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October - November 2005
Gujarat - A State for Entrepreneurial Skills
It is an established, time-tested fact that the State of Gujarat has provided several entrepreneurs, of varying hues and shades, categories and levels of business people, not only within its territorial boundary on the map but across the Globe. Tales umpteen galore about their business-sense, acumen and zeal for industrial enterprise. In this section we shall proceed to examine as to what is on offer by the State Government of Gujarat by way of Investment Opportunities.
A long coastline of 1600kms dotted with 41 ports (1 major, 11 intermediate and 29 minor ports) makes it a delight for those in the Shipping & Harbor–related fields. India’s first private-sector ports, Pipavav and Mundra are already in operation. A liquid-cargo (chemicals) handling port Dahej is also set up in the joint-sector and has become operational.
An excellent road network, exceeding 74000 kms including the Ahmedabad-Baroda Expressway makes transportation effective, speedy and smooth on logistical-planning.
It has the largest number of Airports in India (11 including an International airport at Ahmedabad) and an extensive Railway- network connecting all major centers within the State as well as throughout the length & breadth of the country.
The world’s largest grass-root Petroleum Refinery is operational at Jamnagar while the State is the largest producer of Salt and Soda Ash in India.
Gujarat is one of the first few States in the country to have encouraged private-sector investment in Infrastructure-Development. A State having only five percent of India’s total population and sixteen percent of the country’s total investment, ten percent of expenditure sixteen percent of exports and thirty percent of Stock-market capitalization. In fact, a wide-range of areas is under offer for Investments to be made in the growth arenas of this part of India such as:
Availability of adequate Power is a major advantage for any investment-proposal in the State – for the curious reader, 17940 feasible villages out of a total of 18028 (per 1991 census figures) villages in Gujarat State have been electrified .A unique project undertaken by the State Government is the Kalpasar Project to generate electricity from tidal waves of the sea. Also, a 1500-kms long Gas-Grid is being laid and success has been reported in striking underground gas-reserves near Ahmedabad and elsewhere in the State.
Agriculture is not to be ignored: the major food crops in the State are Rice, Wheat, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Tur, Gram, Groundnut while major non-Food crops are Cotton and Tobacco while Animal Husbandry and Dairying play a vital role in the Rural economy of Gujarat .It comprises of 25 Districts for administrative purposes.
Important minerals in the State are Bauxite, Maganese ore, Limestone and Lignite.