The Maharashtra government is determined to go ahead with its ambitious International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), with or without the Centre’s nod for granting Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status to the state. The government believes that minor “technical glitches” in the project can easily be resolved and the project can be launched as per schedule.
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Mumbai, the economic capital of India, is considered one of the most suitable destinations for IFSC.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “The cosmopolitan character of Mumbai, coupled with the government’s vision to pro-actively push infrastructure reforms, has already set the pace.” “The IFSC is a reality and would soon come up in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC),” he added.
While acknowledging that the state is still in the process of getting a couple of things mandatory for SEZ status, one of which is 50 hectares of land, he said, “There are no hurdles in the project. We have various options which can be worked to take the project ahead, with or without SEZ.”
He further indicated that the Centre is fully supporting this “dream project.”
Fadnavis said, “IFSC is integral for the overall makeover of Mumbai . We have drawn a long-term plan to transform Mumbai into world-class city.”
There are atleast ten mega-projects lined up for Mumbai which would become a reality by 2019 and 2020.
To fulfil the 50-hectare plot requirement for achieving SEZ status, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has designated 20 hectares of land at BKC for the project, while the remaining 30 hectares of adjoining plot will also be acquired following the Centre’s directives.
However, the state and the Centre are still working out some technicalities as the Centre’s Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project also requires a small plot from IFSC project site at BKC. After failing to convince the Centre on considering an alternative site for the bullet train project, both the governments are now trying to ensure smooth completion of both the projects at the same site.
Assuring the locals of the same, the CM said, “The IFSC project will not be affected in any way because of bullet train. It has been conveyed to us that area of land required for the work to be taken up for bullet train will not be more than the size of two rooms. Moreover, it would be underground work almost three levels below. The construction will be borne by the Centre.”
Earlier, the state government had set up a task force, led by former Union minister Jayant Sinha for the IFSC.
The chief minister also slammed the Congress-NCP government for not working towards making IFSC a reality during its regime. “ Two years ago, I took up the matter with the Centre and they supported my dream,” said Fadnavis. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is equally committed to a makeover of Mumbai, which includes the completion of IFSC, he added.