India: At "Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit" NGOs urge CEOs to consider human rights
The Gujarat government has been organising the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit once every two years since 2003, to promote the growth of industries and businesses in the state, in what is now known as Narendra Modi’s "Gujarat model" of development. Addressing the high-profile gathering that included US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit here, Modi said: “In a short span of seven months, we have been able to change the atmosphere of despair and uncertainty in the nation.”
Gujarat is not as shiny as the brochures make it out to be, says civil society. A group of activists and organisations have written to CEOs at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2015 appealing to them to spare rural livelihoods and respect human rights. In an open letter, they called themselves representatives (but not political representatives) of the rural, agricultural, landless, farming, fishing and the marginalised communities reeling under the onslaught of relentless industrialisation. "The government of Gujarat's blind race towards mindless industrialisation, because of crony capitalism has endangered traditional livelihoods and rendered these people unemployed and unemployable," notes the letter, released by the National Association of People's Movements.
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"Thousands of women agricultural workers mobilize to demand living wage rights", 11 Jan 2015
In the lead up to International Women's Day 2015 thousands of women agricultural workers in Gujarat are holding mass meetings at district level to promote living wage rights...
Among the rights demanded is equal pay for equal work and an end to wage discrimination between men and women. Greater protection of the rights of women who are the sole wage-earners in their families - including widowed women - will be promoted as vital to overcoming poverty wages, insecurity and discrimination.
The meetings also raise awareness of the campaign to defend the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and opposition to legal reforms that threaten increased corporate land grabs.
A group of activists and organisations have written to "CEOs at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2015" appealing to them to "spare rural livelihoods and follow ethical path"...Terming the "Gujarat model of development" fraudulent, they said that the poor people have lost their water, land and coasts for fishing and have not received any sustainable rehabilitative support except a one-time compensation for land lost. "Before signing MoUs (memorandums of understanding) with the government of Gujarat, please do ensure that you meet and interact seriously with the impacted people/communities. "Hundreds of NGOs representing several million members of civil society are already opposing extremely strongly the MoUs/agreements signed which not only affect their livelihoods but also their sense of dignity.
Author: Heena Khandelwal, Financial Express
PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the three-day Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar today in the presence of large conglomerates and leaders from India and abroad, a few of whom announced huge investment and job creation plans...he went on to impress global investors by promising to make India an easiest destination to do business with a stable tax regime. “Ease of doing business in India is a prime concern for you and for us. I assure you that we are working very seriously on these issues. We want to make them not only easier than earlier; not only easier than the rest; but we want to make them the easiest,” he said.
Author: Press Trust of India
Large conglomerates from India and abroad today announced huge investment and job creation plans at the three-day Vibrant Gujarat Summit, which kicked off this morning in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders from across the world...While Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani said his group would invest Rs 1 lakh crore in 12-18 months across businesses, Kumar Mangalam Birla of Aditya Birla Group announced investment plans for Rs 20,000 crore in the state. Among foreign companies, Australian mining giant Rio Tinto's CEO Sam Walsh said the group would add 30,000 jobs in diamond cutting industry in Gujarat...Modi said there is a need to work for sustainable and inclusive growth and fluctuations in the global economy is the biggest concern. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who was also present, said tax and subsidy reforms are essential for inclusive growth in India.
Author: India Resists
Re.: Spare rural livelihoods, follow the ethical path
We, the undersigned, are representatives (but not political representatives) of the rural, agricultural, landless, farming, fishing and the marginalized communities reeling under the onslaught of relentless industrialization...These skilled and semi-skilled people in traditional occupations, considered as unskilled or semi-skilled by the present model of development, are not absorbed in new industries envisaged by the GoG and is blatantly taking the poor for a ride and misleading the people about the fraudulent “Gujarat model of development”...We...request you to not to enter into any agreements however profitable they may appear to you, without interacting with the undersigned NGOs and various social organisations and people’s movements as well as interact with the affected people in order to make yourselves fully aware of the injustice that is being done to them before risking your capital at grand events meant to delude you.