Industry bosses to keep state at top of the game

Eager to retain the peak in the industrial investment sector, state government appeals to Tatas, Birlas, and Ambanis among others to chalk out a suitable strategy for it

It appears that the government wants to ride the wave of fortune by roping in Fortune 500 companies to preserve the top spot for Maharashtra in the manufacturing and production segment.
Daunted by the aggressive policies its counterparts (read Gujarat and Delhi) are pursuing to attract industrial investment, the state has made an overture to top-notch industrialists -- namely the Tatas, Ambanis, Mahindras and Birlas -- seeking their aid in strengthening its strategy to draw investment.


Sources said that with a serious threat looming on its numero uno position in the industrial investment sector from states like Gujarat and Delhi, the Congress-led Democratic Front is relying on the prominent industrial houses for shaping up its new industrial investment and infrastructure policy.

"As states such as Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Uttaranchal are pulling out all stops to attract foreign and domestic investment, Maharashtra has decided to take the matter seriously," said a senior Mantralaya officer.

The Industry Ministry led by Narayan Rane has decided to rope in the Fortune 500 companies, as a last-ditch effort to maintain its status as the most-favoured state in the industrial development sector. In a letter to the businessmen, Rane has acknowledged how their presence in the state has greatly contributed to industrial advancement in the state.

"The state is in the process of formulating a new industrial policy. And, as per the emerging broad outline, it may include a new package scheme of incentives, with particular focus on less developed areas. It may also include a master plan of resource-based industrial development in the state," Rane's letter adds, "We are looking forward for guidance and inputs from you in formulating the industrial policy. I would be happy if you proffer your valuable suggestions for Maharashtra's new industrial policy which would be of immense help to us."

Rane said that, so far, Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Mukesh Ambani, Birlas and Hindustan Construction Company led by Ajit Gulabchand have responded positively to his appeal, and expressed a desire to contribute their views. "I will start my meetings with them soon," said the leader, who served as chief minister in 1999.

Asked if the move was a fallout of the intense competition among states to attract investors, Rane said that Maharashtra still leads other states when it comes to investment. "It was my initiative, and CM Prithviraj Chavan is keen to formulate an investment-friendly policy," he said.

So far, so good
>> The Mega Projects Policy announced by the government in June, 2005 has got overwhelming response from renowned domestic and foreign companies. Under this scheme, up until February 2010, 169 industrial projects have been approved with investment of Rs 1,41,000 crore. 

>> These are expected to generate employment to the tune of 2,13,000 jobs. 

>> Of these, 111 projects are in the backward areas of the state - 70 in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. 

>> Production has already started 51 mega projects. Some major ones are:
Volkswagon at Chakan, with an investment of Rs 3,350 crore
M/s General Motors at Talegaon, with an investment of Rs 3,440 crore
M/s Siemens and M/s Goodyear at Aurangabad
M/s Murli Agro at Chandrapur and Nagpur
M/s Ruchissoya at Washim
M/s Birlaccotsyn at Buldhana
M/s Bombay Dyeing at Patalganga (Expansion)
M/s Indorama at Bootibori (Expansion)
M/s Raymonds at Yeotmal (Expansion)

>> Some recently inaugurated projects:
M/s Mahindra at Chakan, with an investment of Rs 4,000 crore
M/s Kirloskar Oil Engines at Kagal, with an investment of Rs 611 crore

>> Proposed
M/s Posco at Villebhagad in Raigad, with a proposed investment of Rs 4,440 crore
M/s Hindustan Petroleum intends to invest Rs 20,000 crore in a modern refinery

>> In the process of being set up
M/s ACC at Chandrapur, with an investment of Rs 1,551 crore
M/s Reliance Cementation at Yavatmal and Bootibori, with an investment of Rs 2,250 crore

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