Maharashtra has invited fresh bidders for carrying out the Dharavi redevelopment project in the state. The Housing Authority has invited experienced and qualified bidders from India and abroad for integrated redevelopment of Dharavi through the International Competitive Bidding. The government has notified about 240 hectares as the Dharavi slum redevelopment area having nearly half a million human habitation.Accordingly, the project will be awarded to the qualified bidder, quoting the highest amount over and above the minimum stipulated Rs 1,600 crore investment that the lead partner of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Company is ready to bring in the SPV Company as per the terms and conditions set by the authority. Apart from the equity of Rs 400 crore, any investment required for the project shall be brought by the lead partner in the form of Compulsorily Convertible Securities such as Compulsorily Convertible Debentures and/or Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares, the state government has mandated.Interestingly, to attract bidders, the state has said that Dharavi is situated close to the Bandra Kurla Complex, which is known to be the financial hub of Mumbai. Similarly, it is the centre point of Mumbai and well connected with all kinds of public transport modes. The railway stations at Sion, Mahim, Chunabhatti, GTB Nagar and King’s Circle are adjacent to Dharavi.Furthermore, it stressed how the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd is developing the Dharavi Metro station (Mumbai Metro Line-3), which has connectivity to South Mumbai, BKC and the International Airport.Additionally, the connectivity of the area will get further strengthened by plans of the MMRDA to develop one more road linkage to Bandra Work Sea Link near Dharavi. The Mumbai Trans-Harbour link under construction connecting central Mumbai with the International Airport is very close to Dharavi.Besides improved connectivity and new infrastructure projects that are coming up, the state is also offering various types of concessions for the speedy completion of this project and integrated development of the area.The selected lead partner has to form an SPV with 80 per cent equity (Rs 400 crore) and the Maharashtra government will hold 20 per cent equity (Rs 100 crore). SPV will be responsible to construct free housing for the eligible slum dwellers and occupants, including amenities and infrastructure. Whereas in lieu of it, it will be entitled to construct a free sale area to sell in the market.The proposed completion period of the construction of rehab, renewal, amenities and infrastructure is of seven years from the date of Commencement Certificate (CC) for the first phase of the project, the state government has cleared.
With the three-day property expo “Homethon 2022” commencing from Friday, SWEETY ADIMULAM speaks to National Real Estate Development Council’s (NAREDCO) state president SANDEEP RUNWAL, about what the expo has to offer for buyers and the sector’s expectations from the state government.What are the expectations the real estate has from this expo, which is taking place post-pandemic?The properties are scattered, and people have to travel from one place to another. We have tried to bring everything under one roof. One can compare home loans, and banks under one roof. The expo offers flexibility and convenience of buying. It is one of the primary things that a person will experience when he comes in and buys a house at a hometown expo. The developers are also giving limited offers during these three days. So, one can avail of flexible interest rates, flexible payment plans and lower booking amounts.How many developers have participated in this expo? What is the NAREDCO expecting in terms of property buying and registration?Around 150 developers from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Vidharbh and Surat are participating in the event. Besides, 15 to 20 banking financial institutions are also taking part in the event. We already have 28,000 people pre-registered on our website. We are hoping for a minimum of 40,000-50,000 visitors at the expo.What all demands have been put before the new state government?We are on a good steady run rate, and we are hoping this continues and the market remains strong. However, in the long run, the government needs to look at the taxes, which we are paying; whether it is us or the consumer because we end up paying GST, stamp duty and various types of premiums to the government. If the government take a holistic view, it will realise that more than 50-60% of our cost goes to the government. It is time to look at those costs because then only we can make housing more affordable.Why should an investor choose real estate when one has so many other investment options?There is always a steady growth in the real estate sector. You can put your money in stocks and bonds but these markets are volatile. Also, a buyer is not a financial investor. Home buying is the safest investment you can make in your life.What are the price of houses that a buyer can get at the expo? Your message as a developer.In Mumbai, the cost of houses varies from Rs 100 crore for an apartment to as low as Rs 50-60 lakh. So, it is individual affordability which determines the buying power. I would say the NAREDCO property expo is one of the best opportunities to buy a dream home and it is the place which one should visit for sure.
Shinzo Abe, India’s closest friend in Japan, was assassinated a few months back. His importance for India and for India-Japan relations is reflected in the nation’s mourning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s blog post on his passing, and his visit to Japan to attend Abe’s funeral.Abe was instrumental in energising like-minded powerful democratic countries for a free and open Indo-Pacific. He could clearly see the changing geopolitical and economic situation and tried his best to collaborate with India on multiple dimensions to counter China, a hostile neighbour to both India and Japan. India-Japan relations reached new heights on economic, security and strategic issues during Abe’s official tenure. After Abe demitted office, the relations have continued to be on the upswing with Japan being led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida who leads Abe’s party, the Liberal Democratic Party. In fact, PM Kishida has assured to follow Abe’s policy on economic, strategic and security issues. The India-Japan ministerial meeting (2+2) on defense and security cooperation and joint maritime exercises reflect continuity in India-Japan cooperation.During his political career, Abe pushed for stability, security and a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific. Japan under his leadership took initiatives for mini-lateral institutional collaboration like the QUAD for international public goods like the rule of law, freedom of navigation and free trade. To complement this, Japan undertook bilateral initiatives with India including the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in 2008 and the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement in 2020.India and Japan share democratic values and understand the emerging geopolitical and economic developments. Therefore, it is hoped that Modi and Kishida would take these initiatives to further bilateral and regional infrastructure development and ensure resilient security and strategic alliance to stop a highly powerful and aggressive neighbour.India-Japan economic relations have also been going from strength to strength. The economic relations took off from the Special Economic Partnership Initiative (SEPI) in 2006 which mainly focused on Japanese collaboration in developing the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), special economic zones, warehousing zones etc. SEPI accelerated after the ministerial-level economic dialogue in 2012.India is the largest recipient of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA). Japanese ODA, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) at a very nominal interest rate, is going to economic infrastructure projects such