‘Magnetic Maharashtra’ aims to attract investments worth Rs10 trillion

Mumbai: Maharashtra is expecting to get nearly 4,000 investment commitments worth Rs10 trillion that would create 3.5 million jobs at a three-day global investment summit starting Sunday, the state industry minister said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to inaugurate the Magnetic Maharashtra Converge 2018 Global Investment Summit on 18 February evening at the MMRDA Grounds in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex.

Maharashtra industry minister Subhash Desai said the bulk of these agreements would be signed in textiles, engineering, food processing, defence manufacturing and electric vehicles. At the Make in India summit in Mumbai in February 2016, Maharashtra had signed investment agreements worth nearly Rs8 trillion which the government said would generate 3 million jobs.

Of these, 61% agreements worth more than Rs4 trillion are under implementation, Desai said, but did not reveal the number of jobs these proposal had created.

“The proposals are under different stages of implementation. Some have got the land, some have built factories, and production has started in some. The percentage of conversion of MoUs into actual investment in other states is barely above 30%. Maharashtra has been able to achieve this rate of conversion on the basis of its strong fundamentals, investment climate, top quality infrastructure, and fast decision-making,” Desai said. He said investment commitments that had been realized were spread across the state including in economically backward regions of Vidarbha, Marathwada, and North Maharashtra.

“At the Make in India summit, Maharashtra received the highest number of investment commitments worth a little below Rs8 trillion. So, the chief minister has set a target of signing agreements worth Rs10 trillion this time which I am sure we will achieve,” Desai said. Some of the key investment proposals likely to be signed at the summit include a Rs1.5 trillion refinery in Ratnagiri district, a railway coach factory at Latur in Marathwada, a Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd electric vehicle manufacturing facility, Hyosung Corp.’s manufacturing unit, and an agriculture export hub at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.

State additional chief secretary, industry department, Sunil Porwal said the state government had leveraged its historically strong industrial position and investment climate by demonstrating dynamic policymaking. “In the last 15-20 days, we have announced as many as 12 policies for as many sectors and proposed changes to other policies,” he said.

“Maharashtra’s current growth rate is between 9-10% but it has the potential to grow at 12-13%. The summit is an effort to showcase our strengths and also learn from global investors, leaders, and politicians how we can improve,” Porwal said.

Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) CEO Sanjay Sethi said the summit has been divided in four verticals based on the state’s strengths and priorities—future industry comprising electric vehicles, renewables, electronics, defence manufacturing, artificial intelligence, genomics, and internet of things and smart cities; employment; infrastructure; and sustainability. “The idea is to project Maharashtra as a gateway for industrial investment in India and prepare a roadmap towards making Maharashtra a trillion dollar economy by 2025,” Sethi said. The size of Maharashtra’s economy currently is $400 billion.

Asked about the Mumbai International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) plan, Desai blamed the previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government for not pursuing the project. “If that government had taken it up on a war footing and given all the necessary clearances in time, Mumbai would already have had an IFSC by now. In the meantime, Gujarat set up the GIFT project (Gujarat International Finance-Tech City),” Desai said.

He added that the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra had not given up on the Mumbai IFSC project and had kept a plot in BKC vacant for the project. Asked if a ministerial group under aviation minister and former minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha on the Mumbai IFSC had been disbanded after Union finance minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that India could not have two IFSCs at this stage, Desai said the group very much existed and it was following up on the matter.livemint