Today, Surat is the Dream City for lakhs of youth: PM Modi

Published By : Admin | December 17, 2023 | 12:00 IST
“New diamond has been added to the magnificence of Surat city”
“Surat Diamond Bourse showcases the abilities of Indian designs, designers, materials and concepts. This building is a symbol of New India’s capabilities and resolutions”
“Today, Surat is the Dream City for lakhs of youth”
“People of Surat know Modi’s guarantee for a very long time”
“If Surat decides, then our share in gems-jewelry export can touch double-digit”
“Surat is continuously connecting with international trade centers. Very few cities in the world have such international connectivity”
“If Surat moves forward, Gujarat will move forward. If Gujarat moves forward then the country will move forward”

The Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel ji, local MP Shri C R Patil ji, my Cabinet colleagues, all the well-known faces of the country's diamond industry, other dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen, Namaskar!

Surat holds its own significance. Surat's powerful history; its escalating present; and its vision of the future- that is what is Surat! And it is my belief that no one ever leaves any stone unturned in such (development) work. So, a person of Surat may be in a hurry in every field, but he has the patience to stand in a queue for half an hour outside a food stall. For example, it wouldn't matter even if it rained heavily and there's knee-deep water; a Surati would still line up outside a pakoda stall. On Sharad Purnima, Chandi Padwa, everyone goes to the rooftop but my Surati eats ghari (sweets) with his family on the footpath. And he does not go anywhere nearby but roams every nook and corner of the world. I still remember about 40-45 years ago, someone from Saurashtra had visited Surat. So, I asked that friend from Saurashtra - how are you liking Surat? He said, 'there is a lot of difference between Surat and Kathiawar'. So, I am talking about 40-45 years ago. He gave me an example, saying that in Kathiawar, if a motorcycle collides with another vehicle, it would turn into an ugly fight. But in Surat, the people involved would say, 'it was the fault of both sides. So let's drop this issue now'. There is a vast difference.

Friends,

Today another diamond has been added to the grandeur of Surat city. And it is the best in the world. And this diamond outshines some of the world's biggest buildings. And a short while ago, Vallabh Bhai, Lalji Bhai were conveying their views with complete humility. And perhaps the reason behind the success of such a huge mission is their humility, and their nature of taking everyone along. I cannot congratulate them enough. Vallabhbhai said, 'I have been given only five minutes'. But Vallabh Bhai, you are associated with 'Kiran'. And a ray has the ability to understand the entire sun. And so, even five minutes help us get acquainted with your immense power!

Now if anyone in the world mentions Diamond Burse, then Surat as well as Bharat will also be talked about. Surat Diamond Bursa showcases the power of Indian design, Indian designers, Indian materials and Indian concepts. This building is a symbol of the new potential and new determination of the new Bharat. I congratulate the diamond industry, Surat, Gujarat and the entire country for the Surat Diamond Bourse.

I managed to see only a part of it because I didn't want you all to wait for me for too long. But since they are old friends, I keep telling them something or the other. I said, invite the advocates of environmental protection and show them what green building is! Secondly, I said, ask the students of architecture and structure engineering from all over the country to come and study how buildings are constructed in a modern form. And I also said that people who work in the field of landscape should also be invited to see how landscaping should be done and what the concept of Panchatattva (5 elements) is.

Friends,

Today the people of Surat, the traders and businessmen here are receiving two more gifts. The new terminal of Surat Airport has been inaugurated today itself. And secondly the Surat Airport has got the status of an International Airport. The years-old demand of the Suratis has been fulfilled today. And I remember when I used to come here before, the bus station looked far better than the airport of Surat. The airport looked like a small hut. But today we have touched great heights and it depicts the power of Surat.

The flight from Surat to Dubai is starting from today, and very soon the flight to Hong Kong will also start. And because the airport of Surat has been built, there are now 3 international airports in Gujarat. Apart from diamonds, every sector here including textile industry, tourism industry, education and skills industry will benefit from this. I congratulate the people of Surat and the people of Gujarat for this wonderful terminal and international airport.

My family members,

There is no need for me to express in words the deep affection I have for the city of Surat, because you people know it very well. Surat has taught me a lot. And Surat has taught us that when everyone makes efforts, we can face even the greatest challenges. There is something about the soil of Surat itself, which makes it different from everything else. And the capability of the people of Surat is simply unparalleled.

We all know how much the journey of Surat city has been full of ups and downs. The British too first came to Surat after seeing the splendour of this place. Once upon a time, the world's largest ships were built in Surat only. There were several major crises in the history of Surat, but the people of Surat together faced each and every one of those. It is said that, there was a time when the ship flags of 84 countries used to flutter here. And today Mathur Bhai was saying that now flags of 125 countries are going to flutter here.

Sometimes Surat was under the influence of some serious diseases; sometimes there used to be floods in Tapi. I have closely seen that period when various kinds of negativity were spread and the spirit of Surat was challenged. But I was confident that Surat would not only emerge from the crisis but would also make its place in the world with new strength. And today, this city is among the top 10 fastest growing cities in the world.

Street food of Surat, cleanliness in Surat, skill development work in Surat, everything has been wonderful! Surat was once known as Sun City. The people here made it a diamond city and a silk city with their hard work, and strength. You all worked harder and Surat became a bridge city. Today Surat is a dream city for lakhs of youngsters. And now Surat is also progressing in the field of IT. It is historic in itself for this modernizing Surat to get such a huge building in the form of Diamond Burse.

Friends,

Nowadays you all must be hearing a lot about Modi's guarantee. After the recent election results, this topic of discussion has grown even further. But the people of Surat have known about Modi's guarantee since long ago. The hardworking people here have seen Modi's guarantee turning into reality. And this Surat Diamond Burse is also an example of this guarantee.

