To boost Mumbai's economy, BMC may take lessons from top businessmen

In its efforts to encourage economic growth, the BMC has not only set up a Business Development department, but has also enlisted the guidance and assistance of leading industrialists in the city

In a break with tradition, and marking a genuine interest in further developing Mumbai’s reputation as the financial capital, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has approached top business leaders for their feedback and assistance with developing commerce in the city’s central business districts (CBDs).

The new department was introduced as an effort to maintain the city’s title as the financial capital, and continue to attract investment by developing infrastructure. File pic
The new department was introduced as an effort to maintain the city’s title as the financial capital, and continue to attract investment by developing infrastructure. File pic

Letters have already gone out to prominent business tycoons such as Ratan Tata and the Ambani brothers, informing them of the BMC’s efforts to boost economic growth in Mumbai, said sources. It is a highly unusual move, coming from the normally self-sufficient BMC that prefers to follow its own experts’ recommendations.

While the BMC recently set up its new Business Development department, here again, the civic body seems to have chosen efficiency over convention. In contrast to the corporation’s traditional method of recruitment through civil services exams the corporation hand-picked 15 highly qualified professionals for their knowledge and experience in the world of business.

The department began functioning in early October, and its basic purpose is to not only create CBDs, but also to identify and facilitate infrastructure gaps in them. The department will implement a single window system for all business licences, to facilitate the process for entrepreneurs. It will also look at developing efficient spatial planning policies, to ensure better-planned growth and development within the districts.

BMC says
Additional Municipal Commissioner (eastern suburbs) SVR Srinivas confirmed that the corporation had sent letters to leading industrialists a week ago, informing them of the new department and asking for their feedback.

“Letters were sent to various industrialists like Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani, as well as many associations in the hospitality, tourism and IT sectors, seeking their feedback on the new department in the BMC. Most of them have appreciated and liked the concept.”

Srinivas added that the BMC considered the experience of these industrialists valuable, and so, had asked them for their assistance. “The department will be less cluttered, as hardly 10 to 15 professionals have been chosen by the civic body to work on creating various central business districts,” he said.

The move was introduced as an effort to maintain the city’s title as the financial capital, and to continue to attract investment by developing infrastructure, said another civic official.

What is a CBD?
A central business district or CBD is a commercial and business centre, often also called financial districts or hubs. A CBD is characterised by a concentration of retail and office buildings, with smaller residential populations.

Potential CBDs
While Mumbai does not have any official central business districts yet, it is possible that certain highly active financial hubs may be declared as CBDs, such as:
>> Nariman Point
>> Lower Parel
>> Bandra-Kurla Complex
>> Andheri (West)

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