No objection to Pak delegation attending Vibrant Summit: Saurabh Patel

 The Gujarat government said here on Wednesday that it would not stop any Pakistani business delegation conveying their wish to participate in the forthcoming 'Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015'.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 03, 2014, 23:12 PM IST

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government said here on Wednesday that it would not stop any Pakistani business delegation conveying their wish to participate in the forthcoming 'Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015'.

"As per the SAARC agreement, business delegations of all our neighbouring countries may participate in such events, and Pakistan is not an exception. If they want to come, then they are most welcome. We will not say no if they convey their wish to participate in the summit," Gujarat Finance Minister Saurabh Patel, who is active in organisng the event, said here today.

During the last Vibrant Gujarat Summit held in 2013, then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had invited a Pakistani delegation of businessmen to participate in the summit and accordingly, a business delegation from Karachi had attended the event.

However, due to the prevailing tension between the two countries this time, the Gujarat state government did not send any invitation to delegation from Pakistan.

The Minister denied having any knowledge about any formal invitation to Pakistan by the state government to participate in the 2015 Summit which is schduled to take place at Mahatma Mandir here between January 11 and January 13, 2015.

Patel said the focus of the summit this time would be to maximise participation by foreign countries, adding that delegates from more than 150 countries are expected to participate this time.

"We want to restrict local participation to some extent this time. We may have to ask local business bodies to send lesser number of delegates, so that we can accomodate more foreign delegates. Seating capacity of the main hall is about 5,000. Out of these, we will reserve 3,500 seats for foreign delegates," Patel said.

He said that government is in the final stages of preparing its new industrial policy, which would be announced within ten days.

Prime Minister Modi is scheduled inaugurate the summit, he said.