In an attempt to attract investments and generate new employment opportunities, Maharashtra on Thursday signed 32 memoranda of understandings (MoUs) with various companies (Indian and international).
The MoUs signed with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) will see companies like Uttam Steel, Tata Autocomp, Mercedes Benz India and Bosch, among a host of others, committing investments worth Rs 23,850 crore and creating jobs for 20,197 people at various stages over the coming years.
According to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, the MoUs signed are for greenfield projects. "It is quite heartening to see that almost $4 billion will get invested. What is particularly important here is that this money will get invested across different MIDC belts and other not-so-developed regions in Maharashtra. I'd like to assure that the Maharashtra government, MIDC, industrial and other departments will continue to support, felicitate and facilitate the businesses that are investing here," said Chavan.
Chavan also stressed that the private sector will have to focus on creating growth and employment opportunities in the region and the state government will have to change its mind-set of being a regulator, licensor of raw materials and various other permissions to that of a facilitator.
"There are still differences and we are trying our best to reduce the friction for the corporate sector to start their businesses," he said. To speed up pending requests, three committees have been set up (with the permission of the Centre) for state-level environment clearances for real estate, mining and industry projects.
Additionally, Maharashtra has launched an investor facilitation centre MAITRI - Maharashtra Industry, Trade and Investment Facilitation Cell, thereby announcing the shift in the government's stance from a service provider to a facilitator. "The objective," according to Sachin Ahir, minister of state for industries, "was to cater to the investors and promote investments into Maharashtra and facilitate business partnerships. The government to business (G2B) portal is a one-stop-shop for prospective investors to get consolidated information about investment process in Maharashtra."
As for the Rs 23,850 crore worth MoUs being signed, the steel sector is the largest contributor, followed by auto and auto components. Health, sugar, breweries, agri-business and engineering are among other sectors where projects are understood to be in various stages of development.
All 32 investors are set to receive incentives under the state government's Mega Project Policy announced in 2005.
Under the policy, the state has so far approved 403 projects with an assured investment of Rs 3,21,099 crore and creating employment opportunities for 3,57,000 persons. Of these mega projects, 114 have gone into production as on date.
Within steel, the largest investment is coming from the promoters of Shree Uttam Steel & Power which have committed Rs 11,156 crore towards setting up a 1.5 million tonne per annum (MTPA) hot-rolled coil plant and a 40 MW captive power plant in Sindhudurg district.
The Indian subsidiary of Mercedes Benz is expanding capacity at its Chakan plant near Pune and has committed Rs 1,500 crore, providing employment to 4,270 people. The new plant will manufacture passenger cars, bus/truck chassis and related auto parts.
After re-entering India, Spanish company SCA Hygiene Products is investing Rs 650 crore over the next five years to set up a facility that will manufacture tissues, baby care and other hygiene products at Ranjangaon near Pune.
Another manufacturer of wide plates, strips and stainless steel slabs, Namco Industries has committed Rs 857.5 crore to set up an electrical equipment plant in Raigad district while German auto component major Bosche has earmarked Rs 753 crore towards expansion of its common rail injector capacity for heavy vehicles at its Nashik facility.
An investment to the tune of Rs 702 crore will be made by Tata Auto Component Systems at its Chakan plant for capacity addition. Amtek Group company Fenace Auto is setting up a state-of-the-art ferrous casting and machinery plant in Pune, with an investment of Rs 550 crore and employment opportunity for 367 people.