To lubricate additional investment in the state and boost its ambitious 'Make in Mumbai' plans, Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, announced a list of measures at a session at the ongoing Make in India Week in Mumbai. The mega event is being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Government of Maharashtra.
Addressing the huge gathering, the chief minister said, “Mumbai itself is a power hub and does not need marketing. It is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. It is time to reflect and plan the future because the wealth created by our ancestors cannot be enjoyed forever; we need to create new wealth. The Make in India Week offers Mumbai the opportunity to kick start its new identity.”
Mumbai’s dream of becoming an international financial centre may soon be a reality with the chief minister announcing the International Financial Services Centre at the Make in India grounds. The minister added that they have already had takers for the ambitious project.
“Our perceptions may have changed, our way to do business and accomplish goals may have changed but the fundamentals remain the same. Today, Mumbai is moving towards a different economic identity creating values where the services sector is taking centre stage. The entire machinery has been put to develop and support this sector,” he added.
The chief minister observed that infrastructure is the key to growth for Mumbai’s economy and infrastructure will not only create an ecosystem for a good life but will also add to Make in Mumbai and create jobs. He said, “All services can create business opportunity. Ease of doing business and simplification of procedures is of utmost importance and both the government of India and the government of Maharashtra are working on a war-footing.”
New business districts similar to the Bandra-Kurla Complex, besides new highways and railways and elevated corridors that cut through congestion may breathe new life into making Mumbai, a global centre for financial services. “In India, only Mumbai can possibly be such a base, but physical infrastructure and the regulatory structure have a long way to go.”
The chief minister wanted to speed up approvals for the industry. “The financial services will benefit if we give a single-window clearance for all the permissions they need from the state government in MMR region,” Fadnavis said. “This will be another priority area for the government.” Fadnavis also promised to transform ease of doing business by granting of construction permissions in a week, if the designs have been submitted in the standard format.
Throwing light on the growing consumer demand, Fadnavis said, “We are a billion plus people – which is a very big market. The consumers rule and dictate terms in the market. When the world says we want to invest, we should be ready to receive that investment by creating opportunities so that entire global community is benefited. We should leverage on possibilities and capabilities.” “We should create a seamless industry with IT & ITeS; banking and insurance and back offices to create millions of jobs,” he added.
Citing infrastructure as the only hindrance in its dream of becoming a global financial hub, the chief minister said, “The pace of growth should match pace of infrastructure. We need a comprehensive mobility plan to transform Mumbai into economic commercial region.”
The chief minister mooted a comprehensive plan for mobility within Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. “Staggered investment of Rs four lakh crore is what is required for development of infrastructure. With clear and transparent proposals we have to achieve this.”
The chief minister took the opportunity to announce the new initiative – ‘Built in Mumbai’. “Our next initiative Built in Mumbai will cater to the vast 50 % population living in slums and those aspiring for affordable housing.”
Addressing the conference, Swadheen Kshatriya, Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, said, “We know our strengths and weaknesses. Sanitation and affordable housing will make the Make in Mumbai initiative a success.” He also added that they look to complete the Navi Mumbai airport by 2019. The trans-harbor link connecting Mumbai to Navi Mumbai will be ready in three to four months.
Buttressing the safety aspect of the metropolitan region, Ajoy Mehta, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, said, “Mumbai means business. Safety is a de facto position in the city.”