Maharashtra CM announces 40,000-acres of land to attract companies post-Covid-19

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on May 20, 2020 Published on May 20, 2020

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray   -  PTI

Keeping in mind the possibilities of global investors looking at the country for setting up new businesses and industries in the post-Covid-19 world, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra has announced a 40,000-acre land bank.

In his recent address to the State, he had said that at a time when the world has come to a standstill, Maharashtra wants to take off to a new future. Non-polluting industries will get unconditional clearances for setting up units. Land required for industrial units would be given on lease.

However, industry watchers say that Maharashtra Industries Department had tried to implement similar ideas in the past but these could not be translated into new industries being set up in the state. There is a sense of fatigue among investors, which needs to be addressed urgently.

S Sittarasu, Director & Head-Port, Airport & Global Infrastructure Services at JLL India, told BusinessLine that granular data for the five years between 2014-15 to 2018-19 shows that Maharashtra had managed to barley push ahead of other states attracting 13.6 per cent of the total investments during the period. Maharashtra is closely followed by Gujarat, which managed to attract 13.4 per cent of the total investments.

In this period, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu grabbed almost 60 per cent of the major projects due to their locational and other advantages. The prime factors that helped were faster sanctioning of projects, accessibility of raw materials, availability of skilled labour, adequate infrastructure and efficient logistics supply chains, he said.

Sittarasu said that the pandemic story of China has opened up another opportunity for Make in India, where investors would seek the trust and business facilitation mindset of government officials. These investors do not compare the infrastructure development among various Indian states, but against international standards. However, not many new companies would be rushing out of China to Maharashtra post-Covid 19 because they understand the prevailing landscape, he said.

He added that while there is no need to reinvent the wheel, a fresh engagement with global investors is necessary. Manufacturing giants such as Foxconn have been in regular contact with the local government. All that is required is to show confidence and skillful hand-holding.

A former senior IAS officer said that in Maharashtra, the real reason for sluggish growth in getting investments is the trust deficit between business executives and State Secretariat mandarins. The crucial engagement between the two lacks the right mindset and a systematic approach. Some investors became despondent and leave for other shores.

Chandrakant Salunkhe, President of the SME Chamber of India said that there is no clarity on who gets the land on lease ― Indian companies or foreign corporates.

While giving the land, preference should be given to small and medium enterprises as these have huge potential to generate employment but lacks deep pockets.

Salunkhe said that if 40,000 acres are up for lease then it is inadequate as large players from Japan and Korea will require land parcels of 1,000 to 1,500 acres of land.

Published on May 20, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.