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Maharashtra is marching on a fast pace to achieve its goals. Despite the fall out of Covid-19 pandemic, the state is attracting foreign investments and creating jobs. Asian Lite meets Chief Minister Shri Uddhav Thackeray to get more details about Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 and other developmental projects

What are the key highlights of Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0, and how is it different from similar initiatives by other states and from the earlier format of Magnetic Maharashtra? How will you ensure that Maharashtra stays ahead in the race?

We unveiled Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 in June 2020; the state’s investment and growth stimulus strategy. Initiatives under this strategy enhanced the state’s policy framework and overall investment sentiment. With focus on economic recovery, the strategy features some of the boldest and most impactful investment reforms. Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) – the state’s nodal investment promotion agency, having the largest industrial land bank in the country of 2.25 lakh acres is geared to acquire additional 40,000 acres for companies looking to invest in Maharashtra. MIDC offers ready-to-move-in factories with advanced utilities and affordable pricing structure; tailor-made for specific sectors. These facilities will host a diverse base of entrepreneurs, local suppliers, and anchor units. The state has also launched ‘Maha Parwana’, a mega single-permission system to fast track industrial permissions as quickly as 48 hours.

“Maharashtra has world class infrastructure and established industrial ecosystem across multiple sectors. This along with the presence of diverse value chain and socio-economic diversity enables the state to have range of engineering, research and design hotspots”

The state has designed ‘Maha Jobs’ portal to act as industry employment bureau. Currently it hosts 2.94 lakhs applications and 2731 registered employers. It aids employers and employees to match adequate skillsets and talent; to achieve an optimal mix of utilization and higher manufacturing productivity. In order to further strengthen bilateral ties with our partner countries the state offers dedicated country desks; managed by team of Relationship Managers and Relationship Executives who ensures priority investor handholding. These unique offerings are custom made after consultation with international and domestic business communities, trade bodies and consul generals of partnering countries. I assure you, only Maharashtra offers these initiatives backed by robust infrastructure and clear policies, unmatchable to any competitive state’s reform strategies. The state’s capacity to harbor industrial ecosystem coupled with visionary leaders and policymakers that successfully deploy resources in a strategic manner makes Maharashtra a numero uno business destination. The state has grown leaps and bounds across every possible investment parameter in last few years.

Maharashtra’s economic development has been traditionally centered around Mumbai. hailed as the commercial capital of India. How are you planning to change that for the inclusive growth of the state?

Historically Mumbai has been epicenter of economic development not only for the state but also for the country. To ensure balanced regional development; Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 envisioned the developmental strategy of “Inclusive Growth”.

We are constantly engaging with different investors to help them realize their developmental dividends across the state for equitable growth. The gradual economic recovery backed by an uptick in consumption and manufacturing output, it is expected that we should soon return to normalcy.

Hon’ble Minister Industries State Sh.Subhash Desai

To support both greenfield and brownfield investments, MIDC is geared to acquire additional 40,000 acres of land across Maharashtra with special focus on Marathwada and Vidarbha. MIDC’s new plug-and-play infrastructure concept helps a new investor immediately start operations from day one, while offsetting the company’s risk appetite and liquidity crunch.  This ensures that land requirement is easily fulfilled for all types of investors. It is our believe that with our investment in infrastructure, skill and training and dedicated relationship management the entire state can rise of being truly magnetic.

How have new initiatives under Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 helped in attracting investment in the state in 2020?

Technology coupled with strong vision and governance is Maharashtra’s forte. Recent engagements witnessed participation of domestic and global business leaders from 29 companies who reinforced their confidence in the state by signing MoUs worth over Rs 50,000 crore. The Maha Jobs portal, Maha Parwana (accelerated permission system) and Plug & Play infrastructure are just a few examples that form the backbone for the state’s economic recovery. In terms of industrial infrastructure and connectivity, we host some of the most successful industrial clusters in the country with robust connectivity via rail, road, ports and air links. In the use of technology, our single window clearance regime, has simplified and streamlined various statutory approvals and clearances required for industries to a great extent.

In Ease of Doing Business, we have undertaken various reforms and a transformative approach in the recent years. Even during these unprecedented and volatile times, we have invested strongly in the social, physical and industrial infrastructure of the state. Specialized policies and markets have been developed across the districts to bring suppliers, producers, sellers and buyers together. We have consistently upgraded our industrial ecosystem through infrastructure development and aim to continue with the development process.

What shall be your strategy to attract more FDI in the state? What kind of incentives and facilities are being given to foreign investors? What kind of infrastructure development is being ensured for them to facilitate a robust industrial ecosystem in the state?

Maharashtra government is actively aiding global businesses to diversify and decouple supply chain dependencies on any one nation. As they scout for alternative manufacturing bases, Maharashtra offers strategic and inherent comparative advantages.

The state has world class infrastructure and established industrial ecosystem across multiple sectors. This along with the presence of diverse value chain and socio-economic diversity enables the state to have range of engineering, research and design hotspots. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has bought innovative technologies and raised competitiveness. While the state retains its position as the preferred investment destination for FDI, in the last one year alone, the state attracted FDI inflows of over Rs 60,000 crore, accounting for more than 25% of total FDI inflow in the country.

The strategy envisioned under Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 received a lot of interest from countries like USA, Germany United Kingdom, South Korea, Singapore, Spain among others. Constant feedback engagments with consulates of multiple countries, trade bodies, industry associations, export promotion councils in resolving their queries on priority basis; ensured that businesses can continue as well as expand their operations. Approving record 15 FDI proposals and attracting highest share of FDI in past one year, the state continued to grow from strength to strength.

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