Gujarat Investment News

In pre-Budget meet, states ask for higher borrowing limit, more Central funds
The Indian Express | 1 day ago | |
The Indian Express
1 day ago | |

A HIGHER borrowing limit to increase fiscal space available to states; enhancement of funds under the scheme for special assistance for capital investment; limiting the scope of centrally sponsored schemes. These were some of the key demands made by finance ministers of states and union territories in their pre-Budget meeting Friday with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.Tamil Nadu and Bihar called for limiting centrally sponsored schemes, saying that states end up shelling out more funds for sustaining them. The Centre should increase its share of transfers to reduce states’ burden, they said. Chhattisgarh sought funds from the Centre for implementing the Old Pension Scheme.Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said all states, irrespective of the political party in power, expressed a common theme at the meeting — that states’ fiscal autonomy is constrained by the extent of centrally sponsored schemes, by the extent of changing ratios of funding of such schemes.“…and by the fact that states have to top up 2x, 3x and 5x of what the Union gives and still it is centrally sponsored or PM scheme…in old age pension, Tamil Nadu pays Rs 1,000 a month, the Union Government of India only gives Rs 200 a month. Every state, every minister of BJP-government states made the same exact request and many have asked for an extension of GST compensation and also 3.5 per cent fiscal deficit limit,” he told reporters.Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) are implemented by state governments but funded jointly by the Central and state governments with a defined sharing pattern. Bihar Finance Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said these schemes should be limited as the burden on states for them is increasing and Centre should implement only Central schemes if they want to help states. He also said that the borrowing limit should be fixed at 4 per cent of GSDP for states.The Old Pension Scheme found mention in the meeting, with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel asking for Rs 17,240 crore to be returned from the new National Pension System, which will be deposited in a separate pension fund to be used for future pensionary obligations. “Funds should be given for OPS which has been implemented in Chhattisgarh,” he said after the meeting.Finance Ministers of Assam, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Nagaland, Odisha and West Bengal did not attend the meeting.The Union Finance Ministry said in a statement after the meeting that “most of the participants thanked the Union Finance Minister for financially supporting their States/ Union Territories by enhancing borrowing limits, providing two advanced devolution installments and through Special Assistance for capital expenditure. The participants also gave numerous suggestions to the Union Finance Minister for inclusion in the Budget Speech.”More funds for capital expenditure were also demanded by many states, including Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Bihar. Maharashtra put up a proposal of projects worth Rs 3,000 crore under schemes of special assistance to states for capital investment.Although the state has received a grant of Rs 6,800 crore, it urged Centre to consider additional allocation of Rs 3,000 crore for various projects. “The Centre has come up with a very good scheme for special assistance to states for capital investment. Its size has been increased from Rs 15,000 crore during the year 2021-22 to Rs 1 lakh crore for the year 2022-23. This will help states,” Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said he has demanded an increase in capital assistance given to the states. “Have asked for a system where it should be linked to the population. Village-based schemes should be stressed on,” Sangma said.Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy said he has sought special assistance towards capital expenditure. “We have demanded that state-promoted renewable projects be included in the green bond funding scheme,” Reddy said.Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur sought better road, rail, air connectivity in the state to promote tourism, and wanted GST on apple packaging to be reduced to 12 per cent from 18 per cent.Pending dues of compensation cess were also sought by states. Chhattisgarh’s Baghel further urged for continuation of the system of GST compensation for the next five years after June 2022 and demanded Rs 1,875 crores as GST compensation for April-June along with coal royalty amount of Rs 4,140 crore. Royalty for minerals extracted in the state should be increased, he said, adding that it was to be fixed every three years but has not changed over ten years.

In pre-Budget meet, states ask for higher borrowing limit, more Central funds
Yogi woos industry, investors with UP’s law & order, infra, commitment
The Indian Express | 4 days ago | |
The Indian Express
4 days ago | |

Presenting Uttar Pradesh as a land that’s successfully straddling the best of both worlds — from the “blessed land of Lord Ram” to the “modern land of Expressways”; the “Blessed land of Lord Krishna” to the “leading state with five international airports”; and India’s cultural and spiritual capital that’s fast transforming into a “growth engine” for the economy — Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday announced the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit (GIS), to be held February 10-12 next year in Lucknow, and urged investors to find UP as their next big destination.He said UP has set a target of attracting investments amounting to Rs 10 lakh crore through the GIS.In the run-up to the event, Adityanath said, the state government will organise roadshows in 18 countries and seven major domestic cities to “invite industrial investors to (participate in) the summit”.Addressing a curtain-raiser in the national capital, Adityanath said UP government has approached more than 40 countries for support, of which 21 have “expressed their enthusiasm to participate”. Among nations that have confirmed their participation in the GIS as partner countries are the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Singapore, and Mauritius, he said.Assuring investors that his government has established rule of law in the state, he said, “Through our zero-tolerance policy towards crime and criminals, we have assured our investment partners of security.” Adityanath said UP’s business climate has significantly improved over time as a result of effective policy assistance and infrastructure. The state has undertaken several reforms for ease of doing business, he said.The Chief Minister pointed out that the state government has launched the Atal Industrial Infrastructure Mission, and UP is one of the leading states in implementing the PM Gati Shakti National Masterplan.Speaking about development projects, he said the Defence Industrial Corridor is being developed in the state. As part of this, out of six nodes — Agra, Aligarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Jhansi and Chitrakoot — the Aligarh node has already been inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while land allotment is in progress in other nodes, Adityantath said.He said the BrahMos facility in Lucknow and Bharat Dynamics in Jhansi will be set up as part of the corridor. Adityanath said the state’s first medical device park has been inaugurated near the Yamuna Expressway, and, similarly, Film City, Toy Park, Apparel Park, Handicraft Park, Logistics Hub are being developed along the area.He said, “Our state has more than 24 crore people, making it India’s largest labour and consumer market. Government is developing infrastructure to ensure connectivity through air, water, road and railway, which will enhance accessibility of logistics and enable industries to access global and domestic markets.”Emphasising that UP has “infinite possibilities”, Adityanath said the state contributes 8 per cent of national GDP and aims to become the second-largest economy in the country.Presenting UP as a “lucrative” destination for investment, he said it offers 25 sectoral policies, good infrastructure, has the largest MSME units, fertile land, and India’s largest dairy and sugarcane production, among others. “UP has implemented the PM’s mantra — reform, perform and transform — and taken significant steps towards economic prosperity over the last five-and-half years,” Adityanath told the gathering.Asking investors to take advantage of the immense opportunities in UP, Adityanath invited them to join ‘New India’s New Uttar Pradesh’ in its journey towards growth and development.

Yogi woos industry, investors with UP’s law & order, infra, commitment
Slowing inflows, market volatility keep AUM stagnant
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

Ahmedabad: Thanks to the slowing inflow of equity-linked mutual funds backed by a volatile equity market, the assets under management (AUM) for equity MFs remained stagnant in October. According to the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) data, the AUM for equity MFs stood at Rs 1.5 lakh crore as on October 31, 2022, down by a marginal Rs 133.4 crore against September 30, this year. The AUM declined after a consistent three-month rally.While fresh inflows slowed and ceased due to high volatility in the market, many investors booked their profits for Diwali and other reasons, suggest financial consultants.“Indian equity markets have remained to be on a roller-coaster ride over the past one month on account of global and domestic headwinds. As a consequence, fund managers as well as investors had exited stocks to book their profits whenever markets went up, especially in cases where the prospects appeared weak. Moreover, on account of Diwali and the festive season, many investors who needed money to service costs withdrew their investments,” said a city-based financial consultant.Despite the rising outflows, Gujarat strongly held its second position in equity MF AUM amidst other Indian states, second only to Maharashtra (Rs 5.29 lakh crore). “Significant investments in Gujarat are driven by individual investors, both retail and HNIs. The number of demat accounts are on the rise and Maharashtra and Gujarat are two states which account for the highest number of such accounts here. Moreover, traditionally investors here are more inclined towards equity-linked investments,” said the director of a city-based financial advisory firm.Investment consultants suggest SIP inflows continued to remain strong throughout October. According to data provided by AMFI, SIP inflows stood at Rs 13,041 crore during the month, as investors continued to fight back against various global headwinds. “Even though overall trend is down, the number of folios are increasing. This suggests the shaping of a regular investment habit among young investors,” according to AMFI.

