Balvantsinh Rajput: Cabinet Minister Industries, Micro, Small and Medium Industries, Cottage, Khadi and Rural Industries
The foundation of a country’s progress and prosperity lies in its ability to build and maintain robust infrastructure. Well-organized and efficient infrastructure facilities foster economic and social development and propel the state and the country to new heights. Gujarat is a shining example of how a state can establish itself as a development model for the entire nation through the creation of world-class infrastructure. In 2003, an innovative initiative, the “Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit,” spearheaded by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi (the then Chief Minister of Gujarat), not only transformed Gujarat’s economic landscape but also ensured the sustainability of world-class industrial infrastructure within the state. In the last 20 years, Gujarat has demonstrated its expertise in physical infrastructure by excelling in various fields, from road to rail connectivity, and port to airport connectivity.
Narendra Modi often states that the quality of a country’s infrastructure is a key determinant in shaping its economic trajectory He also put this thought into practice, and during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat, he focused on establishing seamless road connectivity to every corner of the state. This includes rural and tribal areas, coastal regions, and industrial estates. The world-class road network present in Gujarat today is a testament to Hon’ble Prime Minister’s efforts, benefiting both the present and the future. Going beyond road infrastructure, Gujarat’s rail connectivity is also superior and strategically designed compared to the rest of the country. Gujarat Rail Infrastructure Development Limited (G-RIDE), under the state government, is actively working on ensuring railway connectivity with industrial estates, ports, and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). This initiative has significantly enhanced the state’s global export competitiveness. Additionally, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor project is also progressing rapidly, for the country’s first bullet train. Likewise, Gujarat’s port connectivity sets it apart as a significant player from an industrial and economic standpoint. From the construction of India’s first private port to the current development of state-of-the-art greenfield ports, Gujarat has made substantial progress in port connectivity.
Gujarat’s port infrastructure is so impressive that it currently handles over 40 percent of the country’s cargo. Gujarat currently takes the lead in contributing to India’s merchandise exports, all thanks to its exceptional port infrastructure. Furthermore, the development of the world’s first CNG terminal and Brownfield port in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, will not only ensure Gujarat’s economic vitality in the future but also open up a plethora of business opportunities for India. Strengthening the power sector is the foremost demand of the present times. Whether it’s economic or social activities, nearly every small and large process is dependent on electricity. It is a matter of pride for Gujarat that despite having very limited resources, the state has continuously held the title of a “Power Surplus State” for the last one and a half decades. Always being one step ahead of time has become Gujarat’s USP. A notable illustration of this is our growing capacity of renewable energy to fulfil both current and future energy requirements. From the country’s first solar park established in Charanka in 2012 to the world’s largest hybrid renewable energy park currently being developed in Kutch, Gujarat’s standing and approach in the power sector appear to be not just a step ahead but visionary. A pivotal moment in the evolution of Gujarat’s industrial infrastructure occurred when Hon’ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi envisioned to create large-scale investment and industrial zones in the state.
To fulfill this, the Special Investment Regions (SIR) Act was implemented in 2009. This single decision by the state government has led to the birth of several future-ready mega projects in Gujarat, one after the other such as GIFT City, Dholera SIR, Mandal Bechraji SIR, PCPIR, and DREAM City These initiatives have transformed Gujarat into the hub of sector-specific industrial infrastructure. Today, GIFT City in Gujarat hosts various international-level financial activities. Dholera SIR is becoming a hub for increased investments in the manufacturing sector, thanks to its greenfield and smart city features. Mandal Becharaji SIR has emerged as a hub for automobile manufacturing units, while PCPIR continues to draw substantial investments in the chemical and petrochemical industry. Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisions India as a “Viksit Bharat @2047”, firmly believing that the country possesses the necessary capabilities and resources to realize this dream within the next twenty-five years. I am confident that the robust physical and industrial infrastructure outlined above will not only position Gujarat as a significant contributor to the realization of his ambitious goal but will also unlock numerous new economic opportunities for the entire nation in the years to come.