I still remember how all my friends like you used to tell me about your problems years ago. Here there is a whole community of lakhs of people associated with small or big businesses and artisans associated with the diamond businesses. But one of their major problems was that they had to travel long distances for every other thing. If one had to go abroad to check and buy raw diamonds, there were obstacles in that too. Supply and value chain issues affected the entire business. Friends associated with the diamond industry repeatedly asked me to solve these problems.

In this background, the World Diamond Conference was held in Delhi in 2014. And that's when I announced setting up a special notified zone for the diamond sector. This paved the way for realizing the dream of Surat Diamond Burse. We also made amendments in the law. Now a massive centre of international trade is ready in the form of Surat Diamond Bourse. Be it raw diamond, polished diamond, lab grown diamond or ready-made jewellery, today every type of business has become possible under one roof. Be it a worker, an artisan, or a businessman, Surat Diamond Bourse is a one stop centre for everyone.

There are facilities for international banking and secure vaults. There is a jewellery mall for retail jewellery business. Surat's diamond industry is already providing employment to more than 8 lakh people. Now 1.5 lakh new people are going to get jobs due to the Surat Diamond Bourse as well. I would like to praise all of you associated with the diamond business who have worked day and night to take this industry to new heights.

Friends,

Surat has given a lot to Gujarat and the country, but Surat has much more potential than this. According to me, this is the beginning; we have to move further. You all know that in the last 10 years, Bharat has risen from the 10th position to the 5th position in the world. And now Modi has given a guarantee to the country that in his third innings, Bharat will definitely be included in the top three economies of the world.

The government has also set a target for the coming 25 years. Be it a target of 5 trillion dollars, or a target of 10 trillion dollars, we are working on these. We are also working to take the country's exports to record highs. In such a scenario, the responsibility of Surat, and especially of Surat's diamond industry, has increased manifold. All the stalwarts of Surat are present here. Surat city should also set a target as to how to further increase its participation in the country's growing exports.

This is both a challenge and an opportunity for the diamond, gems and jewellery sectors. Currently, Bharat is far ahead in the export of diamond jewellery. We are also leaders in Silver Cut Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds. But if we talk about the entire gems & jewellery sector, Bharat's share in the world's total exports is only 3.5 percent. If Surat is determined, very soon we can reach double digits in gems & jewellery exports. And I guarantee you, the government stands with you in all your endeavours.

We have already selected this sector as a focus area for export promotion. Be it encouraging patented designs, diversifying export products, exploring better technology in collaboration with other countries, promoting lab grown or green diamonds, the Central Government is making many such efforts.

The government has also made special provisions in the budget to encourage green diamonds. You have to take maximum advantage of all these efforts. Today, you must have also experienced the pro-Bharat atmosphere at the international level since you travel around the world. People from many countries of the world are also present here. Today the world's atmosphere is in favour of Bharat. Today Bharat's reputation is at its peak all over the world. Bharat is being talked about all over the world. 'Made in India' has now become a powerful brand. Your business is sure to benefit a lot from it. The jewellery industry is sure to benefit as well. So I would say to all of you, take a resolution and make it happen!

Friends,

To enhance the potential of all of you, the government is also levelling up the potential of Surat city. Our government is giving special emphasis on the creation of modern infrastructure in Surat. Today Surat has its own international airport. Today Surat has its own metro rail service. Today many important products are handled at the Surat Port. Today Surat has Hazira Port, a deep water LNG terminal and a multi-cargo port. Surat is continuously connecting with international business centres. And only very few cities in the world have such international connectivity. Surat has also been linked to the Bullet Train project. Here, work on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor is also going on at a rapid pace. This will strengthen the rail connectivity of Surat to North and Eastern Bharat. Delhi Mumbai Expressway is also going to provide new opportunities to the businesses of Surat.

Surat is, in a way, the only city in the country to have such modern connectivity. All of you should take maximum advantage of it. If Surat moves forward, Gujarat will move forward and if Gujarat moves forward, my country will move forward. There are many other possibilities associated with this. The movement of people from various different countries here means that it is converting into a global city, in a way. It has become a mini Bharat.

Recently, when the G-20 summit was held, we made full use of technology for communication. If the driver knows Hindi, but the guest sitting with him knows French, then how would have they conversed? So we arranged for a mobile app. If he spoke in French, the driver could hear it in Hindi whereas if the driver spoke in Hindi,the guest could hear it in French.

So people from all over the world are going to come to our Diamond Burse. Whatever support you need for communication in terms of language, the Central Government will definitely provide you. And we will simplify this task through the mobile app, Bhashini App.

I would also give a suggestion to the Chief Minister that the Narmad University here should start efforts to prepare interpreters in different languages and the children here should know interpretation in different languages of the world so that our youth here can get jobs of interpretation to assist the businessmen who come here. And in the requirements of creating a global hub, communication plays a very important role. Today technology is helping a lot, but at the same time manual interpretation is equally necessary. I believe that very soon we can start language interpreter courses through Narmad University or any other university.

I once again congratulate all of you for Surat Diamond Bourse and the new terminal of Surat Airport. Vibrant Gujarat Summit is also going to be held next month. I wish Gujarat all the best for this as well. And this effort of Gujarat is also helping the country and that is why I particularly congratulate Gujarat.

All of you have gathered in such large numbers today to celebrate this festival of development. Just see how much change has taken place. Every person in the country is becoming committed towards development. This is the greatest auspicious sign for Bharat to move forward. Once again, I heartily congratulate Vallabh Bhai and his entire team. And I know, if Covid had not hit us back then, perhaps we would have completed this work sooner. But due to Covid, some work was hampered. But today I am very delighted to see this dream fulfilled. My heartiest congratulations to you all!

Thank you.

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