Slowing inflows, market volatility keep AUM stagnant
P Chidambaram writes | Gujarat: A model not to follow
The Indian Express | 6 days ago | |
The Indian Express
6 days ago | |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited Gujarat several times since October and he is expected to pay more visits in November before the state goes to elections on December 1 and 5. He has held programmes in practically every one of the 33 districts of Gujarat. As long as the Election Commission was indulgent, the PM was on an ‘inaugural’ spree. These were billed as ‘official’ events, but there was nothing ‘official’ about the contents of the PM’s speeches. In all his speeches (in Gujarat, elsewhere in India and even abroad) there is one recurring theme: the history of modern, resurgent India began in 2014. By the same reasoning, the history of modern, resurgent Gujarat began in 2001. If there is something jarring in those statements (Gujarat, even before India?), I leave it to you to crack the puzzle.According to the PM, Gujarat is the model for India. He is one step away from claiming that India is the model for the world. The people of Gujarat will vote on the PM’s claim in early December. Unfortunately, the people of the world will not have an opportunity to vote on the other claim. I suppose it is their misfortune.Not to be EnviedLet’ s examine the Gujarat Model. I noticed some unique features:The BJP government has been in power but, since 2016, there have been three chief ministers. Among the three, the longest serving was Mr Vijay Rupani — from 2016 to 2021 — but he left such an indelible mark that he was unceremoniously removed from office along with his entire Council of Ministers. ‘Revolving door chief ministers’ is the preferred model for modern, resurgent Gujarat (precedents: Karnataka, Uttarakhand).Another feature of the Gujarat model is the ‘double engine’ government. You may think the double engines are ‘PM & CM’. You are wrong. The double engines are ‘PM & HM’. Nothing moves in Gujarat unless the double engines are fired. When the rest of India follows the Gujarat model, we can get rid of state governments, and get rid of the states as well, and create ‘One India, One Government’.Pride in DeclineA notable feature of the Gujarat model is declining growth rates, but ascending Gujarati pride. The state GDP’s growth rates in four years have been the following:2017-18: 10.7 per cent, 2018-19: 8.9, 2019-20: 7.3 and 2020-21: -1.9. You may ask if the All India GDP’s growth rates were on the decline since 2017-18. The answer is ‘of course, yes’. It is because India emulated the Gujarat model. If post-pandemic, there was a bounce in Gujarat’s GSDP of 2021-22, there was a bounce in the All India GDP too. What Gujarat did yesterday, India will do tomorrow.Another feature that India will adopt is the principle of ‘No apology, no resignation’. The Morbi bridge’s collapse killed 135 people including 53 children. The scale of the tragedy did not call for the PM to address the media and take questions. The High Court pointed out that there was a one and one-quarter page agreement; no Expression of Interest; no tender; no pre-qualifications; no competitive bids; no conditions; no fitness certificate after the bridge got a fresh coat of paint (so-called repair); and yet the bridge was opened to the public. As a principle, Gujarat believes in ‘no apologies and no resignations’. In the future, India too will follow this principled principle of no accountability.Like a pride of lions (preferably from the Gir forest), there is pride in numbers. The numbers enhance Gujarati asmita (pride). For example, look at this table of promised investment and actual investment in Gujarat:India’s asmita too will be enhanced as the gap widens between promise and reality.Women, Youth and ChildrenGujarat is a Model of how (not) to treat women, starting with the girl child. The sex ratio (female to male) is 919 as against the All India average of 943. While the Labour Participation Rate (LPF) is 41.0 per cent, the LPF for females is 23.4 per cent. Where are the missing girl children? And if they survive, 76 per cent do not work outside their homes.The Gujarat Model does not burden youth with work. The unemployment rate among youth aged 20-24 years is 12.49 per cent. They are well-rested before the elections.Gujarat is a Model of (not) caring for children, their nutrition and their health. Among children, 39 per cent are stunted and 39.7 per cent are underweight. Wasted children amount to 25.1 per cent. In these indicators, Gujarat ranks between 26 and 29 among the 30 states of India.The Gujarat Model faithfully followed the RSS’ dictum that ‘all Indians living in this country are Hindus’. Consequently, Muslims constituting 9.67 per cent of the state’s population are Hindus. Therefore, under the Gujarat Model, the BJP has not fielded a Muslim candidate (in 182 seats) in the quinquennial Assembly elections since 1995.The Gujarat Model must be exported to other states and other countries as well. A vote for the Gujarat Model will ensure those goals are achieved. Amen.

P Chidambaram writes | Gujarat: A model not to follow
India needs to increase urban infrastructure investments to $55 billion a year: World Bank
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

To meet the needs of the growing urban population, India needs to increase its annual investment in city infrastructure from an average of $10.6 billion a year in the past decade to an average of $55 billion a year for the next 15 years, a World Bank report released Monday said.The report, titled ‘Financing India’s Infrastructure Needs: Constraints to Commercial Financing and Prospects for Policy Action’, estimated that India would need $840 billion over the next 15 years.“By 2036, 600 million people will be living in urban cities in India, representing 40% of the population. This is likely to put additional pressure on the already stretched urban infrastructure and services of Indian cities – with more demand for clean drinking water, reliable power supply, efficient and safe road transport amongst others. Currently, the central and state governments finance over 75% of city infrastructure, while urban local bodies (ULB) finance 15% through their own surplus revenues,” a World Bank statement said.About half of the investment needed – $450 billion – in the next 15 years was in the basic municipal services sector that includes water supply, sewerage, solid waste management, roads and streetlights, while most of the remaining amount was to address urban transport requirements, the report said.As of now, only 5 per cent of the urban infrastructure investments were coming from the private sector.“With government’s current (2018) annual urban infrastructure investments topping at $16 billion, much of the gap will require private financing,” the statement said.The report studied the ULBs of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, where it found that all-India trends for financing were reflected. Over three-quarters of the total urban capital expenditure in the two states came from the Union and state governments. About 70 per cent of the urban capital expenditure in Tamil Nadu and 55 per cent in Gujarat came from the state governments.“Commercial financing was negligible in Gujarat, contributing only 1% of total ULB capex state-wide. ULBs in Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, raised as much as 12% of their total capex from commercial financing – primarily loans from state-controlled FIs [financial institutions],” the report said.The report said the relatively low charges for municipal services and a weak regulatory framework were adding to the challenges.“Between 2011 and 2018, urban property tax stood at 0.15% of GDP compared to an average of 0.3-0.6% of GDP for low and middle-income countries. Low service charges for municipal services also undermines their financial viability and attractiveness to private investment,” the report said.Among its suggestions, the World Bank report recommended making the transfer of funds to cities formula-based and unconditional and increasing the mandates of city agencies gradually.“The Government of India can play an important role in removing market frictions that cities face in accessing private financing. The World Bank report proposes a range of measures that can be taken by city, state, and federal agencies to bend the arc towards a future in which private commercial finance becomes a much bigger part of the solution to India’s urban investment challenge,” said Roland White, a co-author of the report and the global lead of city management and finance at World Bank.

India needs to increase urban infrastructure investments to $55 billion a year: World Bank
Stonemart generates biz inquiries worth ₹1,200cr
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

Jaipur: India Stonemart-2022 has generated business and trade inquiries worth Rs 1,200 crore and as many as 1400 business-to-business meetings were held with 116 buyers from 19 countries. The event attracted 30,000 visitors during the four days.Chairman RIICO and CDOS, Kuldeep Ranka said that Indianisation of machinery has helped in reducing the cost and expanding the industry. “This is a testament to the technological advancement in our country. Stones have a huge role to play in preserving our history and keeping our culture alive,” he added. Speaking at the valedictory function of the event on Sunday, Ranka said that owing to path breaking policies in Rajasthan, there is a whopping growth rate of 535% in industrial investment in the state. “Together the states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat account for 75% of industrial investment in the country. Even though Gujarat and Maharashtra have an advantage of coastline over Rajasthan, the latter still attracts huge industrial investments and has become a role model for other states,” said Ranka.RIICO managing director Shivprasad Nakate said that business and trade inquiries worth Rs 1,200 crore indicates the success of the event. “Despite Covid-19, we have seen encouraging participation from exhibitors and trade visitors with total exhibit area of 13832 sq. m. There were 348 exhibitors, three0 country pavilions of Iran, Portugal and Turkey as well as 2 state pavilions of Gujarat and Odisha,” added Nakate.Stonemart also witnessed good participation of machinery and tools and earth moving equipment manufacturers and technology providers as well. This will result in technology tie-ups and adoption of newer and latest techniques and technologies in mining, processing, value addition etc.

