State got nearly half the country’s FDI: Desai
In the last two years, Vidarbha and Marathwada, the backward regions of the state, received a huge push in terms of industrial investment. They received investment to the tune of Rs1.50 lakh crore, just behind the most favoured Mumbai region, which stood out with Rs3.25 lakh crore. Khandesh with Rs25,000 crore, Pune Rs50,000 crore were far behind as investment destinations.
Within Vidarbha, the textile park established at Nandgaonpeth in Amravati is a big draw with 11 large units like Raymond, Siyaram, Shyam Indo Fab and Suryalakshmi investing there, said Desai. He said this was possible because of shift in policy to have textile units only in cotton producing areas, and as part of this policy nine more textile parks are to be set up in the state.
“The state has become the most favourite destination for foreign investment due to its policies of providing ease of doing business, quality infrastructure, encouragement and skilled manpower,” the minister claimed. “We have achieved 84.5% in terms of ease of doing business, up from earlier year’s 49.5%, and this is expected to rise to 90% in the near future,” Desai said. Singapore’s Asian Competitiveness Association has chosen Maharashtra for the top slot in terms of industrial progress, he added.
The investments have come mainly from Japan, England, Mauritius, USA and The Netherlands, in fields like service sector, real estate and infrastructure, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, motor vehicles and medicines.
On the impact of demonetization, Desai said, “It will have some impact on medium and small medium industries for some time,” but expressed hope that it will not affect growth of Nagpur’s MIHAN project. “The IT industry is anyway not going to be hit. So, Mihan’s IT units will get going. It is also getting new investments like another aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) depot to be operated by private airline Indigo,” the minister said.
Asked about high power charges in the state, that were driving away units like steel rolling mills to neighbouring states, where electricity rates were cheaper, Desai said the situation may change in near future. “Maharashtra is trying to reduce the burden of high agriculture subsidy, which makes industrial power tariff high by separating them from farm feeders and laying stress on solar power use in farming,” he explained. Soon, we would be able to compete with other states and get into open access regime, he said.
* Ease of doing business at 84.9%, ‘Maitri’ cells with officials of 16 departments for faster clearances
* During ‘Make in India’ week in February, 2,606 MoUs signed with investment potential of Rs8 lakh crore and job avenues for 30 lakh. 262 projects are at construction stage
* In last two years, state has attracted industrial investment of Rs2.19 lakh crore in manufacturing sector, Rs25,018 crore in IT sector
* Investment in Mumbai-Konkan region — Rs3.25 lakh crore, Vidarbha and Marathwada — Rs1.50 lakh crore
* Mihan to get boost in IT sector and fresh proposals in pipeline from Vedanta Group’s Twin Star Technology for Rs2,000 crore. Also Rs1,500 crore Logistics Park planned by Suntech Reality. New MRO to service Indigo planes also coming up