Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the states were competing with each other to attract investment and move ahead on development path and asserted that benefits of such approach will be felt by generations to come. “We have the experience of Gujarat, where keeping aside all differences, the government focused on development. We have created a unique image and the country has followed us,” he said here. Modi was speaking outside the airport where he was given a grand reception by the BJP on his arrival from Bharuch. “States feel they should also progress. There is an atmosphere of competition among states for development, whose benefits will be felt by generations to come. Each (state) is coming up with new policies to attract investment,” Modi said. Modi was Chief Minister from 2001 to 2014, and he had highlighted “the Gujarat model of development” during his Prime Ministerial campaign ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
States today are competing to attract investment by organising national and international-level events on the lines of Vibrant Gujarat. Cities are vying for “Smart City” tag, a thing that was not possible in the past, he said. “In the beginning they made fun of me, but today 70 per cent of the states are organising national-international events to attract investment. What Gujarat started in 2003 is being done by 70 per cent of the states now,” said Modi who started the Vibrant Gujarat investor summit as Chief Minister. “Gujarat’s foundation (on development front) is so strong that it will continue to lead with ease, which is a matter of satisfaction and happiness for us all,” Modi said.
“(For Smart City funding), cities are asked to fulfil certain conditions and get marks from a third party, and if they qualify, they get support from the Centre. In the past nobody would have accepted this (concept) due to politics and decisions would have been driven by political considerations,” he said. He said Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, failed to get “Smart City” tag in the first phase because it could not qualify through the competitive route. “Luckily, several cities of Gujarat qualified in challenge round.
This is not a small matter. The yardstick that Gujarat has established in urban development is being accepted across the country,” he added. “The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and even credit rating agencies like Moody’s are saying India is the best country for investment. India is attracting a huge amount of FDI, which has created job opportunities,” Modi said. He congratulated Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his predecessor Anandiben Patel for making urban Gujarat open defecation-free.