Stonemart generates biz inquiries worth ₹1,200cr
Mutual fund assets: Gujarat only state with 3 cities in top 15
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

AHMEDABAD: Despite troughs and crests, retail investors in Gujarat still have faith in mutual fund (MF) investments. Gujarat is the only Indian state with three cities in the country's Top 15 in terms of assets under management (AUM) in mutual funds. As of September 30 this year, Ahmedabad (6th), Vadodara (9th) and Surat (12th) accounted for 80% of the assets under management from Gujarat, according to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). Mutual fund assets of Gujarat investors were valued at Rs 2.27 lakh crore in September, of which these three cities account for Rs 1.83 lakh crore. Last year, Ahmedabad pipped Chennai to the sixth rank. Vadodara's rank also improved from 10th to 9th this quarter and Surat inched up from 12 to 11. A city-based mutual funds consultant said, "Most of the investment here is driven by equity MFs. Since July last year, equity markets have been doing fairly well and despite recent volatility, investors' faith in the Indian equity markets has remained strong due to high returns. No other state has three cities in the top 15 in India. This is because of high levels of retail investor participation." "Gujaratis are typically savvy in equity investing and have a greater risk appetite. Earlier, this was seen only in Ahmedabad. Other cities are fast catching up. This is unlike Delhi or Maharashtra, where assets under management is driven by institutional investors and wealth and investors are concentrated in one city," the consultant added. MF advisors also highlighted that investment levels rose sharply after demonetization. "After 2016, a lot of money came into formal channels. This over the years grew with greater awareness among investors and after the Covid-19 pandemic the inclination to save was greater," said a city-based mutual funds advisor.

Mutual fund assets: Gujarat only state with 3 cities in top 15
  • Mutual fund assets: Guj only state with 3 cities in Top 15
  • Times of India

    Ahmedabad: Despite troughs and crests, retail investors in Gujarat still have faith in mutual fund (MF) investments. Gujarat is the only Indian state with three cities in the country’s Top 15 in terms of assets under management (AUM) in mutual funds. As of September 30 this year, Ahmedabad (6th), Vadodara (9th) and Surat (12th) accounted for 80% of the assets under management from Gujarat, according to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). Mutual fund assets of Gujarat investors were valued at Rs 2.27 lakh crore in September, of which these three cities account for Rs 1.83 lakh crore.Last year, Ahmedabad pipped Chennai to the sixth rank. Vadodara’s rank also improved from 10th to 9th this quarter and Surat inched up from 12 to 11.A city-based mutual funds consultant said, “Most of the investment here is driven by equity MFs. Since July last year, equity markets have been doing fairly well and despite recent volatility, investors’ faith in the Indian equity markets has remained strong due to high returns. No other state has three cities in the top 15 in India. This is because of high levels of retail investor participation.”“Gujaratis are typically savvy in equity investing and have a greater risk appetite. Earlier, this was seen only in Ahmedabad. Other cities are fast catching up. This is unlike Delhi or Maharashtra, where assets under management is driven by institutional investors and wealth and investors are concentrated in one city,” the consultant added. MF advisors also highlighted that investment levels rose sharply after demonetization. “After 2016, a lot of money came into formal channels. This over the years grew with greater awareness among investors and after the Covid-19 pandemic the inclination to save was greater,” said a city-based mutual funds advisor.

Panel met in July over Vedanta: Ajit Pawar
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Nashik: The leader of the opposition, Ajit Pawar, on Friday said that the high-powered committee met in July this year to discuss the Vedanta-Foxconn investment and alleged that the Shinde government is trying to mislead people.He also dared the Eknath Shinde led state government to specify the quantum of investments that Maharashtra will get and the employment it will generate. “After two mega projects went to Gujarat, the state government has been claiming that several big-ticket industrial projects will come to our state. I demand the state government to make public the list of investment proposals that Maharashtra has received and the amount of investment and the employment that it would generate,” said Pawar. According to Pawar, who was in Shirdi on Friday to take part in NCP’s two-day workshop, there is tremendous resentment among the youth ever since the two big projects — Vedanta-Foxconn and Tata-Airbus — went to Gujarat as these two investments would have generated huge employment for them.“If the government does not act fast to generate employment, the anger and frustration among the youth would spell trouble for the government and tarnish its image,” warned Pawar.Denying that the Vedanta-Foxconn project had taken the decision to move to Gujarat during the MVA regime, Pawar claimed that in July this year, when the Shinde government was in power, there was a high powered committee meeting to discuss the Vedanta-Foxconn project in Maharashtra.“If Vedanta-Foxconn had decided to take the project to Gujarat during the MVA regime, then why did the Shinde government have this high-powered committee meeting on this issue in July. The government is trying to mislead people on the issue by blaming the MVA government,” added Pawar.Pawar said that during the two-day workshop of the party, several issues like unemployment, inflation would be discussed so that the party leaders are aware of them and highlight those issues before the people.“This workshop will also discuss the forthcoming civic polls in the state, which is expected in near future and how NCP should prepare for the polls. Our party supremo is likely to address the party leaders in the workshop on Saturday,” added Pawar.

Panel met in July over Vedanta: Ajit Pawar
Govt to bring white paper on projects going to other states
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

THE MAHARASHTRA government will issue a white paper in the next 30 days on some mega projects going out of the state and if any steps were taken by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to retain them, Industries Minister Uday Samant said in Mumbai on Tuesday.The Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government is under fire from the Opposition, which has accused the ruling dispensation of failing to retain big-ticket Vedanta-Foxconn and Tata-Airbus projects in the state.Both projects chose Gujarat over Maharashtra to set up their units.The state government had alleged that the projects went out of Maharashtra due to inaction by the erstwhile MVA government.“The industries department will bring out a white paper in the next 30 days, which will focus on why mega investment projects like Vedanta-Foxconn, Tata-Airbus among others went to other states. What steps were taken by the previous government to keep these projects in Maharashtra?” Samant told mediapersons.He added that the white paper will throw light on all facts. “Some people are deliberately spreading lies about these projects. It will be clear once and for all after the white paper will be issued,” he said.A white paper is an informational document that highlights the features of a solution, product, or service.Samant said there is no documentary evidence that the MVA government had initiated any communication with the Tata-Airbus joint venture to set up their plant in Maharashtra. “If there is any proof for the same, it should be made public”.Queried on Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction’s claim that 129 MoUs had been signed by the MVA government for setting up various projects in Maharashtra, Samant said that mere signing of MoUs does not mean the investment is realised.“The government has to come up with incentives, (subsidised) water and electricity charges, land allotments among other factors (to attract investment). If these incentives are given then only any company will finalise its plant in a particular area,” he said.

Govt to bring white paper on projects going to other states
Modi govt moving towards ‘licence raj’ in country, says former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Raising the issue of several major investments going to the state of Gujarat, senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said there is a fear that the Narendra Modi-led Union government is bringing back “licence raj” by concentrating all powers in the Prime Minister.“The way the Modi government is behaving it seems they are moving towards licence raj in the country which the Congress had brought to an end in the past. There are efforts to keep all powers of investments in the country with the Prime Minister. It is not good for the country,” Chavan told reporters.The former chief minister said it was not only private investment that was being diverted from Maharashtra to other states including Gujarat, but government investment was also being diverted. “The Marine Police Academy was planned by the Congress in Maharashtra’s Palghar, but after Modi came to power it was shifted to Dwarka. The Modi government also shifted the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) from Mumbai to Gandhinagar in the past and the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis did not say a single word about it,” Chavan said.The Congress leader pointed out that later, to enable foreign delegates to commute to Gandhinagar, the bullet train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad was conceptualised by the Modi government. “Who had demanded a bullet train in Maharashtra? It was forced on the state along with 50 per cent of the expenditure. If Maharashtra wanted a bullet train, it would be between Mumbai to Nagpur or Mumbai to Pune,” he said.Many private investment plans have gone out of Maharashtra and many are more going, Chavan said, “The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is saying the Union government will give much bigger projects to Maharashtra. They are moving towards a licence raj with all powers with the Prime Minister.”He said private investors consider certain issues before launching their project, including political stability. “They notice political stability and watch unstable and uncertain situations closely as it would have an adverse impact on investments,” Chavan said, adding that there is uncertainty over the current state government and the Supreme Court would hopefully clear the situation at the earliest.Chavan also spoke about the preparations by the local unit of the Congress for participation in the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ led by Rahul Gandhi during its Maharashtra leg. “There will be public awareness rallies in the city to encourage people to participate in the yatra. Representatives of civil society will be urged to join,” said city Congress chief Arvind Shinde.The city unit will collect sand from various historical and prominent locations, along with water from various rivers, and hand it to Gandhi for carrying out a tree plantation during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, said former Congress chief Abhay Chhajed.

