Having signed MoUs worth Rs 1.36 lakh crore with global investors in just two days here, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday said the ‘magnets’ that have worked in favour of his state include promise of subsidies, faster clearances and an impressive road infrastructure.
Here for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Shinde told PTI in an interview that he has met a host of potential investors in just two days of visit and they have shown keen interest in investing in the state and plan to immediately visit Mumbai to put their plans into action.
Asked what Maharashtra can offer better than other Indian states to foreign investors, Shinde said the state is committing to offer a lot more than others, including by way of subsidies, better infrastructure and faster clearances.
“Whatever they want, we are ready to offer and the state government is fully committed to fulfilling all their genuine demands. Road connectivity is one of our biggest assets and industry is also getting attracted to our state because of our access control roads,” Shinde told PTI.
According to experts, access control roadways system ensures seamless and fast movement of heavy and fast moving vehicles and also prevents stray animals from coming onto main highways.
Asked about the new areas of growth as Maharashtra has been an industrialised state for a long time with significant presence of automobiles, defence and various other sectors, he said there is still a huge potential including in various new areas. “These include data centres, logistics, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy.” This year’s WEF Annual Meeting has got several states including Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu presenting their own investment destination profiles and have got their own pavilions, in addition to three separate pavilions set up by the central government.
Talking about what has brought him to Davos, Shinde said, “The World Economic Forum is a very prestigious organisation and this event is attended by people from across the world. They present their views here and demonstrate new technologies.” “Discussions happen here on varied topics such as environmental issues, skill development related matters and employment generation. People also get to know about the global economic trends here,” he added.
The chief minister said the WEF summit is attended by people from manufacturing and services sectors and there are also discussions and exchange of views on how to build infrastructure at a faster and bigger scale.
“I’ve also met a lot many people here including those working on skill development, infrastructure, urban transformation, climate-related issues, transportation etc. I’m happy to tell you that there have been positive discussions with regard to our state for investments in sectors like data centre, pharmaceuticals, logistics, automobiles and renewable energy.” “A huge amount of investment plans have materialised for our state in these sectors, amounting to Rs 1.36 lakh crore. In just two days, we have signed these many MoUs.
“This is a big achievement for our government. These investment decisions are made only when the investors have got faith in a government and they are convinced about our potential. They know we have got skilled manpower, good infrastructure, land availability and good business atmosphere,” he said.
Shinde said his government believes in promoting new industries. “Ours is a pro-industry and pro-development government that works for the benefit of the people. These MoUs will generate thousands of new jobs,” he noted.
Asked how soon these investments would materialise, the chief minister said the investors have said they will start the process of implementing their plans immediately and they will be visiting Mumbai soon to put their plans into action.
“These 21 MoUs involve companies from varied sectors,” Shinde said.
Asked what is the ‘magnet’ that is attracting these investors, given the state government projecting the state as ‘Magnetic Maharashtra’, Shinde said the magnet that is working for them is an offer for good infrastructure, subsidies, single-window clearance and the huge economic growth potential.
“To fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make India a 5 trillion-dollar economy, Maharashtra is aiming to become a one-trillion-dollar economy and that is also helping our state attract investors. Our state is a big supporter and contributor to the overall GDP of the country,” he said.
India getting G20 presidency is also a matter of great pride for “us and our state is always keen to support the prime minister’s vision for taking our economy forward,” the chief minister said.
“One of the biggest advantages Maharashtra has is the connectivity. Access roads we are building, Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Highway we are building, those will help people reach their destinations faster. Those with faster transportation always get a benefit as people and products can reach their destinations faster,” he said.
On fast-tracking of some long-stuck projects, he said whatever projects had got delayed in the last 2-2.5 years, those are being fast-tracked ever since the new government has assumed office.
“The Dharavi project has been set in motion, a big Sea Link line is being cleared and that should be completed within a year, benefiting lakhs of people. “Metro network of over 350 kilometre, once completed, can see 30-40 lakh private vehicles going off the roads and that will help not just in saving commuting time but also bringing down pollution and improving efficiency of people,” the chief minister said.