Narayan Rane calls Modi’s bluff, says Maharashtra way ahead of Gujarat

The Industries Minister asserted Maharashtra remains the most favoured destination when it comes to industrial investment in India.

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The Industries Minister Narayan Rane, on Tuesday, asserted that Maharashtra still remains the most favoured destination when it comes to industrial investment in India.

While acknowledging the need for a comprehensive industrial policy to further boost the industrial and economic growth, he said, “If we go by the current statistics, Maharashtra remains ahead of Gujarat. For the last five years, the investments made in Maharashtra amount to Rs 82,000 crore, whereas, those of Gujarat are pegged Rs 62,000 crore.”

Rane indicated that state’s GDP was 19 per cent and was higher compared to Gujarat’s 14 per cent.

The minister acknowledged that unnecessary hype was being created about Gujarat by a handful of politicians from Maharashtra.

This comes in the backdrop of politicians, across party lines, voicing their apprehensions over Maharashtra losing its leading industrial status to Gujarat. The political rise of Chief Minister Narendra Modi who is trying to market Gujarat as a role model for administration has forced the ruling Congress to undertake a clinical assessment.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had reiterated that Maharashtra was on the top spot when it came to domestic and foreign investments.

Gujarat’s growth has alarmed the ruling Congress and NCP. The state leadership has, in private, admitted that single party rule and hard administrative decisions have ensured rapid growth there. Maharashtra often finds itself pitted against unforeseen hurdles whenever a policy decision is taken thus prolonging the implementation process.

Rane has been working out a comprehensive industrial policy for state. The roadblocks that lead to the exit of 16 Special Economic Zones in the last one year has baffled

A senior officer in industries ministry said, “Since 2004, we have centred our industrial growth based on success of SEZs. However, we have failed to take it forward. We are unable to provide an alternative model.”

Maharashtra which had attracted highest SEZs in the country got the Centre’s nod for 117. Of which, only 63 are under process and 24 implemented. However, the state had expected 141 SEZs to come into existence. It hopes the SEZs through various phases would generate employment for 65 lakh people across state.

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