Modi govt moving towards ‘licence raj’ in country, says former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan
Tata-Airbus project row: Fadnavis claims decision to shift project taken during Uddhav’s tenure
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Amid a row over the Tata-Airbus manufacturing project going to Gujarat, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday claimed that the state losing out on investments is a “false narrative” and alleged that the Tata-Airbus project decision was taken during former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s tenure.“Political parties, their ecosystem, and certain journalists are creating a fake narrative in Maharashtra by claiming industries are going out of Maharashtra under the current government. The MoU signing and the decision to shift the project to Gujarat was taken during Thackeray’s tenure as chief minister of Maharashtra,” Fadnavis said.Fadnavis went on to claim that no company wanted to invest in the state due to the corruption cases against leaders of the former Maha Vikas Aghadi government. He also said during the press conference at Mumbai’s Mantralaya that the Tata-Airbus consortium had rued the “lack of conducive” atmosphere in the state last year.Fadnavis’ claims come at a time when the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra is facing criticism from the Opposition for letting the state miss out on another major project, worth Rs 22,000 crore to manufacture C-295 military transport aircraft. The development comes months after a similar row in September over the state losing out on the Vedanta Foxconn semiconductor project to Gujarat.Speaking to reporters, Fadnavis said, “I had personally invited the chiefs of the Tata Airbus Defence projects on April 24, 2021, at my residence ‘Sagar’, despite being a leader of opposition in the state. I spoke to them and told them as a senior leader I would speak with the then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to keep the project in Maharashtra. However, they told me ‘yahan ka mahol investment jaise nahi hai, Devendraji‘ (the atmosphere in the state is not worth an investment).”Fadnavis, who served as chief minister from 2014 to 2019, said he was following up with the companies since 2016 and kept doing it till 2019. In one of the early meetings with the Tata-Airbus consortium officials, Fadnavis said, he had offered extra facilities to ensure the project remains in Maharashtra, but the state government that took over (in late 2019) did nothing to retain the project.Fadnavis also alleged that the project was possibly opposed by the MVA government as it was coming to Vidarbha.Meanwhile, Fadnavis vowed to make Maharashtra the top destination in terms of investment in the next two years. “The mega refinery project will continue in Maharashtra. The Centre has given the maximum amount of infrastructure projects to Maharashtra. We’ve planned to invest Rs 25,000 crores in Maharashtra,” he saidLIVE | Media interaction in #Mumbai https://t.co/SgsHi4GxUH— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) October 31, 2022Amid the row, Fadnavis announced that the Centre approved an electronics manufacturing cluster at Ranjangaon in Pune district under the National Policy on Electronics. “This will create robust electronics manufacturing ecosystem in Maharashtra. This Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Ranjangaon will be spread across 297.11 acre & Rs 492.85 crore will be spent on development. Rs 207.98 crore is GoI’s contribution,” he tweeted, thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Tata-Airbus project row: Fadnavis claims decision to shift project taken during Uddhav’s tenure
Old Pension Scheme: Why it is at centre of poll discourse in state after state
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

The promise of restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) is one of the planks upon which the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party are contesting elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.For three months between August and October, employees in Himachal, organising themselves under the New Pension Scheme Employees’ Association, were on a hunger strike demanding the restoration of the old system. In May and September, thousands of employees conducted major rallies in various parts of Gujarat, making the same demand.Inaugurating the party’s campaign in Himachal at a rally earlier this month, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the party would restore the OPS if voted to power. In a tweet in Hindi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Congress would promise “fixed jobs for contractual workers, bringing back the old pension scheme and timely promotions” in Gujarat.Gujarat has over 7 lakh state government employees, and a return to OPS could impact 3-4 lakh employees. Himachal has 2.5 lakh employees.AAP had also promised a return to the OPS during the Punjab poll campaign in February this year, vowing to restore the OPS within a month of coming to power. As protests against the delay threatened to embarrass the party amidst the Himachal poll campaign, on October 22, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announced it would fulfill the promise.The issue also figured in the Uttar Pradesh elections this February.The OPS, the NPSAs per the OPS – discontinued on April 1, 2004 – pension constituted 50 per cent of the last drawn salary of an employee. This entire amount was paid by the government. The government replaced this system with the national pension scheme (NPS) or contributory pension scheme for employees who joined on or after April 1, 2004.Under the new scheme, regulated under the PFRDA (The Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority) Act, 2013, every government employee is allotted a Permanent Retirement Account Number, and has to mandatorily contribute 10% of pay and dearness allowance to the pension fund, which is matched by the government. This money can then be invested by fund managers. After the latest amendment, in 2019, the government share of the contribution has been raised to 14% from 10%.On retirement, the employee can withdraw 60% of the corpus but is required to invest at least 40% to purchase an annuity from an insurance firm regulated and registered by government authorities. The interest on the annuity is to be provided as a monthly pension to the employee.The changeThe basic difference is that the NPS is a contribution-based pension system. Under the old system, pension was fixed as 50% of the last basic salary drawn, along with other benefits. Hence, the benefit due was defined beforehand. However, in the case of the NPS, the pension benefit is determined by factors such as the amount of contribution made, the age of joining, type of investment, and the income drawn from that investment.Many employee unions have also voiced the fear that there can be no guarantee of fixed returns on the pension money invested by fund managers, and have cited previous instances of fraud.The Centre left it to states to adopt the new system, and they have the power to roll it back.Before Punjab announced it would do so, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan announced the restoration of the OPS.

Old Pension Scheme: Why it is at centre of poll discourse in state after state
Devendra Fadnavis' New Attack On Uddhav Thackeray Over Tata-Airbus Project
Ndtv | 3 weeks ago | |
Ndtv
3 weeks ago | |

Devendra Fadnavis said consortium officials rued "lack of conducive" atmosphere in the stateMumbai: Amid a row over Tata-Airbus picking Gujarat to set up the aircraft manufacturing project, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said officials of the consortium had last year rued the "lack of conducive" atmosphere in the state.Amid a row, he claimed the decision to shift the project was taken when Uddhav Thackeray was the chief minister.The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was in power in Maharashtra from November 2019 to June 2022.Fadnavis' revelation came amid a tussle between the ruling Eknath Shinde dispensation and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray)-led opposition over the Rs 22,000 crore project to manufacture C-295 military transport aircraft moving from Maharashtra to Vadodara in Gujarat."I had personally invited the chiefs of the Tata Airbus Defence projects on April 24, 2021, at my residence 'Sagar', despite being a leader of opposition in the state. I spoke to them and told them as a senior leader I will speak with the then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to keep the project in Maharashtra."However, they told me 'yahan ka mahol investment jaise nahi hai, Devendraji' (the atmosphere in the state is not worth an investment)," he told reporters.Fadnavis, who was the chief minister from 2014 to 2019, said he was following up with the companies since 2016 and kept doing it till 2019. "After the new government (Uddhav-led Maha Vikas Aghadi) was formed, I noticed some decisions taken earlier were being changed," he alleged.Fadnavis said, in one of the early meetings with officials of the companies (Tata-Airbus consortium), he had offered extra facilities to ensure the project remains in Maharashtra, but the state government that took over (in late 2019) did nothing to retain the project."I had even passed a message in 2021 to then (state nodal investment promotion agency) MIDC CEO to pass it on to state industries minister and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. However, no action was taken. Not a single letter was sent to keep the project here. "The MoU signing and the decision to shift the project to Gujarat was taken during Thackeray's tenure as chief minister of Maharashtra," Fadnavis said.The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader went on to allege the project was possibly opposed (by the then state government) as it was coming to Nagpur, which is his home district."Some kind of fake narrative is being pushed in society by the opposition which wasted its two-and-half-year tenure only in criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"French (aviation) firm Safran opened its (aircraft MRO) facility in Hyderabad in Telangana in 2021. But the opposition is blaming us (Shinde-BJP dispensation) for losing that project," he added.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Devendra Fadnavis' New Attack On Uddhav Thackeray Over Tata-Airbus Project
As row over mega projects intensifies, Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis announces Rs 492-crore electronics manufacturing cluster
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

