Gujarat development model not necessarily the best, says NCP's Tariq Anwar
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar on Wednesday said that too much should not be read into the Ministry of Commerce's report that praises the land acquisition policy of the Gujarat Government.
"If an aspect of the Gujarat model is appreciated, there is nothing big about it. It doesn't mean that the entire model is the best," Anwar told ANI.
Anwar was giving his response to a Commerce Ministry report that declared the Gujarat model of land acquisition as the best practice, which can be emulated by other states with some modifications, to improve the business environment.
He apparently questioned the need for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to gloat on Tuesday about the achievement.
Modi had on Tuesday night asked how can the Congress-led UPA Government repeatedly criticize Gujarat's development model, and simultaneously give the state "a trophy".
Addressing a rally in Delhi with the help of 3-D technology, Modi, referring to the Commerce and Industry Ministry's "Best Practices to Improve the Business Environment Across States/UTs in India" report that was released today, said: "It is a report by your own government, and it states that in the whole country, only in Gujarat, will you find a development-friendly environment."
Squarely targeting Congress Party vice president Rahul Gandhi, who has termed the Gujarat model of development as a "toffee model", Modi said: "They were going around with balloons and toffees. But, it is your government which has given Gujarat a trophy now."
The report, he said appreciates Gujarat's land acquisition policy, and in particular, mentions that "the state government does not interfere in land acquisition matters. It also says that other states should follow in Gujarat's footsteps in this matter."
On land-related interventions in Gujarat, the report says that the model followed by Gujarat ensures a reduction in complexity across all processes in acquiring land, developing it and having access to supporting infrastructure, besides land allotment.
One of the important observations made is that the price determination of the land is based on market prices as determined by a scientific method that ensures good returns for farmers. There is also a provision for employing one member of each family whose land is acquired.
Online information highlights availability of land, power, gas, distance of port, airport, SEZ among 65 assessment parameters for industries and entrepreneurs. There is also an Online Grievance Redressal and a monitoring system for the entrepreneur.
Reports of business bodies such as FICCI, CII and the Planning Commission have recognized Gujarat's land model as the best practice likely to help improve the business environment.
The report also praises the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) for adopting various features in the XGN (Extended Green Node), which the report says can be replicated by other states.
The report has been prepared by consultancy firm Accenture on behalf of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
Land acquisition has been one of the major controversial topics of debate in the 2014 general elections, with the Congress Party accusing the Gujarat Government of giving away prime land at cheap prices to big business, a charge that the latter has repeatedly denied.
(Posted on 07-05-2014)
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