Gujarat Govt To Set Up Development Councils To Promote Key Industries

New Delhi, Sept 21: | Updated: Sep 23 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Gujarat government is making structural changes in government machinery to accelerate industrial development in the state. Realising limitations of its Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb) which is responsible for investment and promotion, it has now decided to set up development councils to promote key industrial sectors.

The government will soon constitute development councils to promote sectors such as biotechnology, textile and gems & jewellery. The council will involve all stake holders in the sector including entrepreneurs, technocrats, professionals, user industry and experts from the centre, Gujarat chief secretary PK Laheri told FE.

There is a need to bring structural changes as iNDEXTb is about 20 years old. A new structure was required to face global competition in the era of World Trade Organisation (WTO), he said.

Development councils will be responsible to strengthen the existing manufacturing sector and provide blueprint for growth over next 15-20 years. The Councils, headed by senior government officials including the chief minister, will be empowered to take policy decisions and responsible for enforce their implementation, he added. Recent government efforts to attract investment bore desired results. We are expecting about 100 existing entrepreneurs in the states to invest in either new projects or expand their existing business. The state had about 640 significant projects promoted by 250 entrepreneurs, he said.

Biotechnology, tourism and mines & minerals are potential growth areas. We are expecting non-resident Indians to invest in the state, he said referring to state chief minister Narendra Modis recent visit to UK and Switzerland.

Earlier NRIs (Gujarati) investment were limited to real estate in the state, but now we are expecting them to invest in various projects both in manufacturing as well as knowledge sector, Mr Laheri said adding that a UK-based NRI had recently decided to set up an education centre in Gujarat with an investment of over Rs 100 crore. Tourism is also a major growth sector.

The state is encouraging public-private partnership for tourism infrastructure development. It has sought private participation to undertake about a dozen tourism projects. Projects include, Rs 1,246 crore Junagarh tourist circuit development, Rs 260 crore theme park at Thor, Rs 111 crore corporate retreat-cum-golf course off Baroda expressway, Rs 175 crore theme park at Dumas and Rs 600 crore for development of Jamnagar tourist corridor.