With criticism over Maharashtra losing industrial projects to Gujarat mounting, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP Monday announced that the Centre approved an electronics manufacturing cluster at Ranjangaon in Pune district under the National Policy on Electronics.“This will create robust electronics manufacturing ecosystem in Maharashtra. This Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Ranjangaon will be spread across 297.11 acre & Rs 492.85 crore will be spent on development. Rs 207.98 crore is GoI’s contribution,” he tweeted, thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi.𝙳𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝙼𝚊𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚜𝚑𝚝𝚛𝚊,𝙲𝚑𝚎𝚌𝚔 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚘𝚞𝚝 👇🏻I am extremely grateful to Hon PM @narendramodi ji as Government of India approves Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Ranjangaon in Pune district under National Policy on Electronics.#Maharashtra #Investment pic.twitter.com/MT2wF4QrmR— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) October 31, 2022https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsFadnavis said the EMC, targeted to attract Rs 2,000 crore investment and to generate 5,000 employment opportunities, will be ready in 32 months.“This EMC will target units of industrial electronics, consumer electronics, solar PV manufacturing, E-Mobility products/components etc,” he tweeted.The Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and the Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction have been protesting against the Eknath Shinde government over Maharashtra losing out on investments. They demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Shinde and Industries Minister Uday Samant for letting the proposed Rs 21,935-crore Tata-Airbus military transport aircraft manufacturing facility go to Gujarat.Earlier, Gujarat had pipped Maharashtra to land a joint venture of mining conglomerate Vedanta and Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn.The NCP Pune city unit staged a protest Monday accusing the Maharashtra government of working in the interest of Gujarat and hampering the prospects of youths in the state. The NCP had said earlier that Shinde should own moral responsibility for key projects going to Gujarat and resign the way British prime minister Liz Truss did.

As row over mega projects intensifies, Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis announces Rs 492-crore electronics manufacturing cluster
NCP protest in Pune against Shinde-Fadnavis govt over Maharashtra losing out on investments
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

With senior NCP leaders launching a scathing attack on the Shinde-Fadnavis government over Maharashtra losing out on mega investment projects, the party’s Pune city unit staged a protest on Monday accusing the newly formed government of working in the interest of Gujarat and hampering the prospects of youths in the state.The protest was led by city chief of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Prashant Jagtap outside Mamledar Kacheri in the heart of Pune. Agitators raised slogans against the state government and carried banners stating that the alliance sought votes for Maharashtra’s development but was more keen to develop poll-bound Gujarat.“A large number of private investments planned in the state have gone out since the formation of the Shinde-Fadnavis government. They have snatched the employment opportunities of thousands of youths in the state,” said Jagtap.“The new government is more inclined towards the development of poll-bound Gujarat rather than their own state,” he said, adding that the Chief Minister is made to make rounds of Delhi and fed with issues to divert the public’s attention from important issues like inflation, unemployment and industries going to Gujarat.City NCP spokesperson Pradeep Deshmukh said the Shinde-Fadnavis government’s only agenda is to “rehabilitate” the 50 rebel legislators who joined the Eknath Shinde faction that left the Shiv Sena led by Uddav Thackeray. “They have no concern towards the unemployed youth of the state. They have failed to retain investment projects that were proposed in the state,” Deshmukh said.

NCP protest in Pune against Shinde-Fadnavis govt over Maharashtra losing out on investments
Ahead of polls, Gujarat announces new electronics policy aiming to create 10 lakh jobs
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

The Gujarat government Saturday announced “Gujarat Electronics Policy 2022-’28” with the aim to create 10 lakh jobs — double of what was promised in the earlier policy for 2016-’21. The policy comes at a time when Assembly polls are around the corner.The new policy announced by Minister for Science & Technology Jitu Vaghani targets to create USD 30 billion from electronic manufacturing in Gujarat and provide job opportunities for 10 lakh people by the end of 2028.In the 2016-’21 policy, the state government aimed to establish Gujarat as a globally-recognised hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) industry, with a turnover of USD 16 billion by 2021 and new job opportunities for 5 lakh people.On the previous policy, Vijay Nehra, secretary, science and technology department said, “We attracted an investment of approximately Rs 19,000 crore and created 16,000 jobs.” In June 2022, the Gujarat government had announced its maiden Semiconductor Policy, which promised to create two lakh jobs in the next five years.Compared to the previous policy, the ceiling for capital support provided to ESDM units has been doubled to Rs 200 for investments upto Rs 1,000 crore, while certain provisions — such as 100 per cent reimbursement of stamp duty and registration fee, interest assistance on term loans, electricity subsidy of Re 1 per unit, 100 per cent reimbursement of electricity duty, and EPF reimbursements — remain the same.“Capital assistance has been significantly enhanced. The important aspect of infrastructure creation has been introduced, along with serious thrust on skilling initiatives and creating a skilled workforce for the mega investments that are expected to flow. The dedicated implementation mechanism in the form of Gujarat State Electronics Mission — which was earlier part of the policy, but was not created — is now in place and it will implement this policy,” said Nehra about the new policy.The new policy provides logistics subsidy for ESDM units. The government has offered to reduce operational costs of such units by providing support for transportation of goods, raw materials, machinery required for core manufacturing activities. This includes a support of up to 25 per cent of the freight charges, up to Rs 5 crore per year for five years and a one-time support for relocating their manufacturing operations from outside India to Gujarat.The government will also reimburse 50 per cent of the cost incurred on import of manufacturing equipment up to Rs 5 crore.“Most of electronics industry is located on the eastern coast of India, which is closer to South-East Asia where the raw materials come from. So we are trying to cover some of the costs of additional transportation to Gujarat through this subsidy,” Nehra added.The “market development support” offered to MSMEs and patent assistance seems to be missing in 2022-’28 policy.The IAS officer said, “Since the capex subsidy is huge, we have taken a careful decision to make it easy to claim incentives, rather than giving different incentives and creating more complications.”The new policy also talks about creation of new Electronics Manufacturing Cluster and common R&D facilities.“To strengthen the Gujarat Electronics ecosystem and to develop a robust electronics manufacturing infrastructure in the State, the Government, through its established agencies such as Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, Dholera Special Investment Region Development Authority etc. may establish Electronics Manufacturing Clusters at strategic locations within the State in the next five years,” states the policy.

Ahead of polls, Gujarat announces new electronics policy aiming to create 10 lakh jobs
Maharashtra loses Tata-Airbus JV to Gujarat: BJP’s stand is fraught with political risk
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

