6500 crore. Owing to the efficient cost-cutting and transparent administration, Gujarat now has a surplus budget. Gujarat has a balanced economy with the focus on three pillars of agriculture, industries and service sector. “Gujarati has become a global community and Gujarat has become a global destination”, he said.
“Even as India's average agricultural growth rate struggles around 3%, Gujarat has continuously achieved an agro growth rate of around 11%”, he said. The farm production has increased from Rs.14,700 crore to Rs.98,000 crore. The milk sector has also seen a phenomenal 68% growth in production. The farmers of Gujarat have now entered the world markets by their water conservation awareness and value-added agriculture, he said.
In Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit 2011, about 50 American companies have signed MOUs worth Rs.15,000 crore. The highest foreign direct investment in Gujarat is of America's. A total investment of $870 bn. has been made in five phases of Vibrant Global Summit, he said.
Speaking about public amenity works Mr.Modi said 9000 villages and 121 cities are given clean drinking water through Narmada canal and 2200 km. pipeline. Gujarat has initiated in setting up gas grid and giving domestic gas connections. Hardly four percent of houses in the State had tap water connection before a decade, which today has increased to 76%. Around 46 lakh houses did not have toilets. The present government has constructed 44 lakh toilets. In the past, Gujarat had only four Niraml villages, while today there are 4434 Nirmal villages.
Owing to various efforts put in by the state government the maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate has come down. The school drop out rate of girls has remained mere two percent. Gujarat's 108 emergency ambulance service is far less expensive and better in providing timely service compare to such service in America, he said.
World's largest solar park is taking place in the arid land of north Gujarat. The state has also come up with a revolutionary approach to generate power by installing solar panels on Narnada canals. Under Jyotigram scheme the state government has provided 24*7 three phase power supply to all the 18000 villages of Gujarat and shown a way to the nation for bringing about socio-economic change, he said.
Chief Minister also spoke about the State government's vision of zero defect in manufacturing sector, zero man-days' loss in industries, zero power cut, zero drop-out in education, zero tolerance for terrorism and value addition in agriculture.
Owing to an atmosphere of peace, prosperity and development in Gujarat, people from all corners of India have settled in Gujarat and are earning their livelihood. Gujarat is taking ahead its march towards growth through its strengths of peace, unity and harmony, he said.
In the beginning, Mr. Niranjan Shah from Chicago lauded the Chief Minster's leadership and praised him for presenting an exemplary model of growth in the form of Gujarat state.