By: Mansi Phadke
The state, under its ‘Make in Maharashtra’ mission, has in last six months made several changes to cut the number of permissions for businesses and industries.
* The Maharashtra government recently amended the Factories Act, redefining the parameters for businesses that should be bound by the legislation. With the amendment, about 14,300 small units, employing about 1.90 lakh workers, are now out of the Factories Act’s jurisdiction.
The state has also opened the doors for women labourers to work night shifts, and scrapped the mandatory clearance required for manufacturing units to make labourers work night shifts.
* The state government recently scrapped the Industrial Location policy, arguing that this policy, which had restricted modernisation and expansion of industries in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, was obsolete and had outlived its time.
* To ushering in ‘ease of doing business’, Mumbai’s civic body has halved the number of procedures involved in availing of construction permits. The number of approvals required has been reduced by eliminating or re-engineering certain processes, using technology, deemed clearances, and setting timelines for the grant of no-objection certificates by various agencies.
* To compete with Gujarat’s GIFT City, the state government has decided to develop the Bandra-Kurla Complex business district into a global financial centre. Plans have been drawn to further improve the infrastructure and access to the 370-hectare sprawl. The government has also set up a taskforce under former Deutsch Bank CEO Anshu Jain and State Bank of India chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya to identify quick wins to develop Mumbai into an international finance centre and suggest course of action.
* The 15-year-old River Regulation Zone policy has also been changed, thus lifting curbs on industries from setting up their units alongside river banks. Although the move opened doors for more investment such as that from Swiss firm Schindler, environ-mentalists and activists have criticised it.