On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit his hometown Vadnagar in North Gujarat to inaugurate a Rs 500-crore civil hospital and a medical college.
Modi is also scheduled to dedicate the redeveloped Sharmistha Lake to the people and inaugurate other public works, including the facelift of the Vadnagar railway station, where he is once said to have sold tea as a school boy.
Modi on Saturday said Diwali had come early because of the relaxation in GST rules that brought some relief to small and medium businesses.
Modi sounded the poll bugle for the assembly elections to be conducted later this year in Gujarat by addressing a gathering in the temple town of Dwarka after laying the foundation stone for a four-lane signature bridge costing Rs 900 crore linking Dwarka with the island religious tourist centre of Bet Dwarka.
"Today, everywhere it is being said that Diwali has come 15 days ahead due to the decisions taken in the GST Council (on Friday). I am happy," he said at the beginning of his two-day Gujarat visit.
Modi said the decision to relax the GST provisions for small traders, businessmen and exporters was in keeping with the Centre's promise to review the working of the new tax regime from time-to-time.
"We had said we will study all aspects relating to GST for three months, including the shortcomings. And thus, the decisions were taken with consensus at the GST Council," he said.
Accusing the previous UPA government at the centre of stalling development projects in Gujarat, Modi recalled the difficulties the state faced when the Congress ruled the country and he was the state chief minister.
"Despite my best efforts, I could not make them (UPA government) to wake up from their slumber," said the prime minister.
Modi stressed that his government would continue giving priority to development by enhancing connectivity and took a dig at his critics, especially in the wake of a viral social media campaign "Development has gone crazy", targeting his government.
File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image courtesy: PIB
Modi said development would continue to be the driving force of his initiatives.
"This generation may have suffered poverty but we would take development to such heights that future generations do not get to see poverty. The world's attention is being drawn to India. People are coming to invest here. All this will bring opportunities for the people of India."
He also announced the setting up of the country's first and biggest Marine Police training institute at Mojak in Devbhoomi Dwarka district of the state.
"I would like to give a gift to the people of Gujarat that will benefit the entire country. For security of coastal area, we are working to modernise Marine Police (who look after coastal security till 5 km from the shore).
"To help train policemen from across the country, a Marine Police training and research institute will be set up near Mojak," Modi said.
Modi at Rajkot
Modi on Saturday said that the present central government is the first since independence that has formulated a National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) for providing air connectivity to smaller cities.
Modi talked about the NCAP at a foundation stone laying ceremony held here for development of a new airport.
According to state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI), Modi who addressed a gathering at the ceremony, highlighted the importance that an airport plays in achieving development goals of a region and a state.
"He (Modi) also brought to light the fact that for the new greenfield airport coming up between Rajkot and Surendranagar districts, 96 per cent of the land used was barren land of government of Gujarat," the AAI statement said.
The Gujarat government had proposed a greenfield airport at Hirasar, Rajkot as the existing airport faces capacity constrains with no further scope for expansion.
The initial development phase cost of the new airport has been pegged at Rs 1,405 crore.
Commenting on the new airport project being handled by AAI, Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju said: "Since the existing airport has no scope of further expansion and is not positioned well to meet the potential traffic demand, the new airport being constructed by AAI will surely meet the futuristic demands of Rajkot and will further add to the infrastructural development of this expanding city."
The existing Rajkot airport currently witnesses around 100 movements per week and handled over 4 lakh passengers during 2016-17.
During his two-day trip, Modi is expected to address as many as six public meetings, launching various schemes and projects at five places in three regions of the poll-bound state.
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Oct 08, 2017 16:00 PM