In 9 Months, Chinese Industrial Park Planned in Gujarat Makes Little Progress

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The land acquisition process for the park is making slow progress, sources say.

Ahmedabad: 

Nine months after the Chinese government signed a memorandum to set up an Industrial park for Chinese players in Gujarat, the project is yet to take off in earnest. The land acquisition process, apparently, is progressing at a snail's pace.

The Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, which was supposed to acquire land, had identified a few plots near Vadodara and Ahmedabad, but the acquisition process is yet to begin, sources said.

Sources also said Chinese delegations had expressed a keen interest in a location near Vadodara, but the high price of land has acted as a stumbling block.

In September, Chinese President Xi Jinping became the first head of state to be hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his home state Gujarat. One of the projects signed during the visit was this park.

The signatories were Indextb -- the nodal agency of Gujarat government for investment promotion -- and China Development Bank. Under it, Indextb was to assist Chinese investors in obtaining clearances and creating infrastructure facilities.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel is heading for China along with PM Modi's delegation and sources say there will be an attempt to push the projects.

Critics say it is hype, that no actual investment is reflected on the round. "The actual investment that came during the successive Vibrant Gujarat events has been a dismal 2.3%... similarly, these Chinese deals where nothing has translated into real investment," said economist Professor Hemant Shah.

The Gujarat government maintains that the project is on course. Industries secretary Mamta Varma told NDTV that the department was scouting for land and "acquisition process is in the advanced stage".

The opposition Congress has criticised Mr Modi and Ms Patel for going on a China trip when the earlier projects are yet to take off.

"You signed the memorandum while eating theplas and dhoklas on the river front. We want to know what happened to them and now you are going to China again for more MoUs. This is a farce," said Congress spokesman Manish Doshi.

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