as transport, telecommunication, power, the Yamuna Action Plan and infrastructure development in the North East. The assistance accelerated following Japan’s announcement in 2016 to help India build critical infrastructure and address social and environmental issues caused by rapid growth. The ODA has been directed towards brownfield toll road projects and integrated gas procurement, storage, transportation and supply business.India is an infrastructure deficit country and programmes like Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat, which lead to overall productivity-led growth, are extremely important. Japan has huge resources (pension and provident funds etc) which earns little return domestically. It has already invested approximately 3.5 trillion yen in India during the last five years. PM Kishida has recently announced investments of another 5 trillion yen over the next five years. Some of the important projects supported by Japan include the Delhi metro, the dedicated freight corridor Western project-II, the Chennai metro rail. The MoU between Japanese Suzuki Motor Corporation and Gujarat for investing around Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 3,100 crore for electric vehicle manufacturing and Rs 7,300 crore for the battery manufacturing plant) is a welcome step for India to move towards carbon neutrality. Some of the projects which have wider implications for the environment are the seawater desalination project in Gujarat, solar projects in Rajasthan and the gas-fired power project in Maharashtra.Japan is the fifth-largest source of foreign direct investment (6.58 per cent of total FDI inflows) into India, accounting for $40 billion between 2000 and 2021. Though FDI from Japan is substantial, it is much less compared to Japanese FDI to China and it mostly flows into the automobile sector. Japanese firms are yet to diversify their manufacturing base and supply chains away from China and South East Asia to include India. Japanese investment in India is primarily in automobile, telecommunications, electrical equipment, insurance, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.However, there are ample opportunities for Japanese investments. India has opened up the defence industry and is looking for cooperation and investment in space, cyber technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). India has a highly skilled manpower and Japan has the resources and the technology. Towards this end, the India-Japan Cooperation on Digital Partnership which focuses on collaboration in next-generation technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) is a welcome step. There are also huge opportunities in areas such as autonomous military systems, cloud computing, quantum information etc. AI is crucial for countries to lead and dominate across sectors, more so in security and military space. China has been very aggressive in this area. Therefore, it is time for India-Japan to further collaborate on AI.However, India-Japan economic relations, particularly in trade are below their potential. Though India signed the CEPA with Japan in 2011, Japan is the 13th largest trading partner with a total trade of around $20 billion. However, the trade balance has always been in favour of Japan. India offers a large market and a stable workforce for Japanese firms. Considering the centrality of China in global value chains India offers the best alternative to diversify risk. Indian resources and low-cost labour make it advantageous for Japan to invest in India.Abe laid the foundation for India-Japan relations. It’s time to take his legacy forward.The writer is professor, Institute of Economic Growth
PUNE: The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is set to clear 630 proposals for industries spread over 500 acres in the state by October 10. The MIDC's move comes in the wake of Vendanta-Foxconn shifting its multi-billion dollar project from Maharashtra to Gujarat, reports Nisha Nambiar. An MIDC official said the 630 proposals, once approved, were expected to bring in an investment of around Rs 25,000 crore to the state and generate 50,000 jobs. Last week, MIDC had approved 181 proposals for industries. All these proposals are for investments in sectors such as food processing, IT, electronics, automobile, electric vehicles, textile, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and data centres. Pune: The MIDC is set to clear 630 proposals for industries spread over 2,500 acres in the state by October 10 as a part of its drive to expedite such approvals in the wake of Vedanta-Foxconn shifting its multi-billion-dollar project from Maharashtra to Gujarat. A senior Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) official on Monday said they did not want to waste any time over the proposals and were determined to maintain the "investors' confidence" in the state. The official said once approved, the 630 proposals were expected to bring investment of around Rs25,000 crore to the state and generate 50,000 jobs. Last week, the MIDC had approved 181 proposals for industries. The clearance of the proposals in two rounds could translate into generation of nearly 70,000 jobs across the state. These proposals are meant for investments in sectors such as food processing, IT, electronics, automobile, electric vehicles, textile, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, data centres. The official said the proposed industries were spread over Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Jalgaon, and Nagpur and other districts of the state. "We want to speed up all the proposals pending with MIDC's land clearance committee," the official said. Last week, the MIDC reviewed 191 proposals spread over 697 acres of land and a projected investment of Rs12,000 crore. It cleared 181 proposals and the remaining 10 are up for review. "These 10 projects are mainly related to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and are likely to be cleared by the end of this week," the official said. Of the 630 proposals, about 38 projects involve investment of Rs100 crore each and will come up on 1,000 acres of land generating 20,000 jobs. The official said 14 projects were supposed to attract investment of Rs250 crore each, while five projects are related to investment of Rs500 crore each. The projects worth Rs100 crore are mainly in Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Sangli, and Amravati. The projects worth Rs250 crore are likely to come up at Mul estate and Talegaon Phase 2, the official said, adding that Rs500 crore-plus investments are scheduled for Nagpur, Paras, Aheri and Chandrapur. The government had on August 3 sought for a review of 191 proposals cleared by the MIDC in June and July. The official said the government was "now quite serious about attracting new investments and providing all necessary help by being a facilitator".
PUNE: Deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, in a speech to industrialists of the region at a Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture (MCCIA) event, indirectly criticised the former Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government for "discouraging" investment in the state, while commenting on the move of the upcoming Vedanta-Foxconn project to Gujarat. "The project was never in Maharashtra, but it should have come to Maharashtra. There were two-and-a-half years of instability in the state, caused by incidents like the state home minister being in jail, a former police commissioner absconding, and more, all of which did not make investors want to come here. Our government is focusing on attracting investment now - our state has the culture of industry and ecosystem for industries to grow," Fadnavis said. Fadnavis also spoke about infrastructural needs of the city, such as the ring road and the airport, adding that the operationalisation of Navi Mumbai airport will bring some relief to residents of Pune. He also promised to crack down on 'fake' mathadi workers' unions, as well as improve on connectivity issues in MIDCs, adding that the Union government is working on widening roads in those areas.
