Describing Gujarat International Finance Tec-city (GIFT City) as a “miracle”, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Friday tried to hard-sell the project — originally designed for developing financial services in Gujarat — as a “role model” for the development of future smart cities in India.
The project, first conceptualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, got a huge boost on Friday when Jaitley unveiled the “regulations and guidelines” for setting up the country’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) within the special economic zone area of the GIFT City in Gandhinagar.
“Use land as a resource, use FSI (floor space index) available on this land as capital and the entire investment made in creating initial infrastructure can be recovered when you start getting the development charges. So eventually, you created a city without costing anything to the public exchequer and eventually it will become a city that will give returns both to the centre and state governments,” Jaitley said while emphasising how the model of GIFT City could be “emulated” for creating 100 smart cities in India.
Arun Jaitley also took a jibe at the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime and held it responsible for not expediting a project like GIFT city. “Even though you got your SEZ status in 2011, you had to wait for a change in government in New Delhi before the GIFT city could get it’s relevant push … ,” he said.