Gujarat govt plans GIFT city like project close to Surat

Surat, 31 August 2014

The government of Gujarat plans another GIFT city like project in the state near Surat. Some discussions in this regard have already taken place during Minister Saurabh Patel’s recent visit to Dubai and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s yesterday’s visit to Surat.

A few months back, a group of leading diamond merchants in Surat demanded piece of land in Surat to set up Surat Diamond Bourse(SDB). They sought land of Agriculture University on Ghod-dod road. However the state government though supportive to SDB project decided not to give university land which is at prime location in Surat city which already is now facing shortage of open land.

Later the government thought, why just SDB, and why not full-scale smart township with SDB as its core part? In recent interview Minister Saurabh Patel told PTI that the government plans to set up diamond SEZ near Surat. It is believed that SDB and diamond SEZ both will be a part of GIFT city like project near Surat. It has to be noted that proposal for 1200-unit Jari park is pending since 1995, and textile industry of Surat has also demanded export house and warehouse facilities. These two industries may also get opportunity for non-polluting/no liquid wastage/noise-free set up within or outside the newly conceived city.

The new city project which is tentatively called Dream City Project will have focus on diamond and jewellary industries. It will have a polished and rough diamond trading centre,,polished diaomand and jewellery manufacturing units trading offices in SEZ, training centre, Indian and foreign banks, auction house, trading hall and gemological laboratories.

Chief Minister Anandiben Patel during her visit to Surat yesterday held a meeting with diamond merchants behind the idea of SDB at Circuit house. The meeting was also participated by some BJP leaders and elected representatives. While diamond merchants said that Agriculture farm was their priority choice, the government suggested Khajod land opposite Sarsana convention center and Vesu land as other options. Diamond merchants said they need 2-3 lakh square meter land for SDB. They were positive about government’s offer to allot Khajod land. Diamond merchants including Mathurbhai Sawani and Sevantibhai who were present in the meeting said they were ready to purchase the land and market rate, and the entire project of SDB will be completed in three years after allotment of land. Allotment of Khajod land is convenient to state government because state govt has 2,000 acre land available there, and it is planning a Dream city project here.

According to those who were part of the meeting, the Chief Minister suggested that the government wishes to develop a GIFT city like city close to Surat which shall have a five-seven star hotel, bank, IT, corporate trading house, entertainment zone etc facilities, and SDB will be part of that city.

A meeting on proposed GIFT city like project in Surat is going to be held on Tuesday in Gandhinagar in presence of Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Finance Minister Saurabh Patel, Collector and Municipal Commissioner of Surat and SDB team comprising of leading diamond merchants. The government may possibly constitute a special purpose vehicle to execute the project. An announcement in this regard is likely to be made later on when the things are finalized. Next Vibrant Gujarat summit will be perfect opportunity to market the project.

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