It’s not just another investment that Maharashtra has lost to Gujarat in the Rs 21,935-crore Tata-Airbus plant — the development poses the danger of weakening the BJP’s Rate of Return (RoR) on political investment in Maharashtra, besides rendering the state leadership vulnerable like never before. Coming just after the Foxconn-Vedanta mega project spurning Maharashtra for Gujarat, Tata-Airbus’s move is bound to raise an important question: Where does the state BJP leadership go from here?The Maharashtra BJP leadership had three leaders who played defining roles as the party charted its national ambitions. Each one from the troika of Pramod Mahajan, Gopinath Munde and Nitin Gadkari was instrumental in the BJP breaking its inherent barriers. Mahajan effortlessly steered the party away from the shadow of the RSS, Munde was the face of the BJP’s mission to bring OBCs into its fold and Gadkari was a vital bridge between the old and new BJP. Then emerged Devendra Fadnavis in the vacuum created by the untimely deaths of Mahajan and Munde, to share space with Gadkari. Incidentally, both Brahmins, equally suave and media-savvy, come from the same city Nagpur and have a strong allegiance to the RSS. A point to be noted: Fadnavis and Gadkari both possess excellent skills to lead the party at the national level and both have mastered statecraft.So a bird’s eye view of the recent developments, where Eknath Shinde was handed the reins of the BJP-Sena breakaway group, followed by the Tata-Airbus project moving to election-bound Gujarat even though Gadkari was seen trying to get it to Maharashtra, offers one message: Anyone who comes closer to emerging as a national leader faces ignominy at the hands of the party’s masters in Delhi. Whether Congress or the BJP, no party likes its regional leadership to grow beyond permissible limits. Besides, the episode also says something about the BJP’s political exuberance.For the BJP what matters more is the arithmetic for the 2024 general elections. Each and every seat counts. Earlier it had two big “safe” states: Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Thanks to Nitish Kumar, it is now left with only UP. Having lost Bihar, the party was in search of a region that could make up for the damage that could be caused by an important alliance partner like the JD(U). With 48 seats, Maharashtra was the obvious choice. This numerical reality explains the BJP’s urgency in forming an alliance with the Shiv Sena breakaway group and installing Shinde as the chief minister.Having secured Maharashtra and disarmed the Shiv Sena for the 2024 polls, the second most important state for the BJP’s central leadership is Gujarat, for obvious reasons. Though it is ruling the western state, the political situation there is far from being comfortable. Despite two of its tallest leaders coming from Gujarat, the circumstances of the BJP’s victory in the 2017 state elections were hardly reassuring. In the 182-member Gujarat assembly, the BJP, despite its leadership and all the resources at its command, barely managed a simple majority with 99 seats. On the other hand, the leaderless, rudderless Congress, with all its weaknesses, bagged as many as 77 seats. The BJP state leadership since then — first Vijay Rupani and now the incumbent chief minister Bhupendra Patel — has been anything but inspiring. It’s no wonder that the party is leaving no stone unturned to retain Gujarat.Though the BJP’s desperation for and obsession with Gujarat is understandable, its move in Maharashtra — leaving its own state leadership bruised, if not battered — is intriguing. Right from the day both states came into being in 1960, Maharashtra and Gujarat have shared an acrimonious history. The fact of the then leadership of the Congress, Moraraji Desai and others, having an apparent bias against Maharashtrians, leading to the Shiv Sena’s rise, should have made the BJP leadership wary of being seen as so pro-Gujarati. However, the party seems totally unmindful. Or maybe the confidence of being able to “manage” states on its own, irrespective of the ground reality has blurred, if not blinded, the BJP leadership’s political vision.Whatever the cause, the effect is twofold. On the one hand, it has put the state BJP leadership in an awkward position, and on the other, the party has placed itself, inadvertently maybe, next to Congress which ceded its political space in Maharashtra because of its apparent anti-Maharashtra politics. The difference this time, however, is the rise of the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party. On paper, it looks like yet another Congress off-shoot. However, in reality, it is a rural version of the Shiv Sena which is thriving on strong regional sentiments. It’s no wonder that it’s the NCP and not the Shiv Sena that is at the forefront in attacking the BJP for snatching investors from Maharashtra. The BJP, by blatantly taking two of Maharashtra’s mega projects away to Gujarat, has thus strengthened the NCP’s plank. It’s not for nothing that it’s the NCP leadership that is now facing constant attack from the BJP: The party knows that the NCP and the Shiv Sena — both playing the regional pride card, the former in rural Maharashtra and the latter in cities — continue to pose a formidable challenge.It is this backdrop that makes the BJP leadership’s pro-Gujarati stand inexplicable, besides making for bad optics. In trying to win over Gujarat, the party may end up helping the opposition in Maharashtra. History shows that political hubris does not always lead to a happy ending.The writer is editor, Loksatta

Maharashtra loses Tata-Airbus JV to Gujarat: BJP’s stand is fraught with political risk
  • Aircraft project now ‘lost’ to Gujarat, Maharashtra govt fears blowback
  • The Indian Express

    FOUR MONTHS and three “lost” projects. While the BJP-Shinde Sena Maharashtra government is trying to put up a brave face, the announcement of yet another mega investment that was expected to come up in the state moving to Gujarat is weighing heavy on it. Worse, the hands of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy, Devendra Fadnavis, are tied as the BJP is in power in both the states.That leaves the Maharashtra government no one to blame, and without an answer to the charge that the Centre is directing the investments to the neighbouring state ahead of elections thereOn Thursday, as news came of the Tata-Airbus transport aircraft project also going Gujarat’s way – after the Vedanta-Foxconn and bulk drug park deals – the Opposition launched an offensive on the Shinde government. Together, the projects would have amounted to more than Rs 2 lakh crore in investment and thousands of jobs.Former industries minister Subhash Desai, of the Uddhav Shiv Sena, wondered at the “coincidence” of big projects moving to Gujarat soon after the Shinde government came to power. “It is evident that the constitution of the new government was to facilitate exodus of investments from Maharashtra to Gujarat,” he said.Former minister Aaditya Thackeray said: “It’s time the state government explains why all projects are going to Gujarat. They boast of a double engine sarkar. But sadly, it seems both engines in the state have failed.” It seems the Centre is guarding Gujarat’s welfare, Thackeray said.Calling it “sad” that thousands of youths in Maharashtra will be deprived of jobs, senior NCP leader and former minister Chhagan Bhujbal said, “I have written a letter to the authorities to set up the Tata-Airbus project in Nashik in Maharashtra. We will provide them land and other logistics required.”State NCP president Jayant Patil accused Shidne and Fadnavis of “complacency”. Both are busy holding political rallies, he said. “Efforts required to pursue such projects are clearly lacking. And this has resulted in Gujarat grabbing opportunities.”Countering the charges, Maharashtra Industries Minister Uday Samant claimed on Friday that the deal to set up the aircraft project in Gujarat had been signed by the Centre in September last year, when the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was in power. He accused the Opposition of creating “confusion” over the project. “Be it the Vedanta-Foxconn project or the Tata-Airbus project, the decision about where to set up these projects was taken before this (Eknath Shinde-led) government came to power in late June this year,” Samant said.State BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule said it was during the MVA government that Maharashtra’s economy and industry were badly neglected. “Other states went ahead of Maharashtra.” Now, he said, Shinde and Fadnavis were working relentlessly to put the state’s industry on the right track.The Defence Ministry announced the Tata-Airbus project worth Rs 22,000 crore on Thursday, to come up in Vadodara, under which a military plane will be produced in India for the first time by a private company, in a big boost to the domestic aerospace sector. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone on Sunday. The Vedanta-Foxconn project is a Rs 1.5 lakh crore project to build semiconductors; and the drug park inaugurated by the PM in Jambusar, Gujarat, would be India’s first to manufacture bulk drugs.The workers of the BJP and Shinde Sena are worried that the first repercussions of Gujarat gaining at Maharashtra’s expense will be felt by them in the coming civic polls, and would also haunt them in the 2024 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.The developments may not have stung as much and been dismissed as healthy competition between states had it not been Gujarat. However, in the case of Gujarat, this taps into the innate animosity between the state and Maharashtra, which were once both part of Bombay Province. Politics in Maharashtra has long centred on regional pride, with Gujaratis, who are seen to control businesses in the commercial hub of Mumbai, often painted as “outsiders”.A senior minister in the Shinde faction requesting anonymity said, “Everybody knows Maharashtra is losing out to Gujarat because of the Assembly polls in Gujarat. But the question is how are we going to explain the same. What will we tell youths in our constituencies looking for jobs?… The sense that Maharashtra is getting secondary treatment in BJP rule will adversely affect our support base in our constituencies.”Former minister Desai wondered why Shinde and Fadnavis, with their “excellent rapport” with the Central leadership, were silent on the matter. “Why do the CM and DyCM not exercise their powers to convince it to retain the projects in Maharashtra?”Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi president Prakash Ambedkar said, “The Centre’s eagerness to send every project Gujarat’s way is a sign of the political desperation of the BJP. They know that their popularity in Gujarat is not the same.” He added: “The PM cannot afford to lose his home state Gujarat. Any failure there would mark the beginning of the BJP’s decline in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.”The three projects going to Gujarat is also a dent on Maharashtra’s reputation as an investment destination, with Fadnavis himself in 2014, as CM, taking several initiatives to attract FDI. At the Make in India event held in 2015, Maharashtra was said to have got Rs 8 lakh crore of the total Rs 15 lakh crore investments promised.A senior official involved with the Make In India event pointed out: “The idea of developing Nagpur as a defence hub was Fadnavis’s brainchild (Nagpur is Fadnavis’s hometown). He had drawn a long-term plan, complete with funds and projects.”Insiders in the BJP admitted that they are counting on the Centre making up to Maharashtra for the lost projects soon. “Damage control will be undertaken to wipe out the injustice to Maharashtra,” a party leader said.A senior state BJP functionary said, “In politics, patience pays. We admit Maharashtra is on the back foot now. But wait and watch. The state will bag the country’s biggest ever projects in the coming months… Both PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will go all out to erase this Maharashtra versus Gujarat divide.”Samant said as much Friday, claiming that after the Vedanta-Foxconn project moved to Gujarat, PM Modi had assured a bigger project to the state. “We are confident this will be brought to the state in five-six months.”