Pune: Deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, in a speech to industrialists of the region at a Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture (MCCIA) event, indirectly criticised the former Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government for “discouraging” investment in the state, while commenting on the move of the upcoming Vedanta-Foxconn project to Gujarat. “The project was never in Maharashtra, but it should have come to Maharashtra. There were two-and-a-half years of instability in the state, caused by incidents like the state home minister being in jail, a former police commissioner absconding, and more, all of which did not make investors want to come here. Our government is focusing on attracting investment now — our state has the culture of industry and ecosystem for industries to grow,” Fadnavis said. Fadnavis also spoke about infrastructural needs of the city, such as the ring road and the airport, adding that the operationalisation of Navi Mumbai airport will bring some relief to residents of Pune. He also promised to crack down on ‘fake’ mathadi workers’ unions, as well as improve on connectivity issues in MIDCs, adding that the Union government is working on widening roads in those areas.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government did nothing to attract investment in the state during its two-and-half year tenure and spent time "slamming and insulting" the Centre. His remarks to reporters here comes a day after Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray led a protest in Talegaon against the shifting of the Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor chip manufacturing project to Gujarat from Maharashtra. He also slammed the Sena leader for claiming that a medical equipment manufacturing cluster project slated for Maharashtra had been bagged by neighbouring Gujarat. "Let them show me one piece of paper to prove this project was slated for Maharashtra. The previous MVA government did nothing during its tenure. They only managed to slam and insult the Centre," he said. Here to attend the annual day of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture, Fadnavis said his government was committed to make the state the foremost investment destination in the country. "Some people staged protests and played politics on the Vedanta-Foxconn project. Till the time we do not improve the industrial environment of the state, no investment will come here. Our government will improve this situation and will make Maharashtra the country's top investment destination," Fadnavis said.
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray’s Saturday protest at Pune’s Talegaon, the site for the proposed Rs 1.5 lakh crore ($20 billion) semiconductor project of the Vedanta-Foxconn joint venture (JV), has signalled a spiralling political row in Maharashtra days after the JV despite being in discussion with the Maharashtra government on the project for years switched to Gujarat.A political slugfest has erupted in Maharashtra since September 13, when the Vedanta-Foxconn signed an MoU with the Gujarat government for their semiconductor project, with the Opposition MVA blaming the Eknath Shinde-BJP government for letting the flight of the big-ticket project to the neighbouring BJP-ruled state.Attacking the Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis dispensation, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, while addressing a party rally earlier this week, alleged that the government was “lying” on the issue and should be “ashamed” of the project going to Gujarat, even as he offered his support to it to bring the project back to Maharashtra. “Let’s come together and bring it back. I will also come with you,” he told the Sainiks.Cornered over the Vedanta-Foxconn project, which was one of the biggest industrial investments projected to come to Maharashtra, the ruling camp is now desperately looking for a face-saver, with CM and rebel Sena leader Shinde reaching out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah in this regard.Speaking to the Express Group last Sunday, Shinde said his government will announce a mega project for the state very soon.Vedanta-Foxconn project shift furoreAn industrial state like Maharashtra, which has almost all the key elements to attract investors – land, skilled labour, port, road connectivity, water, knowledge ecosystem – has been waiting for a mega industrial investment for years. While the state has seen various investments, from medium to large scale projects, coming to the state in the IT and automobile sectors among others, a mega investment has not fructified over the last decade despite the Magnetic Maharashtra summits and the “Make in India” investors summit in 2015 – when Foxconn had made its first investment commitment of $5 billion to the state.If the wait for Foxconn to invest in the state lasted for 7 years, losing it to a neighbouring state in a matter of two months or a quarter, was set to unnerve the political class and the residents of the state alike.While the continuous flow of new projects in any state keeps its economic growth on track, creates jobs for its people and also enhances social development, mega projects worth $3-5 billion or more give impulse and ripple impact that leads to the building of the ancillary industry, development of service sector and a thrust to the real estate, among other things.The Vedanta-Foxconn project had come as a hope for Maharashtra, which has been reeling under an accumulated debt of Rs 6.50 lakh crore, as the state saw it as a golden opportunity to give impetus to both its sluggish investments and channelise it towards job creation after the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.Terming the Vedanta-Foxconn project loss as a major setback for Maharashtra, a top economist, who has been closely watching the state’s progress over more than three decades and has been involved with various governments in the state with regards to its development, said, “It takes a long time for mega projects to fructify as a lot of home work has to go into it and bureaucrats, political class are involved. So in that sense the loss of Vedanta-Foxconn is a big setback. Also when I take a closer look, I don’t see a mega project in the vicinity and so it is both loss of time and opportunity.”While the state had also announced a Rs 3 lakh crore refinery project in Nanar in 2015, which promised to generate over 1 lakh jobs, it has failed to see the light of the day. The new government is, however, hopeful to revive the project.As regards the past mega investments in the state, the two that made their mark were the $3 billion Enron power project announced by the US major in 1992 and the $13 billion Jaitapur nuclear power project for which the agreement was signed with the French company in 2010. While Enron ran into trouble and also resulted in financial loss for the state, its debacle led to a power crisis, with the state running into power deficit for several years as power producers stayed away from committing investment in the power sector in view of the expected big capacity addition of 2,000 MW through Enron’s natural gas-based Dabhol power project. Also, the Jaitapur nuclear power project has not been able to take off in the manner it was envisaged.The politics of economyWith the latest big investment opportunity gone, the Maharashtra government is now hoping for a bigger project and is counting on the BJP-ruled Centre’s blessing. However, even as Shinde exuded confidence in pronouncing that Maharashtra will bag a major investment in the coming days, Deputy CM and senior BJP leader Fadnavis has exercised caution warning that “Maharashtra will have to initiate concrete steps to rebuild the confidence of the investors.”The government is also hopeful of benefiting from a “double-engine” government — a BJP government both in the state and at the Centre. While the Vedanta-Foxconn project might have been lost due to the lack of the Centre’s intervention (CM Shinde’s July 26 letter to Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal showed that Vedanta had asked the state government to get the “Central Government alignment”), the current government still hopes to capitalise on a “favourable” central government. This “alignment” has already led to breakthroughs in some key infrastructure projects in the state such as the land acquisition approvals for the Mumbai Ahmedabad bullet train project, clearance