Modi gets investment maths wrong for Vibrant Gujarat

Written by Jyotsna Bhatnagar | Rutam Vora | Updated: Jan 10 2009, 03:08am hrs
Mere days before the excessively hyped Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit (VGGIS), Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is beginning to get his maths all-wrong in his excitement to project Gujarat as the numero uno at the investment summit.

Figures about committed investments, which have come into the state since the launch of these biennial investment melas in 2003, have been inflated. Additionally, bundling of past, present and future investments have completely befuddled analysts. But whats most shocking and bewildering is the fact that figures compiled on committed and implemented investments by the state governments own Industries Commissioner dont tally with those being circulated by Modi and his men in the days leading to the summit.

Witness this: Modi on Wednesday claimed a high 63% implementation of the astronomical proposed investments which Gujarat has been able to rope in the earlier three biennial VGGIS held in 2003, 2005 and 2007. These claims are false and exaggerated and have put Modi on the hot seat. Statistics accessed from the office of the Industries Commissioner under the Right to Information (RTI) Act after a month from the time FE put in the initial request reveal an implementation rate of only 25%, less than half of what Modi boasted.

While the figures released by the Gujarat government peg the total proposed investment inflow from the 229 MOUs signed during the 2005 VGGIS at Rs 106,161 crore, the government claims that the investments commissioned and under implementation total up to Rs 74,019 crore. Though the data accessed by FE under the RTI Act, the former number regarding proposed investment inflow is identical, the number of MOUs is reported as 227 and the quantum of commissioned and under implementation projects investment a miniscule Rs 24,978 crore. Again this number of Rs 24,978 crore is a shocking one third of Rs 74,019 crore which is claimed by Modi.

On a percentage basis, the actual official figures peg the success rate of VGGIS 2005 at 23.52% in sharp contrast to Modis claims of 69.7%.

Similarly, for VGGIS 2007, the data released by the CM and the actual data accessed by FE through the RTI Act peg the number of MOUs signed at 363. However, whereas the Modi government is pegging the committed investments at Rs 4,61,835 crore, the actual figure is Rs 4,51,835 crore, a glaring discrepancy of Rs 10,000 crore. In terms of commissioned and under implementation investments, the state government has disclosed this as Rs 2,64,575 crore, indicating a success rate of 57.3%. The actual statistics compiled by the Industries Commissioner show implemented and under implementation projects at Rs 1,22,400.66 crore, a success rate of 27.08%.

But the icing on the cake is that while the CM himself admitted that the quantum of committed investment of all three VGGIS (2003, 2005 and 2007) held so far amounts to $ 917 billion while projects implemented or under implementation amount to $ 186 billion, he claimed that the state had a success rate of 61%. Maybe he forgot to use his calculator or just got his math wrong. For even on the basis of the figures given by the CM, back of the envelope calculations peg the success rate at a very modest 20.28%.