"Our Double Engine" Worked Well With Centre: A Thackeray On Gujarat Deal
Ndtv | 4 weeks ago | |
Ndtv
4 weeks ago | |

Aaditya Thackeray criticised Eknath Shinde and said Maharashtra is going backwards. (File)Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday slammed the Eknath Shinde-led government for the loss of the Tata-Airbus project and claimed that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had "worked perfectly well" with the Centre than the current dispensation.Addressing a press conference, Aaditya, whose father Uddhav Thackeray leads a faction of the Shiv Sena, criticised Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and stated that Maharashtra was going backwards because of his "betrayal" and "demonic ambition"."When we talk about the double engine government during the time of the MVA government, our double engine with the Centre worked perfectly well," the former state minister said.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) uses the term "double engine government" for the party or its ally's government at the Centre and the state."After this unconstitutional government came to power, one engine has failed and whatever investment that was to come to Maharashtra is going to other states," Aaditya said.He further said that Subhash Desai, who served as the state industries minister from 2014-2022, had brought in investments worth Rs 6.6 lakh crore during his tenure."When we went to Davos, myself, Desai, and Nitin Raut could bring in investment to the tune of Rs 80,000 crore," he said."The important aspect is that it was the same Central government. So, if the MVA government and the Centre could work and bring investment to Maharashtra, then why did their engine fail?" he asked.The opposition has been attacking the state government after a consortium of European aviation firm Airbus and the Tata group selected Vadodara in Gujarat for a Rs 22,000-crore project to manufacture military aircraft.Aaditya claimed that this was the fourth major project for which other states were chosen over Maharashtra.The Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor project, the Medical Device Park, the Bulk Drugs Park, and Tata-Airbus projects were planned in Maharashtra, but have now chosen other states, he said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"No investor has any faith in the government. Be it law and order, investment or agriculture, the focus is only on politics," he said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The Day

"Our Double Engine" Worked Well With Centre: A Thackeray On Gujarat Deal
Opposition slams Shinde govt, asks CM to clear air
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

The Opposition on Friday cornered the Maharashtra government over the Tata-Airbus C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing project, which will come up in Gujarat’s Vadodara. Maharashtra was also one of the contenders for the project.“We have been hearing contradictory statements from a minister (Industries Minister Uday Samant) on the project. Either he does not know the details or he is making misleading statements. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde should clear the air,” said NCP’s Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule.Thursday’s announcement that the Rs 22,000-crore Tata-Airbus project will come up in Gujarat has set off a political war of words in Maharashtra with the Opposition blaming the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government of allowing yet another project to slip away from the state.“The CM must explain as to what went wrong. At a time when three major projects were coming to the state, something has gone wrong. And as a citizen, everyone has a right to know the truth,” said Sule, adding that even Maharashtra needs jobs.Leader of Opposition and NCP leader Ajit Pawar also launched an offensive on the Shinde-Fadnavis government. “It is learnt that the Tata-Airbus transport aircraft project will come up in Gujarat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to lay its foundation stone. Maharashtra has lost a huge investment and employment opportunity,” he said.“The new government should take a clear stand on investment going out of the state. They should give an explanation. Conditions in the state were more favourable than other states for the project,” he added.The Congress too slammed the state government asking whether it was working as an agent of Gujarat. “Maharashtra’s industries are being sent to Gujarat to reduce the importance of Mumbai and the state. The Shinde-Fadnavis government has become an agent of Gujarat and sending projects there on a priority basis,” said state Congress president Nana Patole.Patole claimed there has been a systematic effort to reduce the importance of Maharashtra since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. “It is unfortunate that both the previous Fadnavis and present Shinde governments have neglected the interests of Maharashtra and instead surrendered before the Centre,” he said.Worli MLA Aaditya Thackeray said industry has no trust in the newly constituted state government. “In the last three months, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has not taken any effort to ensure the growth of industry in the state,” he said.“The people of Maharashtra have to pay the price for partisan politics of the BJP. Why is it that all big projects, for which Maharashtra was a contender, have gone to Gujarat in a short span of three to four months? Is it sheer coincidence? Or was there a strategy to dislodge the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to replace it with the Shinde-Fadnavis government so that each and every project makes its way to Gujarat,” former Industries Minister and Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai said.He said the MVA government was making efforts to bring the projects to Maharashtra. “In an aviation industryexhibition in Bengaluru, the government had discussed the project with Tata and Airbus officials. Later, a meeting was held between officials of Tata and Airbus in Varsha in Mumbai. Supply of manpower and concessions were also discussed,” Desai said.Countering the claim that the MVA government did no correspondence for Tata-Airbus project, NCP leader and then state minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Friday released a letter dated October 31, 2021, which he had written to Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Group promoting a site in Ozar at Nasik district for the said project. Bhujbal was the guardian minister of Nasik at that time.

Opposition slams Shinde govt, asks CM to clear air
Vedanta-Foxconn, Tata-Airbus decisions taken before we came to power: Samant
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

Alleging that the deal to set up the Tata-Airbus C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing project in Vadodara was signed by the Centre last September when the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was in power in Maharashtra, Industries Minister Uday Samant on Friday and that the MVA made no effort to bring the project to the state.Speaking to mediapersons, Samant said that Maharashtra neither lost the Vedanta-Foxconn nor the Tata-Airbus project after the Eknath Shinde government came to power in June in the state. He also slammed the Opposition for creating confusion. Samant said that he tried to bring the Tata-Airbus project to Nagpur but the decision to set up the project in Gujarat was taken a year ago.“A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up the aircraft unit in Gujarat was signed by the Centre in September 2021. The decisions to set up Vedanta-Foxconn project or the Tata-Airbus project in Gujarat were taken before our government came to power. But the Opposition is just criticising and creating misconceptions about us,” Sawant said.Asked if any effort was made by the state to get the Tata-Airbus project to Maharashtra, Samant said, “I had said that I will try to bring the project to Nagpur but came to know that a deal had already been signed a year ago. I then checked with the department… what offers were made to the company or what was communicated to the company and the Centre on bringing the project in Maharashtra… I came to know that there was not a single document on this. This means that the earlier government had not made any effort but was now blaming us for its own mistake.”After the Vedanta-Foxconn project went to Gujarat, Samant had said that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who assured that a similar or bigger project would come to Maharashtra. “I am still firm on it. Recently, we went to Delhi and got the project to set up nine logistics parks in Maharashtra,” the minister said.“I am assuring that we will bring a bigger project to the state in the next six to seven months and then those who are criticising us now will have to felicitate us. There will be more employment for youths in the state,” Samant said without elaborating.Sources said that the state government is pushing for a oil refinery project in Ratnagiri district. The project, which was initially planned at Nanar village, has faced opposition from local residents and is likely to be shifted to neighbouring Barsu-Solgaon.Samant further said that recently, the government had bagged a Rs 20,000-crore project for Raigad. He was referring to a pulp paper manufacturing project of Cinnar Mas Pulp and Paper Private Limited.The minister refuted the claims of Worli MLA Aaditya Thackeray and former industries minister Subhash Desai that during the MVA government’s tenure, it had brought investment worth Rs 6 lakh crore to the state. “Had this much investment come to the state, jobs would have been created, which is not visible,” he added.BJP, meanwhile, demanded that Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) chief Uddhav Thackeray should apologise to the people of Maharashtra for not taking any step in the last two years to communicate with officials from Airbus, which it claimed led to the state losing the Tata-Airbus project to Gujarat.BJP’s Maharashtra cell took to social media on Friday afternoon to say, “Airbus went to Gujarat only because Uddhav Thackeray locked himself in his house for 2.5 years. There is no record of Maharashtra giving any proposal at the time when Airbus started exploring to put its project in India, in 2020.”