for the metro car shed land in Mumbai, and the Dharavi redevelopment project. These projects could not move ahead during the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government, comprising the Sena, BJP and Congress, as the state and Central governments used to be locked in a recurring tussle over them.While the state government has redoubled its efforts to clinch a big-ticket project ahead of the crucial Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, slated for late 2022 or early 2023, it is working on multiple fronts, including the revival of the Rs 3 lakh crore refinery project. At the Mumbai industrial conclave last week, Fadnavis indicated his government’s resolve to revive the refinery project. He said, “The refinery project is high on our plate. But the inordinate delay has made it difficult to match the same scale. Even if it is taken to its logical end it will be on a smaller scale.”Another project under process and being discussed on priority is Wadhawan Port at Raigad. With access to natural deep draught the project when completed will have the potential to anchor even the biggest ship across the world.Concerned over losing the the Vedanta-Foxconn project to Gujarat, Shinde and Fadnavis seem to be hopeful now that they will get the Centre’s backing for these critical large projects in Maharashtra.It is also important that the state improves its record over the conversion of signed MoUs into real investments on the ground. In the past 7.5 years the state hosted two major investment events — Magnetic Maharashtra and Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0. The first Magnetic Maharashtra was held in 2018 under the then Fadnavis-led BJP-Sena coalition government. At the end of the three-day conclave, the state had then signed 4210 MoUs with promised investment of Rs 16 lakh crore, of which around Rs 12.1 lakh crore was investment from private industries and Rs 3.9 lakh crore was a proposal signed between the Centre and state governments. However, only 50 per cent of the total proposed investments, which were signed, could be realised and have been since at various stages of implementation.The second Magnetic Maharashtra was held under the MVA government in 2020 when Vedanta-Foxconn had committed their semiconductor project to the state, subject to the approval from the Centre.Although the Vedanta-Foxconn project’s departure from the state has now given the Opposition MVA a handy weapon to score points against the BJP-Shinde regime, nobody is disputing the state’s ability to “overtake” Gujarat.The Leader of the Opposition and NCP leader, Ajit Pawar, said, “We had promised a 1,000 acres land parcel to the company in Talegaon. If Vedanta-Foxconn has buckled under political pressure to relocate the project it is a sad comment on politics.”Taking up the political challenge, Fadnavis has pledged to outstrip Gujarat in coming days. At least two projects show promise and are cited to show the BJP’s success — the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) complete with two nodes, Shendra-Bidkin Industrial Area and Dighi Port Industrial Area, and the Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC). While Shendra-Bidkin Industrial Area is being developed as a large-scale industrial cluster, the Dighi Port Industrial Area will become a port as well as an industrial hub. On the other hand, the AURIC is a greenfield smart industrial city spread across 4,030 hectares with investments of Rs 5,500 crore with the state government estimating that it can generate more than three lakh jobs over the next 15 years.The politics of rivalryThe creation of Maharashtra and Gujarat on the same day, May 1, 1960, through reorganisation of states was not a smooth affair. Mumbai (then Bombay) was the bone of contention between them. To ensure Mumbai remains in Maharashtra, a long-drawn agitation, Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, was launched in 1956. About 105 people lost their lives in this movement. In this background, Maharashtra versus Gujarat has always been a fraught discourse.Despite the co-existence of both Marathi and Gujarati communities in Mumbai, the faultlines remain. And following the switch of the Vedanta-Foxconn project to Gujarat, the Opposition has again brought this debate to the centre stage of Maharashtra politics. Confronted with the in-house challenges following a major split within, the Uddhav-led Sena seems to have got a major political issue on a platter that it hopes would cut ice with the people besides helping the party to hit back at the BJP. This assumes more significance as the BMC polls may be held over the next three-four months, which will settle the key question whether the Uddhav Sena would be able to retain its hold over the BMC that it has been able to do successfully over the last 25 years.The BJP-Shinde alliance, on the other hand, has been sensing an opportunity in the upcoming BMC polls to bring an end to the Sena rule from there and deal a body blow to Uddhav’s party. It, however, reckons that if Maharashtra versus Gujarat narrative gains traction, it might be “politically fatal” and hence they are going all out to quell the controversy and promise a mega industrial project for the state soon.Even as the BJP-Shinde combine has set higher electoral targets for the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls — in the previous 2019 polls, the BJP had won 23 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats and 105 out of 288 Assembly seats in the state — a polarisation along Maharashtra versus Gujarat lines might undermine it. Demographically, 65 per cent of the Maharashtra population is youth with an average age of 27. No political party can overlook the youth aspirations given its presence and potential to make or wreck the electoral results in the state. And the departure of a mega semiconductor project — which is regarded as the industry of the future — from the state makes for bad optics, both in the eyes of the state political class as well as its youth.The NCP’s youth leader and Karjat-Jamkhed MLA, Rohit Pawar, says, “We are not against any state’s development. But the question is why sacrifice Maharashtra youth. Why should our next generation pay the price?” Now, this may be question, which cannot go unaddressed for long as it is not just about employment and financial implications but also the aspirations of youth, whose vote base could play a big role in the electoral outcome.
Dang police Thursday rescued two persons, including a financial investment advisor, from Maharashtra who were allegedly abducted by a gang and arrested five persons in connection with the incident.According to police, on Thursday night, police personnel stationed at Saputara check post in Dang, neighbouring to Nashik, heard people crying for help from two cars which passed by. When they stopped the cars, police found two persons in the car who claimed that they were being kidnapped.Police seized the cars and rescued the two persons, who were identified as Yogesh Bhalerao (45), a financial investment advisor who is a resident of Adgaon in Nashik, and his cousin brother Mahendra Gaekwad (46).Police also claimed to have recovered a country-made pistol with three live cartridges and a knife from the kidnappers.The five persons, identified as Vinit Jhatle (45), Vinod Dangre (47), Santosh Shinde (51), Rahul Ghayvat (41), and Bharat Deore (33), all residents of Adgaon were arrested and booked under IPC sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 114, 25(1)(b)(a) (possession of arms).On Friday afternoon, the accused were produced before a court in Ahwa which remanded them in four-day police custody.Dang Deputy Superintendent of Police S G Patil said, “The family of Yogesh Bhalerao was unaware of the kidnapping incident. While travelling in the car, the accused had threatened Yogesh that he would be released after getting Rs 1 crore. No ransom call was made by abductors to the family of Bhalerao. After being released, Yogesh lodged a complaint of kidnapping against unknown person with Adgaon police station in Nashik on Thursday late night.”The accused had planned to stay in Saputara after kidnapping the duo and later recover the ransom, police said.“Yogesh had some monetary dispute with a person who gave the contract to the gang to kidnap him,” Patil added.“The arrested persons Vinit and Vinod were earlier booked in several criminal cases by the Mumbai police and Nashik police,” he added.
