Maharashtra #1 in MoUs, but will the projects see light of day

Despite the state’s poor record of translating on-paper investments into reality, CM Fadnavis claims he has got everything under control

It's time for the Devendra Fadnavis-led government to go beyond paper work as they have inked Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) worth R7.94 lakh crore in 'Make in India Week'. This is almost three times what previous governments had accomplished between 1991 and 2014.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis at the closing press conference of the Make In India Week yesterday. Pic/PTI
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis at the closing press conference of the Make In India Week yesterday. Pic/PTI 

Materializing MoUs is considered a big task, especially in view of the state's past record. Despite being a countrywide frontrunner in investment from domestic and foreign countries, Maharashtra could only translate a third of R3 lakh crore investment proposals, which were committed by several companies between 1991 and 2014, into actual projects.

After concluding 'Make in India Week' yesterday, the BJP government now faces a Herculean task leaving behind what erstwhile governments, including the one which it was part of between 1995 and 1999, had been doing. Generally, a project signed as an MoU in manufacturing sector takes three years to complete. The BJP needs to translate the MoUs into reality before the next Assembly elections come knocking at its doors in 2019.

Statistically speaking, Fadnavis government's achievements are record setting when one considers the number of MoUs signed in mere five days. The state has turned out to be the topper among all participant states by attracting investment proposals of nearly Rs 8 lakh crore.

As usual, Mumbai and its metropolitan area remained a top investment destination with proposals worth R3 lakh crore. Backward Vidarbha and Marathwada got to share an investment of R1.5 lakh crore to do away with regional imbalance in development.

For the record, Mahara-shtra signed 2,594 MoUs, which could possibly generate employment for over 30 lakh people over the next 5-10 years. Out of the 2,594 MoUs, 2097 were signed with medium and small enterprises and large industries, 20 in skill development sector and the rest across various sectors such as manufacturing, information technology, textile, food processing, auto and auto component, defence and energy. To provide adequate infrastructure to upcoming investors and their employees, MOUs were signed for industrial infrastructure, housing, railways, ports, and agriculture.

When asked at the concluding function, Fadnavis said he was well aware of the challenges that his government would face after inking MoUs. “Signing MoUs itself isn't an easy task. We checked every proposal for its feasibility and the support that we could provide to investors. We will have a task force for each sector to monitor further developments at a regular basis,” he said.

According to Fadnavis, land availability was not an issue because the state has vast tracts of land at its disposal in industrial estates. “In fact, we have a land bank that would suffice even R16 lakh crore investments,” he said.

He said the state politely refused to sign many more MoUs with companies that were eager to sign documents on the spot at the venue. “We told these anxious investors that we would take up their proposals only after a due process is done by our Industry Department,” said the CM.

He also dismissed Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam's allegation that several loss-making companies had entered into agreements with the state government at the city's mega event. “It's not true. All are good and new companies with good financial background. We finalized MoUs after studying the proposals over the past four months and making policy reforms,” said Fadnavis.

Number of registered delegates

Number of people participated in seminars and symposiums

A sneak peek in the Mou list
- Sterlite Group company TwinStar Display Technologies & MIDC for LCD manufacturing unit in technical collaboration with Autron of Taiwan
- Raymond Industries to invest R1,400 crore for manufacturing linen yarn and fabric facility
- Mahindra & Mahindra to investment R8,000 crore (Nashik: R6,500 crore, Chakan: R1,500 crore)
- JSW Jaigarh Port Ltd to invest R6,000 crore and provide employment to 1,000 people
- CREDAI and MCHI to invest R1.1 lakh crore and generate 7.6 lakh jobs for 5.7 lakh affordable homes
- Solar Industries and Government of Maharashtra to set up a Nagpur plant for manufacturing of ammunition for armed forces

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