The state government is keen to turn the tribal and backward district of Gadchiroli into a steel manufacturing hub. Under the ambitious Make in Maharashtra campaign, it plans to showcase the district as a mineral-rich belt.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting with steel magnate Laxmi Mittal during his three-day tour to London on the issue. Describing the meeting as satisfactory, he said, “The region’s massive resources can be utilised to uplift the tribals in this backward region if we bring in greater investment through the steel sector.”
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Fadnavis further said, “The purpose of the meeting was to tap foreign direct investment and promote industrial development in the backward district of Gadchiroli in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. I have extended an invitation to Arcelor Mittal for setting up industries for steel manufacturing.”
Apprising overseas investors on policy reforms taken by the state government, Fadnavis discussed the new destinations which are being developed by the state. Fadnavis said, “Gadchiroli has large resources of iron ore, manganese and coal. Labour reforms, along with conducive industrial atmosphere, makes it the chosen destination for FDI.”
In the last six months, Fadnavis held several meetings with the Centre to evolve a comprehensive policy on industrial development in Gadchiroli which has earned the tag of Naxal district. He said, “We believe that industrial development in the district which has the maximum resources and also stable manpower gives it a greater advantage.”
The state has already permitted the auction of nine mines in this belt. It has also mandated that a sizeable section of funds generated from industrial and mining projects be utilised for developing the tribal belt. It has mandated that locals would be imparted skill development training to facilitate their employment in the new manufacturing and industrial units.
Infrastructure development and education are the other sectors where it would spend the funds. The plan also includes promoting cottage industries to promote the original tribal arts and crafts in this district.