NASHIK: Nashik district is likely to get three large industrial projects with a total investment of Rs 1,500 crore in the new Talegaon-Akrale industrial estate of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in Dindori tehsil. CEO of MIDC P Anbalagan said the state government has received three investment proposals for Nashik, worth Rs 1,500 crore, in the pharma, food processing and electronic sectors. “The state government is in the process of firming up these investment proposals within the next couple of months. All these investments would be in the Dindori taluka where the MIDC has set up a new industrial estate on over 550 acres,” said Anbalagan. Nashik MIDC officials said that two highly reputed firms, including a state-owned oil marketing company, have already firmed up their plans to invest Rs 2,500 crore to set up a pharmaceutical firm and manufacturing unit of cryogenic tanks. “The private pharma company is going to invest Rs 2,000 crore for its manufacturing plant for pharmaceutical productions and human vaccines. The MIDC has allotted it 160 acres,” said MIDC officials, adding that the company will start construction work of the plant very soon. Moreover, MIDC has already allotted 50 acres to the state-owned oil marketing company, which will invest Rs 500 crore in the project to manufacture cryogenic tanks, said the officials. The officials added that the main advantage of this new industrial estate is that it is just 7 km away from Nashik airport and is connected to Gujarat by highway. When contacted, Nikhil Panchal, the president of Ambad Industries and Manufacturers’ Association (AIMA), said it is a positive development that three companies from different sectors are coming to Nashik. “The new industrial estate in Dindori has already attracted mega-projects and another three large industrial projects will boost the industrial growth of Nashik and generate employment for the youths here,” added Panchal. “In the past 12-15 years, lack of land was a major issue that was affecting the industrial growth of the district. But the MIDC’s initiative to set up new industrial estates in Dindori and Malegaon will again boost the industrial growth here,” said Manish Rawal, the chairman of the aviation committee of the AIMA.
Pune: Union minister of state (Panchayati Raj) Kapil Patil on Thursday said the state governments should work more on the capacity building of the villages to achieve sustainable development goals.Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day national workshop on ‘Localisation of sustainable development goal in gram panchayats through adopting thematic approaches’ in Pimpri Chinchwad, Patil said the workshop was aimed at encouraging the growth of the villages.He said, “Sarpanchs should take the initiative to fulfil the concept of ‘Har Ghar Nal’ through Jaljeevan Mission. There is a need to save water in villages. The Center and state would jointly provide maximum assistance for the overall development of the villages in Maharashtra.”State rural development minister Girish Mahajan said the participation of sarpanchs was key for the effective implementation of the concept of sustainable development. On Vedanta-Foxconn exit, he said the MVA was to blame for it, as there was no urgency shown by them.When asked if Maharashtra would get any new investment projects, Mahajan said the Centre and state would make sure that more investment projects come into the state.
MUMBAI: Amid trading of charges between Shiv Sena and the Shinde-Fadnavis government over exit of the Vedanta-Foxconn project from the state, Adani group chairman Gautam Adani met Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshree on Wednesday. While details of the discussion could not be confirmed, Sena sources said the meeting lasted for over 40 minutes and a range of topics, from politics to industrial investment in the state, could have been discussed.
The meeting between Gautam Adani and Uddhav Thackeray took place today, an official said. (FILE)Mumbai: Industrialist Gautam Adani met former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on Wednesday."The meeting took place today," an official said but declined to elaborate on what transpired between the Adani Group chairman and the Shiv Sena president.Mr Thackeray stepped down as Chief Minister after senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde led a revolt against his leadership and walked away with 39 party legislators in June.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMr Shinde took over as Chief Minister on June 30. The two rival Shiv Sena camps are locked in a legal battle over the party symbol and defection of rebel legislators.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani met former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at the latter’s residence in Mumbai on Wednesday. The meeting is said to have taken place at Matoshree at around 3 pm. It is unclear what transpired during the meeting. Details of the same have not been made public yet.This comes at a time when Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is in Delhi along with three ministers, including Industries Minister Uday Samant, Ports Minister Dadaji Bhuse, and Horticulture Minister Sandipan Bhumare. On Wednesday evening, the Maharashtra delegation will meet Union Minister Nitin Gadkari regarding work on highways in Maharashtra.According to sources within the Shinde camp, Samant has been asked to stay in Delhi and a few developments regarding Maharashtra’s politics may take place at night. “There is likely to be a big announcement from Delhi today evening,” said a senior Maharashtra minister.The two Shiv Sena factions, led by Thackeray and Eknath Shinde, have been vying for the right to hold the Dussehra rally at the Shivaji Park ground at the same time. Both the factions also applied for different Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) exhibition grounds for the Dussehra rally as a back-up plan.
MUMBAI: A senior bureaucrat said the entire land allotment for 191 industrial projects was transparent and online, so there was no scope for illegality. Only eligible applicants were allotted land, he added. In addition, for the 335 proposals worth Rs 15,000 crore pending with MIDC, the bureaucrat said that in-principle approval has been granted and it is likely that the land allotment committee will meet in the ensuing week to clear the allotment. "There was no stay on these 335 projects on 1,700 acres of land. However, in view of the change of political guard, it was suggested to go slow. Now, in-principle approval has been granted and we expect the actual process to begin within a week," he said. The bureaucrat clarified that most of the projects are cleared at the MIDC level, but those involving investment of Rs 1,500 crore (mega projects) and Rs 4,000 crore (ultra-mega projects) are referred to the government, particularly for incentives. The bureaucrat said in view of criticism of the government and the flak following the shifting of the Foxconn project to Gujarat, the industries department will fast-track all pending projects on top priority.
MUMBAI: In view of the geographical situation in Kolhapur's Radhanagari area, CM Eknath Shinde on Thursday lifted the stay on the Rs 58 crore expenditure for nine irrigation works. New tenders will be floated for the irrigation schemes under Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation, said officials. "A time-bound programme will be undertaken to provide funds for survey works of 15 sub-irrigation schemes in Radhanagari constituency. In the review meet, it was decided to pay Rs 45 crore for immediate repair of Megholi dam in Bhudargad taluka. Shinde also instructed to survey and submit remaining Rs 100 crore for administrative nod on water resources department proposals," a statement said. The CM also announced a leopard safari project in Ambegaon, Junnar taluka.
