Demonetisation not part of formal discussions at Vibrant Gujarat

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Gandhinagar, Dec 23 (IANS) It has been the subject of intense debate across the length and breadth of the country but demonetisation has not been included as a formal theme of discussion in the eighth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit to be held in January.

The biennial showpiece event, beginning January 10 will have participants from across 100 countries and 2000 companies from across the globe, besides the maiden appearance of as many as eight Nobel Laureates.

With “Sustainable Economic and Social Development” as the central focus, the summit will bring together heads of states and governments, ministers, leaders from the corporate world, senior policy makers, heads of international institutions and academia from around the world discussing and debating various issues including current national and global challenges.

“The summit will not have any session of discussion on demonetisation,” said P.K. Taneja, Additional Chief Secretary (Industries & Mines) attributing “prior fixing of agenda” as the reason for its non-inclusion.

“The agenda and themes of the discussions are decided well in advance and therefore it was not included,” said Taneja when asked about the reason of its non-inclusion.

The summit wll not only begin 63 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 announced the decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes but also will be the first mega economic meet post December 30 – the last day to tender old banknotes.

The official, though said, demonetisation is expected to become a part of the discussions during the national seminar on Goods and Service tax (GST) to be addressed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

“Demonetisation being a finance ministry related issue, it will surely discussed during the GST seminar,” he said.

While demonetisation has attracted the collective wrath of the opposition parties and has the entire country reeling under a huge cash crunch, Taneja asserted it will not impact the summit.

“Demonetisation will not have any negative impact, rather it will be beneficial for us. In fact it is an opportunity for us rather than being a threat in any sense of the word.

“Anything which is streamlining the whole process will have a positive impact, demonetisation will have a huge positive impact,” Taneja insisted.

“The fact that today we have 12 partner countries and seven partner organisations, is clear evidence of a lot many people showing interests in India and Gujarat,” he said.

Gujarat Chief Secretary J.N. Singh too asserted that demonetisation would have a positive rather than a negative impact.

“Rather than a negative impact, it is likely to have a positive impact. The summit may have people looking to invest in the digital economy and services sector. Moreover, the summit envisions long-term commitments and demonetisation will have benefits in the long run,” said Singh.

(Anurag Dey is in Gandhinagar at the invitation of the Gujarat government. He can be contacted at [email protected]

–IANS

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