Skip to main content

GST, and not demonetization, to be a topic of discussion on finance at Vibrant Gujarat meet: State officials

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government's high-profile biennial global business summit, to be held from January 10 to January 13, is unlikely to see any focus on the controversial demonetization move of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, despite growing apprehensions that it would sharply slow down India's economy and lead to the flight of capital from the country.
Addressing newspersons on the summit in Ahmedabad, Gujarat chief secretary JN Singh claimed that demonetization would “positively impact” on the summit outcome, as it is being held against the backdrop of the “bold” Modi move, leading to a great leap forward towards opening up floodgates of online transactions.
However, he said, during the panel discussion on finance, which would focus on Government of India's effort to introduce goods and services tax (GST) across the country, and in which Union finance minister Arun Jaitley would participate, “there would be no discussion on demonetization.” He added, “It is a temporary phenomenon. We are aiming at long-term gains.”
Singh informed newspersons that, while 10-odd Nobel laureates will be participating in Vibrant Gujarat meet and participate in a discussion especially meant for them, none of those who have won Nobel prize in economics have been called. “Only those who have won Nobel prize in science and technology have been invited. Eight to ten will participate”, he said.
Apart from finance, an official communique said, the issues to be discussed at the summit would be biotechnology, food processing, textiles, aerospace and security, plastics, engineering, heavy engineering and automation, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and health. Issues related with climate change – including promotion of solar power – does not find mention in the list.
Answering a question whether top India-born Nobel laureate in economics, Prof Amartya Sen, who is known to be sharp critic of demonetization, has been called, Singh answered in the negative, hastening to add, “There is going to be no discussion on issues related with economics at the summit. No economists have been called.”
While Prof Sen has described demonetization as despotic and authoritarian , American economist, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, has characterized it as “highly disruptive”, pointing out, it is not going to change the overall behaviour towards black money in India.
Upbeat about the summit, the top Gujarat officials said, this is going to be a “much bigger event” than the earlier Vibrant Gujarat biennial events, held ever since 2003. To be held in the presence of Modi, PK Taneja, additional chief secretary, industries, said, this time, instead of eight in 2015 as many as 12 countries are going to partner with the Gujarat government at the summit.
These countries are, he said, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates. “We do not expect a high-profile political delegation from the US, because January would mark transition in the US government”, Taneja said.
Similarly, Taneja said, there would be seven partner institutions that have decided to support the Vibrant Gujarat summit, as against five in 2015. These are Australia-India Business Council, Indo-Canada Chambers of Commerce, Japan External Trade Organization, UAE-India Business Council, UK-India Business Council, US-India Business Council, and British Council.
Answering a question, Taneja sad, so far 51,738 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) have been signed since 2003 at different Vibrant Gujarat summits. “Of these 34,232 MoUs are either under implementation or have been commissioned”, he said, noting, “Implementing MoUs is a long drawn out process, having various phases, hence all cannot be realized.”

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.