Vedanta-Foxconn, Tata-Airbus decisions taken before we came to power: Samant
Indian company may invest Rs 60,000-crore in Vadodara
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

VADODARA: One of the biggest diversified Indian business conglomerates is expected to invest a massive Rs 60,000 crore in Vadodara in the aerospace and defence sector. The announcement is likely to be made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is scheduled to visit on October 30. Sources privy to the development said this will be the biggest one-time investment for Vadodara so far and give a big push to the micro, small and medium enterprises situated in central Gujarat. "In addition, this company has three joint ventures which have been formed by partnering three global defence original equipment manufacturers," he said. Even as government officials are tight-lipped over PM's visit in Vadodara at Leprosy Ground on Ajwa Road, a meeting in this regard was convened by district collector AB Gor on Sunday. "The announcement will be made in the presence of the PM and other industry captains ," said the source. This big-ticket project comes barely days after the 12th edition of Defence Expo held in Gandhinagar where 451 MoUs and agreements committing Rs 1,53,000 crore investment in Gujarat were inked. "The conglomerate has identified aerospace and defence as an area of strategic growth and structured one of its arms as the lead entity to pursue growth in this sector. The arm was formed by bringing together six companies which were earlier defence verticals of the group," the source said. During the meeting at district collectorate, members of industries, industry associations like the Federation of Gujarat Industries, the Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Small Scale Industries and industrial associations from Waghodiya, Savli, Nandesari, Dabhoi and Padra among others were called to discuss plans regarding the PM's visit. Around 5,000 industry representatives are expected to participate in the function for which the associations have been asked to coordinate with their members," said a source. "The meeting is not a public gathering," he said, adding that PM is expected to arrive at the venue at 3pm and leave at around 4.30 pm. Earlier, Modi had said that Vadodara, which has a flourishing service sector, will play a key role in the 'Make in India.'

Indian company may invest Rs 60,000-crore in Vadodara
  • Indian conglomerates may invest Rs 60,000-crore in Vadodara
  • Times of India

    VADODARA: One of the biggest diversified Indian business conglomerates is expected to invest a massive Rs 60,000 crore in Vadodara in the aerospace and defence sector. The announcement is likely to be made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is scheduled to visit on October 30. Sources privy to the development said this will be the biggest one-time investment for Vadodara so far and give a big push to the micro, small and medium enterprises situated in central Gujarat. "In addition, this company has three joint ventures which have been formed by partnering three global defence original equipment manufacturers," he said. Even as government officials are tight-lipped over PM's visit in Vadodara at Leprosy Ground on Ajwa Road, a meeting in this regard was convened by district collector AB Gor on Sunday. "The announcement will be made in the presence of the PM and other industry captains ," said the source. This big-ticket project comes barely days after the 12th edition of Defence Expo held in Gandhinagar where 451 MoUs and agreements committing Rs 1,53,000 crore investment in Gujarat were inked. "The conglomerate has identified aerospace and defence as an area of strategic growth and structured one of its arms as the lead entity to pursue growth in this sector. The arm was formed by bringing together six companies which were earlier defence verticals of the group," the source said. During the meeting at district collectorate, members of industries, industry associations like the Federation of Gujarat Industries, the Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Small Scale Industries and industrial associations from Waghodiya, Savli, Nandesari, Dabhoi and Padra among others were called to discuss plans regarding the PM's visit. Around 5,000 industry representatives are expected to participate in the function for which the associations have been asked to coordinate with their members," said a source. "The meeting is not a public gathering," he said, adding that PM is expected to arrive at the venue at 3pm and leave at around 4.30 pm. Earlier, Modi had said that Vadodara, which has a flourishing service sector, will play a key role in the 'Make in India.'

The Nano plant: 11 yrs later, BJP on her tail, Mamata Banerjee changes gear
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

SPEAKING AT a Vijaya Sammilani ceremony at Siliguri Wednesday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that it was the Left Front government that had drove Tata Motors away from Singur, and that her government had only returned the farmland “forcibly acquired” for it to farmers.This marked yet another move by Mamata to put distance between her and an agitation led by the Trinamool Congress that propelled her to power, replacing the Left, but also led to Tata Motors taking its flagship Nano plant to Gujarat in 2008. While it might have notched up political points for the TMC when in the Opposition, it is an uneasy legacy when Mamata is trying to woo investment, and now faces the BJP as the TMC’s biggest rival in the state.Next up are the panchayat polls, for which the State Election Commission has already started preparations, and then come the Lok Sabha polls in which the BJP last time stunned the TMC with its surge.In the 2011 Assembly elections, Singur had been the TMC’s prime agenda, apart from another agitation against land acquisition led by the party in Nandigram. Her win had marked the end of 34 years of Left rule.Ironically, accused of being obstructionist in opening up to business, the Left was at the time trying to recast its image, and the Nano plant was a showcase investment for its government. Around 1,000 acres of farmland had been acquired for the project.After the Tatas moved out and Mamata came to power, the land was taken back following a court order. In the 11 years since, the TMC government has succeeded in returning the land to its owners, but only partly.On Wednesday, Mamata said: “There are people spreading canards that I drove the Tatas away from West Bengal. I did not force them away, but it was the CPI(M) which drove them away… You (the CPI-M) forcibly took land from the people for the project, we returned that land.”She also said that her government had since set up “so many projects”, but never taken any land forcibly. “Why should we take land forcibly? There is no dearth of land here.”Referring to the Tajpur port project of the Adani group and the Deucha Pachami coal mine project, the CM said: “We welcome industrialists. There is no discrimination in Bengal. We want each and every industrialist to invest here.”Standing beside her, Singur MLA and minister Becharam Manna, who was part of the Singur agitation of the TMC, repeated the same.Among the first to attack Mamata was former TMC MLA from Singur Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who was also part of the agitation. Before the 2021 Assembly elections, he quit the TMC and joined the BJP.Asserting the TMC’s role in stalling the plant, Bhattacharya said: “We set up a protest stage at the Singur factory gate, which forced the Tatas to shut the factory there.”The CPI(M) leadership accused Mamata of resorting to falsehood. Central Committee member Sujan Chakaborty said she should receive “a D.Lit for lying”.CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, an advocate, said: “Everybody in Bengal is witness to what Mamata did, including the so-called fast during the Singur movement… I was a witness when the Trinamool government fought the case in the Supreme Court. The whole state is witness to the fact that she drove out Tata Motors from Bengal.Lok Sabha BJP MP Locket Chatterjee quipped, “After her claim that the CPI(M) forcibly drove out the Tatas, Mamata Banerjee may now say that she did not want to become the CM but the CPI(M) forcefully made her.”West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also attacked Mamata. “She not only showed the doors to Tata Motors in Bengal, but later the Tata Motors factory was destroyed by her government with a dynamite blast. Then, CM Mamata Banerjee ceremoniously handed over the land to the farmers. She is clearly not speaking the truth. After 11 years, she is saying this.”In 2016, after the Supreme Court order ordering the return of the land taken for the Tata project to farmers, Mamata had tweeted just before a programme to mark Singur Day: “Today marks the anniversary of the historic day when our Govt of #Bangla handed over to farmers the parchas of land forcibly acquired in Singur. We reiterate our commitment to the welfare of farmers, alongside promoting industry. My humble pronam to Maa, Mati, Manush.”Before the Assembly elections in 2016, CM Mamata said in an interview: “I am willing to talk. They (the Tatas) can set up a plant on 600 acres of land at Singur.”A senior leader of the TMC admitted that changed circumstances were behind Mamata’s statement. “In 2011, our party came to power with the push provided by the Singur and Nandigram movement. That time our main challenge was to return farmland to its owners. But now our main challenge is to create employment opportunities and get industry.”He added that the Singur movement would always be “a positive part of our political history”. “After the Singur and Nandigram movements, the TMC got a new identity in West Bengal as well as in the whole country.”The leader also referred to the pressure on the TMC on account of its leaders facing various corruption cases, including over the job scam, and the party’s efforts to recast its image ahead of the panchayat polls. Mamata made an oblique reference to the same in her speech, saying she would continue providing jobs to the people, but that there were forces “creating hindrance”.

The Nano plant: 11 yrs later, BJP on her tail, Mamata Banerjee changes gear