Facing criticism for Vedanta-Foxconn picking Gujarat over Maharashtra, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said that even though the semiconductor project has gone to the neighbouring state, there will be huge “new investments in Maharashtra”, adding he has had discussions with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.Speaking at the launch of Loksatta Loksamvad on Sunday, Shinde said that while the state government was willing to give various concessions to Foxconn and had also held meetings with its representatives, it seemed “the project was ignored during the previous government” due to which they decided to move to Gujarat.He, however, said that the doors of Maharashtra were still open if Foxconn wished to come to the state. Shinde said major new investments will come to Maharashtra, adding talks were already on for some projects. “Even though this project has gone to Gujarat, there will be huge new investments in Maharashtra. I held discussions with both the top leaders at the Centre (Modi and Shah) when the Foxconn project went to Gujarat,” said Shinde, adding they have promised to give all possible help to the state.Taking a dig at the Thackeray family, Shinde said that Shiv Sena is not a private limited company belonging to certain people, adding that he wanted the party to grow.Speaking at the event, Shinde claimed that he chose the path of rebellion to expand the Shiv Sena that was founded by late Balasaheb Thackeray. Accusing the Sena’s current leadership, helmed by former CM Uddhav Thackeray, of ignoring the sentiments of the common Shiv Sainiks, Shinde said, “Thousands of Shiv Sainiks have made sacrifices for the growth of Shiv Sena. The Shiv Sainiks fought on the streets, faced police cases but they did not back out. From leaders to the common workers, everyone had only wished that the party should grow. Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray would pay attention to the issues of all the workers. But the existing leadership is ignoring the sentiments of ordinary Shiv Sainiks as well as the MLAs.”Stating that it was not enough to “just sit at home and do some limited work,” Shinde said, “Sena is not a private limited company of certain people. We chose this path (of rebellion) to expand Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena.”He said that several people, including Shinde himself, had requested Sena president Thackeray to form the government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “Uddhav Thackeray was also willing. But he wanted to remain the chief minister for continuous five years of time and he wanted me to discuss this with the BJP,” he said.Emphasising that the alliance with the BJP was a “natural” one and that the citizens as well as Shiv Sainiks were happy with it, Shinde said the common Sainiks had been restless ever since the party tied up with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress – the two parties Bal Thackeray always opposed. Shinde said this was the reason that he along with other MLAs distanced themselves from Thackeray led Shiv Sena, adding the current Sena was not how it was intended by party founder Bal Thackeray.Shinde said the idea of leaving the Shiv Sena was unthinkable to him. “I have been active in Shiv Sena since the age of 17 and sacrificed (a lot) to expand it. I could not pay attention to my family. My only aim was that the Shiv Sena should grow and I spent my whole life for the party. At such a time, I cannot even think of leaving the party. Such thoughts will never occur in my mind. (But) the Shiv Sena which was founded by Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray with an intention was no more. The party legislators were suffering. Ordinary Shiv Sainiks were restless. That is why, I decided to form an alliance with the BJP,” he said.Shinde said the claims of the previous Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government that a large amount of investment had been made in the state in the last two-and-a-half years were misleading and a lie. “The MVA’s claim that employment has increased in the state by lakhs is a lie. Although agreements have been signed during this period, unfortunately, no real investment has come. Instead of attracting industry, land sales increased during the previous government. We are taking information about it. Our government will not engage in the business of selling land. Our focus will be on increasing employment in the state by investing heavily,” he said.Shinde said that while residents were not opposing the Nanar oil refinery project in Ratnagiri district and Wadhawan port project, a few politicians were inciting people for their own politics. “Both these projects will be brought after understanding the issues of the people and clarifying their misconceptions about them. These decisions will be taken as per the wishes of the people,” he said.On criticism that the current dispensation was putting decisions taken by the MVA government on hold, he said that the previous alliance government too had done the same with the decisions taken during the earlier Fadnavis-led government. Shinde, though, clarified that the government will not cancel all the decisions, adding they will be reviewed.Shinde also announced that all roads in Mumbai will be concretised in the next two years to solve the issue of potholes.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxWhile blaming his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray for the issue, he said that even though he (Shinde) was the urban development minister in the MVA government, he did not have all the powers. “I had no powers then. Now that I have all the powers, I have focused on making the roads in Mumbai pothole-free,” he added.Earlier, CM Shinde was welcomed by Vaidehi Thakkar, executive publisher of Loksatta, while Anant Goenka, executive director of The Indian Express, presented the CM with a drawing. Girish Kuber, Editor of Loksatta, elaborated on the objective behind the Loksamvad event.
PUNE: The state government will have to ensure speedy clearance to 335 investment proposals received by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to prevent "trust deficit" among investors in the wake of the Vedanta-Foxconn shifting its multi-billion-dollar project from Pune to Gujarat, senior MIDC officials told TOI on Saturday. The officials, however, feared a possible delay in the clearance process as the Eknath Shinde-led state government was reviewing all the decisions and land allocations by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) dispensation. A senior MIDC official said, "The 335 investment proposals requiring 1,700 acres will bring Rs15,000 crore worth of investments to the stat and create about 40,000 jobs. However, they are yet to be reviewed by the land committee. The chief minister's office should expedite their clearance process, including land allotment, to regain the faith of the investors." Sources from the industry department said the proposals offered investments across the state, with a focus on Mumbai, Pune, Latur and Thane. A total of 191 proposals involving 697 acres of land and a projected investment of Rs 12,000 crore were to be reviewed in the coming week, the official said. The state government, which came to power on June 30, has stayed 400 government resolutions issued by the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation in the last few weeks of its dispensation. On August 3, the government had sought review of 191 proposals cleared by the MIDC in June and July this year. "These proposals were also expected to generate plenty of employment opportunities in the state,'' another MIDC official said. With the Vedanta Foxconn moving out from the Talegaon Dabhade tech city, the MIDC has said it was in talks with more investors to ensure that the upcoming tech city did not suffer. The villagers who had parted with their land were keen on the Vedanta-Foxconn project in lieu of employment opportunities. "We are now not sure who will be the new investors and if we will get any employment opportunities," said S Shelke, a farmer from the area.
Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray speaks to Vallabh Ozarkar on the controversy unleashed after Vedanta-Foxconn preferred Gujarat over Maharashtra to set up its new semiconductor plant.Why do you think Maharashtra lost the multi-billion dollar Vedanta-Foxconn project to Gujarat?This is something for the current dispensation to answer. Instead of giving an answer to the state, it is indulging in mud slinging and shifting goalposts. The chief minister (Eknath Shinde) had earlier claimed credit for bringing this project to Maharashtra in the state Assembly, quoting incorrect figure of investment. Reports were carried in various social media platforms and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation journal, too, of this investment coming to Maharashtra. Suddenly, this project and this massive investment went away. I believe that this is symbolic of the intent of this government, which is not interested in developing the state.Why do you think Vedanta chose Gujarat over Maharashtra?We are not questioning the choice of the investor. Every state must get an opportunity to develop. The issue is, why did the current dispensation lose out on an investment, which meritoriously belonged to Maharashtra? We are similarly losing out on another big project… the bulk drug park, which was to come up in Raigad.The Shinde government has been blaming Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) for losing the project and today, the Mumbai BJP president asked whether MVA had demanded commission from Vedanta. What do you have to say about these accusations?A series of meetings was held by the current dispensation (with Vedanta) even after our (MVA) government was toppled. However, surprisingly, the industries minister seems to be clueless about this and is name calling the MVA.Today, anyone who speaks for Maharashtra, is called names by this government. I wonder if they are concerned about the state and its youth at all. Speaking up for Maharashtra and voicing anguish for the loss of 1 lakh jobs and youth seems to be a crime in our state in the eyes of the dispensation.Do you think the Centre played a role in transferring the project to Gujarat?I am anguished over important projects being moved out of Maharashtra. I am not blaming anybody. However, I am shocked that this government neither can answer how we lost the project nor does it regret what happened. It only makes accusations as an answer to the questions of Maharashtra’s unemployed youth.Can you elaborate on the efforts made by the MVA government to bring the project to Maharashtra. Was there any demand by the investor to ensure “Union government alignment” for the project?The talks with the MVA government had started only in January 2022 after the Centre expressed its desire to support the sector last December. Since then, multiple site visits and a meeting in Davos also took place.Similarly, for the bulk drug park as well, our government was in touch with the Centre and our Cabinet decided to support the project.
The Congress on Saturday said Maharashtra topped the state-wise Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflow from October 2019 till June this year while Gujarat remained at the third spot. Citing a report by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), state Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant questioned state Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' claim on Friday that Maharashtra fell behind Gujarat in attracting FDI when Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) was in power (from November 2019 to June 2022). The Opposition has been blaming the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government over Gujarat pipping Maharashtra to win a mega semiconductor project of Vedanta-Foxconn. "When we are already on the top, how are you going to take us further?" Sawant asked targetting Fadnavis. As per Revised Estimates, Maharashtra's GSDP in 2021-22 was Rs 31,97,000 crore while that of Gujarat was Rs 19,44,107 crore, he tweeted. "Gujarat is not in Pakistan. It is our brother. This is a healthy competition. We want to get ahead of Karnataka, everyone," Fadnavis had said after the semiconductor project went to the neighbouring state. "Unfortunately, in the last two years our position slipped and Gujarat topped the list and it went from USD 3 billion to USD 23 billion and investment in Maharashtra came down from USD 26 billion to USD 18 billion," the deputy CM had said.
Opposition in Uttar Pradesh waded into the controversy sparked by the setting up of the '1.54-lakh-crore semiconductor unit in Gujarat. The announcement, which has given rise to a political maelstrom in Maharashtra where it was supposed to come initially, also gave the opposition parties in UP an opportunity to question why the BJP-led UP government, with its claims of "double engine government" could not bag the big-ticket project. BSP chief Mayawati targetted the state government over the issue on Friday, saying, "Maharashtra losing out the chip plant to Gujarat is causing heated competition between two BJP-ruled states , but the UP government with its focus on bulldozers, survey of madarsas, temple-mosque is keeping itself embroiled in all the non-important issues." She said that despite being so close to the national capital and possessing the largest population, if the state is not able to attract investment, it is a matter of great worry."Earlier too, under the Congress-led central government, UP was insulted," she said A day before, RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary had also commented on the business announcement saying, "If only this (the plant) was being set up in Uttar Pradesh..."Meanwhile, the UP government is preparing for a large-scale Global Investors Summit scheduled to take place next year in January, to attract international investor interest, setting a target of '10 lakh crore worth of investment.
