With just months to go before the end of its term and ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Devendra Fadnavis government on Tuesday unveiled a new five-year industrial policy (2019-24), promising investments of Rs 10 lakh crore that would generate 40 lakh jobs.
The policy is focussed on industrial growth and development of the backward regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada. It also introduced a special component for the development of Maoist and tribal belts of Nandurbar, Washim and Gadchiroli under the industrial cluster development project.
The one stand out feature of the policy is the ambitious Chief Minister Employment Generation Programme (CMEGP), aimed at addressing the growing unrest over the lack of jobs. In five years, the target is to create two lakh youth entrepreneurs in manufacturing and service sectors.
At the launch of the policy, Chief Minister Fadnavis said, “The policy will be a game changer, opening doors for migrants abroad to return home and provide new job avenues to the sons of the soil.” While reiterating the dream of making Maharashtra a trillion dollar economy by 2025, Fadnavis pledged to strengthen foreign direct investment and industrial status of Maharashtra.
On the employment scheme, Fadnavis said: “Eligible persons, aged between 18 to 45 years, will be trained and promoted for self employment, for which equity will be converted into back-end subsidy, which will be provided by the state government against bank loans. Under the scheme, one would get a maximum of Rs 50 lakh under the manufacturing sector and Rs 10 lakh under the service sector.” The state government will provide budgetary support to the scheme, which will be executed by the directorate of industries and khadi village industries board.
The government has further decided to set up Maharashtra Export Promotion Council on the lines of the one at the Centre to attract global investments in core sectors.
The industrial policy stressed an industrial cluster-based approach to promote sustainable, cost-effective and an inclusive strategy to ensure competitive and improved micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) units. The government will offer fiscal assistance for approved common facility centres. The limit for fiscal assistance for cluster promotion will be raised to Rs 10 crore from the current Rs 5 crore. A special purpose vehicle will be set up for the scheme. The state steering committee would evaluate and approve proposals under the scheme.
Almost 20 per cent area would be reserved for MSMEs in new MIDC estates. Out of this, 20 per cent area will be reserved for SC/ST entrepreneurs and five per cent for women and industrial units of women self-help groups. For rehabilitation of ex-servicemen and to promote self employment among ex-servicemen, two per cent plots will be reserved.
MSME’s eligible new units in north Maharashtra, Vidabrha, Marathwada, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg in Konkan will get power tariff subsidy of Re 1 per unit consumed. Up to 100 per cent stamp duty will also be exempted for eligible MSMEs.
The other aspects of the policy include revival and unlocking assets tied up in closed units. Under this, 20,000 sq m of contiguous land in MIDC areas will be allowed to develop industrial clusters. Special incentives shall be taken up to promote industrial land.
Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray shared the dais while announcing the new industrial policy in Mumbai. At the launch of the policy, both reiterated their pledge to continue their pre-poll alliance. Uddhav said, “I am beginning to realise everything… government is doing is great work. The industrial policy should give preference to bhoomi putras (sons of the soil).”