Last week two State Governments – West Bengal and Gujarat, organized their respective global summits. I had an opportunity to participate in both of them.
The West Bengal Global Summit was an effort of the State Government to attract investment in the State. West Bengal was a key industrial State. Beginning with the naxalite problem towards the end of 1960s, coupled with the policies of the Left Front Government, industry moved out of the State. Kolkata remained the principal engine of development in West Bengal’s growth. The State has a successful agriculture. West Bengal has a lot of intellectual capital and in the past one decade information technology has picked up in a big way. West Bengal has to be redeveloped.
Into an industrial center once again. My colleague Shri Nitin Gadkari, who also attended the summit, was willing to help the State in the creation of a Kolkata-Siliguri highway. If such a highway is combined with an industrial corridor, it will give a major boost to West Bengal. Creation of more townships, better infrastructure, an industrial corridor, more effective utilization of the sea resource has to be a future agenda of the State.
I was particularly enthused by the fact that groups representing a cross-section of industry, both manufacturing and service sector, attended the conference.
The State would now need a consistent pro-reform and business friendly steps in order to build confidence in the mind of present and potential investors. We, in the Central Government, would be extremely keen to help West Bengal to grow. The GST implementation will increase the revenues of West Bengal. Part of the proceeds of the coal block auctions will augment State’s revenue. NITI Aayog is intended to further decentralize the various schemes in the hands of the State Government.
Gujarat Business Summit was a magnificent affair. The Mahatma Mandir at Gandhinagar is an extremely impressive convention center. This is the seventh Vibrant Gujarat show being organized since 2003.
The prime Minister and other Ministers of the Union Government actively participated in this year’s Vibrant Gujarat. In fact Union Ministers have shown up for Vibrant Gujarat after ten years of absence. Prime Ministers, Ministers, policy makers from all over the world, large business groups - both domestic and international, were all present at the Vibrant Gujarat. Vibrant Gujarat has become the principal economic convention in the country.This year Vibrant Gujarat marketed India.
A few months ago, Madhya Pradesh had organized its own investors meet. News reports indicate that Maharashtra is going to organize a similar meet in near future.
My participation in the West Bengal and Gujarat meet have enthused me. The idiom, vocabulary and mind-set of the organizers was to attract investment. States in India are going to compete with each other in cornering investment. I have no doubt that the ones which consistently and uniformly pursue reforms and business friendly policies are likely to succeed.
Asked to explain his tweets, Kirti Azad used an allegory and left it open to interpretation: "When Krishna was little, he fought against Kalianag - you can interpret this in the way you want - who is Krishna and who is Kalianag."
Mr Jaitley has filed a defamation suit against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders for accusing him of presiding over corruption in the DDCA or the Delhi and District Cricket Association. He has also asked for Rs. 10 crore in damages.
Mr Jaitley was chief of DDCA till 2013.
Kirti Azad yesterday went ahead with a press conference on DDCA even after BJP chief Amit Shah reportedly tried to dissuade him, and told reporters: "I just want to expose corruption... This is not personal or against one person."
He showed a video that claimed DDCA had given contracts to various companies with false addresses. It also alleged that the cricket body hired office and other equipment and listed items like Rs. 16,000 for a laptop per day, Rs. 3000 for printer per day and Rs. 5000 for 'puja ki thali'.
Soon after Mr Azad's revelations, the Kejriwal government announced an inquiry headed by former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramaniam into DDCA's corruption. AAP is also prepping to file a police complaint against Mr Jaitley.
In a Facebook post, Mr Jaitley rubbished the allegations and said: "The Serious Fraud Investigation Office, under the UPA regime, investigated and could not find a shred of evidence against me."
The DDCA has admitted that there were irregularities, but absolved Mr Jaitley and blamed its former chief Sneh Bansal.
NEW DELHI: Noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani will represent Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the civil and criminal defamation suits filed against him by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Jaitley today filed both civil and criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for allegedly defaming him and sought Rs 10 crores in damages and their prosecution for offences that entails a punishment of upto two years in jail.
New Delhi: Delihi cricketers including Indian Test team captain Virat Kohli has came out strongly in support of Finance Minister and former DDCA president Arun Jaitley.
Kohli said that Jaitley, who has been accused by AAP of turning a blind eye to the alleged financial irregularities during his tenure as head of the cricket body, had done a lot of good things for Delhi cricket and for the players.
"Grateful to have @arunjaitley ji as the president of our association. He has always wanted to improve the game & help cricketers in everyway," Kohli tweeted yesterday.
Jaitley, who headed DDCA for 13 years till 2013, has been accused of not acting on the alleged corrupt activities in the DDCA during his tenure. The AAP government in Delhi has demanded that Jaitley should resign or be removed from the union cabinet to enable an independent probe.
Besides Kohli, biggest stars of the India, cricket team like Shikhar Dhawan, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir came forward to extend support to Jaitley.
Claiming that players under Jaitley were always benefited, Dhawan tweeted, "@arunjaitley Ji always ensured top facilities for Delhi cricketers and players like me, from humble background always benefited under him."
Gambhir said that it is inappropriate to blame Jaitley for corruption in DDCA.
"Appalling to note some ex-players blame @arunjaitley ji for all that's wrong in DDCA. Whereas they enjoyed plum posts in DDCA coz of him," Gambhir said in a tweet.
"Grossly inappropriate 2 blame @arunjaitley ji 4 corruption in DDCA. He was d one who got Delhi a proper stadium without taxpayer's money," Gambhir's another tweet reads.
Sehwag, on his part, lauded Jaitley for being there for the players. The swashbuckling batsman, who switched loyalties to Haryana from Delhi and retired from international cricket earlier this year, steered clear of making any political claim but lauded Jaitley's role in helping players.
"Was a nightmare to speak to some others at DDCA but @arunjaitley ji was always available for players in case of any difficulty at any time," Sehwag tweeted.
Another Delhi payer and Team India pacer Ishant Sharma also threw his weight behind under-fire former DDCA president, saying "@arunjaitley ji has always been helpful, fair and kind in all my interactions with him #DDCA."
Meanwhile, Jaitley has said that he will file a civil and criminal defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party. The 5 AAP leaders are Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.
"No legal notice would be sent to the Delhi chief minister. Apart from Kejriwal, a defamation case will also be filed against Kirti Azad. Cases will be also filed against other AAP leaders. The civil defamation case will be filed in the high court and the criminal case will be filed in the Patiala court," said a Bharatiya Janata Party source.
Jaitley, who headed the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for 13 years till 2013, has been accused of corruption by Delhi's ruling AAP.