Political instability leads to policy uncertainty which adversely affects the investment prospect of any state. For a long time, Mumbai has been known to be the financial capital of the country. Its location and a deep natural harbour added advantage to attract investment. But petty politics, greed and incompetence threw investment down the drains. It forced investors to look for better alternatives that provide a fair and stable environment for establishing new business enterprises.
Gujarat backs another mega development projects
Recently, the Modi government announced that Tata and Airbus will manufacture C-295 transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Gujarat. Reportedly, in September 2021 itself, the defence ministry had signed a Rs 22,000-crore contract with Airbus and Defence & Space for the production of 56 C-295s.
Initially, both Gujarat and Maharashtra were in the consideration for setting up the manufacturing unit for the project. However, political instability and unfriendly business environment created by the MVA nexus forced the investors to finalise Gujarat for setting up the manufacturing unit.
Maharashtra paid dearly for MVA’s incompetence and ‘extortion’
As per media reports, Tata officials had even visited Nagpur’s MIHAN (Multimodal International Cargo Hub and Airport Nagpur) site for setting up the proposed manufacturing unit. But at that time, the priorities of the MVA government seemed to be something else. The then CM Uddhav Thackeray hardly visited the state secretariat.
Sitting at Matoshree, he let the political strings be pulled by NCP Chief Sharad Pawar.
Instead of finalising the development project with the Tata-Airbus officials or offering them a better investment environment than Gujarat, MVA’s focus was to frame Arnab Goswami in the so-called TRP scam and undo everything that the previous Fadnavis administration had done in the state.
The intentional political hindrance in the Metro car-shed project in Aarey was the prime example of MVA undoing development work of previous Fadnavis government. Apart from that, MVA Home Minister Anil Deshmukh allegedly extorted money and threatened industrialists to frame them in case of refusing to grease their palm.
Politics over the Airbus project going to Gujarat
Instead of looking inwards and the reason for Maharashtra’s loss, Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders started accusing the newly formed Eknath Shinde government. It alleged that inactions of the incumbent government resulted in Gujarat getting the Tata-Airbus development project.
Hitting back at the MVA and Shiv Sena (UBT), BJP reminded that the deal was signed in September, last year when Uddhav Thackeray was in power in the state. It alleged that it was a result of Uddhav and MVA government’s incompetence. The saffron party alleged that CM Uddhav “locked himself at home” while the MVA Ministers demanded bribes and extortions from industrialists.
Industries Minister Uday Samant said, “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 the 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”.
The Minister highlighted the alleged inaction of the MVA government. He stressed that the previous MVA administration did nothing to attract investment. He alleged that when he looked for details, he could not find a single document written by the MVA government to the officials of Tata-Airbus.
Eknath Shinde government bringing development works back on track in Maharashtra
The Industries Minister Uday Samant categorically stated that the current government is doing everything possible to bring larger investment in the state. He highlighted that recently the state officials went to Delhi and received 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”.
Further, media reports claim that the state government is pushing for an oil refinery project in Ratnagiri district. The project, initially planned at Nanar village, will likely be shifted to neighbouring Barsu-Solgaon due to some opposition from local residents.
Additionally, the incumbent Eknath Shinde led government had bagged a Rs 20,000-crore project for Raigad. The project includes a pulp paper manufacturing project of Cinnar Mas Pulp and Paper Private Limited.
Gujarat racing to attract investment
While politics is at its peak in Maharashtra over the Tata-Airbus project, Gujarat getting back-to-back development projects has shown the way to attract investment in the state. Before this mega Rs 22000 crore Tata-Airbus deal, Gujarat successfully inked a deal with Vedanta-Foxconn to invest enormously in the state to manufacture semiconductor and fab plants in the state.
As per the deal, Vedanta invested Rs 1.54 lakh crore to establish the Semiconductor Units in Gujarat. The joint venture backed 1,000 acres of land on lease for 99 years for setting up the manufacturing unit. In this development project, Maharashtra was in the race but again MVA government’s anti-development politics like the one demonstrated in the Aarey Car-shed project or Anil Deshmukh’s alleged Rs 100 crore extortion charges ended its hope to get the project at the final moments.
These back-to-back development projects are a big win for Gujarat which is all set to go to polls any time now. With massive investment, the BJP government in Gujarat has checked the crucial boxes of infrastructure push and job creation right before the wee hours of election. This will play to its advantage and help it in pulling another victory to its name. Apart from elections, the state’s major cities have been inching closer to snatch the financial capital tag from Mumbai. The loss of Maharashtra during MVA-led by Uddhav Thackeray should be a template for political parties as these petty political tactics only harmed the state and dragged it back.
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