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Industry chiefs seek faster approvals, labour reforms in meeting with CM

MUMBAI: A need for more labour reforms, further ease of doing business, the need to ensure faster environmental clearances both in the state and at the Centre along with the lack of good infrastructure in Mumbai were some of the issues raised during a two-hour long discussion that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had with some of the top industrialists and businessmen in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The meeting, a first after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray became the Chief Minister of the state, saw industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Adi Godrej, Anand Mahindra, bankers such as Deepak Parekh and Uday Kotak speaking on the steps required to give a boost to state’s growth.

RIL chief Mukesh Ambani spoke on the need to embrace newer technologies such as artificial intelligence and how the state could use them in the field of agriculture. He spoke about corporates’ readiness to help the state develop new technologies which could benefit agriculture. He said that the state must establish hitech universities for creating skilled manpower and develop innovation parks.

Developer Niranjan Hirandani said that there was a need to upgrade infrastructure in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and develop last-mile connectivity through more Metro routes.


Industrialist Anand Mahindra emphasised on the need for more labour reforms. Several industrialists and developers complained about delays in project clearance by environmental authorities at both the Centre and the state. High taxes by way of premiums and ready reckoner rates and the need to bring them down also came up for discussion. They also discussed the issue of making Mumbai a financial hub.

Environment and tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray spoke about several measures being taken to upgrade the city’s infrastructure and how BMC was getting more transparent and sought citizen’s participation in identifying potholes and any lack of infrastructure. He said that BMC was running a pilot project to imrove educational standards in schools. On tourism development, he said that Maharashtra has set an example for the country as a tourism hub but there was potential for coastal tourism, water sports facilities.

Industrialist Gautam Singhania emphasised on the need for the government to pay more attention to the textile sector as it employed a large number of people after agriculture.

Emerging out of the meeting, industries minister Subhash Desai said that the meeting was very productive and the government had taken note of the various suggestions and concerns raised there and assured that these matters would be followed up at the ‘top-most level’. “These interactions will continue and we will look into the issues raised and within three months we will come back to (these people). .. The Chief Minister has said that the industrial environment in the state would be developed in such a manner that no industry would need to look outside the state for setting up a unit,” said Desai.

CM Uddhav Thackeray also asked the industrialists to focus not just on manufacturing but also on health and other sectors for more balanced improvement of all sections of the society.


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