Following Vedanta-Foxconn’s decision to shift their proposed semiconductor plant from Maharashtra to Gujarat, the Maharashtra BJP finds itself dealing with a political hot potato, unable to explain why the state lost out on a project that would have created thousands of jobs.State unit insiders said the discontent within the outfit over the decision was palpable. A senior Cabinet minister, requesting anonymity, said, “Today, Gujarat needs a big ticket project to enhance the political fortunes of the BJP in the Assembly elections ahead (scheduled for 2024). Our only fear is an anti-Maharashtra image of the BJP should not snowball into a political momentum for the Maha Vikas Aghadi.”The Maharashtra BJP leadership has already started brainstorming to chalk out a plan to build a new narrative. Among the plans that the state unit has thought of is expediting the proposed green refinery, expected to be Asia’s first such plant, in Ratnagiri district’s Nanar area. BJP leaders said the proposed investment of Rs 3.5 lakh crore and the projected creation of one lakh jobs in the backward Konkan region dwarf the Rs 1.5 lakh crore semiconductor plant that Vedanta and Foxconn proposed to build near Pune.“Look, Vedanta-Foxconn was only Rs 1.5 lakh crore investment. Here we have a much larger Rs 3 lakh investment project in the pipeline,” said a BJP insider. “The BJP has taken a huge beating with Vedanta-Foxconn’s exit and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is under tremendous pressure. On one hand, he has to walk the script written by Modi and Shah as the Gujarat polls are sacrosanct. On the other hand, he has to ensure that the BJPs anti-Maharashtra image does not take hold in public memory.”A Fadnavis loyalist and state BJP office-bearer said, “He has to face the flak for the central leadership. Whether it was the 2019 Lok Sabha elections where the central leadership wanted a pre-poll alliance with the Shiv Sena or the Vedanta-Foxconn project, the central leadership has always safeguarded its own interests at the cost of Maharashtra.”Another BJP functionary said, “All the spade work for the prize catch Rs 1.5 lakh crore semiconductor plant at Talegaon was in its final stages. The deputy CM dashed a formal letter to Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal on July 14. It was followed by a separate letter from Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on July 26.”As reported by The Indian Express, Shinde referred to Vedanta’s twin requests in his letter to Agarwal and said, “… (your) two key requests from the state are to seek central government alignment and cabinet approval. You will be pleased to know that on both fronts, the state is already in advanced stages and is moving ahead expeditiously.”According to a BJP leader who requested anonymity, “Maharashtra was the preferred destination and this came across clearly during the meeting and discussion which preceded the letter to Vedanta-Foxconn.”Disclosing how the negotiations between the Shinde administration and the conglomerate went, a source in the BJP said, “On July 26, the Managing Director of Vedanta Global, Arya Hebbar, and a delegation under his leadership met the chief minister and the deputy chief minister and gave a presentation about the project. At the end of the presentation, the delegation said the company was keen to invest in Talegaon in Pune. They preferred Pune over other places due to the availability of skilled manpower, industry-friendly environment, connectivity to Mumbai and JNPT ports, strong value chain and modern infrastructure. Shinde and Fadnavis reassured the company about the government’s full cooperation and incentives to take forward the project.”The state government expressed its readiness to provide Vedanta with all the incentives it demanded, including facilities such as capital subsidy of up to 30 per cent of investment, discounts up to 35 per cent on the land cost, 25 per cent discount on water and electricity tariff for 15 years, discount on stamp duty, excellent quality and uninterrupted power supply and water supply.On August 5, Fadnavis met Agarwal and urged him that Vedanta keep the project in Maharashtra and not consider any other state. A month later, on September 5, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation’s (MIDC) chief executive officer Dr P Anbalagan mailed a letter to Agarwal, requesting Vedanta to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Industries Department.Defending Shinde and Fadnavis, senior BJP minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “Maharashtra had always been a leader when it came to attracting maximum investments both foreign and domestic. And CM and deputy CM will initiate right steps for the state’s welfare.”Earlier, BJP Mumbai president Ashish Shelar claimed that both Shinde and Fadnavis had aggressively pursued Vedanta to keep the project in Maharashtra and that “it would be wrong to question the state government”.A BJP MLA from Vidarbha said, “Everybody knows why Vedanta-Foxconn has gone to Gujarat. As BJP, we are one. It is Maharashtra’s duty to ensure that the BJP wins the Gujarat polls. At the same time, the Centre will also initiate some strong investment measures to help Maharashtra if it is found that things are going against BJP in the state ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls.”
Vedanta Ltd.’s stock dropped the most in almost three months, amid questions about the billionaire Anil Agarwal-backed mining company’s involvement in a “landmark” Indian semiconductor factory investment.Shares in the company fell as much as 8.7% on Friday, snapping six days of gains, after the Mumbai-listed firm said the manufacturing business would fall within the purview of family trust Volcan Investments Ltd. That raised questions after Agarwal tweeted on Sept. 13 saying Vedanta was making the 1.54 trillion rupee ($19.3 billion) investment.“The rally in Vedanta shares happened following euphoric statements from the founders about their new line of business. But, this is not going to benefit the shareholders of Vedanta Ltd.,” said Kranthi Bathini, a strategist with WealthMills Securities Pvt. “This is resulting in selling pressure.”Vedanta Ltd. this week announced it had joined forces with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the assembler of most of the world’s iPhones, to build a chipmaking facility in Gujarat, the home state of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The partners have little experience running large chip operations, but are betting on rising demand as everything from smartphones and cars to home appliances contain semiconductors.News of the investment, which Agarwal termed “landmark,” also prompted questions about how it would impact its backers’ finances. While Vedanta Ltd. has an investment-grade rating, Moody’s classifies its parent as high-yield.Vedanta Ltd. is majority-held by Vedanta Resources Ltd. and provides its London-listed owner with a steady stream of dividends. The parent uses them to pay down debt. Agarwal’s family trust Volcan is the ultimate parent of both entities.Reflecting worries about its payment abilities, the dollar bond of Vedanta Resources Ltd. due in August 2024 plunged to a more than two-year low of roughly 50 cents on the dollar on July 5, a level typically considered distressed. It has since recovered and was trading at 66 cents on the dollar on Friday.“Vedanta Resources dollar bonds could come under pressure on rising capex and ambiguity around how it will affect funding needs and liquidity. It plans to commit an additional 250 billion rupees ($3.14 billion) to support its aluminum business and plans a $20 billion semiconductor joint venture.”– Mary Ellen Olson and Sheenu Gupta of Bloomberg IntelligenceVedanta Resources has more than $4 billion of debt maturing in the next four years, with the biggest chunk in 2024, the data show.Any impact on credit “will depend on the details of the funding plans, which are yet to emerge,” said Neel Gopalakrishnan, an analyst at S&P Global. “Our belief is that the company will manage its investments prudently so as to not put debt servicing at Vedanta Resources at risk.”
The Rs 1.54-lakh crore Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor project has become a political lightning rod in Maharashtra with the ruling coalition and the Opposition accusing each other of failing the state. On Tuesday, the promoters announced that the project, originally mooted by the Devendra Fadnavis government in 2015, will be set up in Gujarat, forcing the ruling coalition in Mumbai on the defensive. Shiv Sena leader and industries minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government Subhash Desai has said the project went to Gujarat “under pressure from the Central government”. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said he called up the Prime Minister and got an assurance that the Centre would help “big projects” come to the state. Clearly, the Centre is the elephant in the room as states compete for investment. This has implications for the federal pact between the Centre and states given the BJP’s political refrain of a “double-engine” and how it pulled the rug from under the MVA feet.This isn’t the first time a party at the Centre has been accused of disfavouring states that vote Opposition parties to office. CPM-led governments in West Bengal and Kerala used to accuse the Congress government in New Delhi of “step-motherly treatment” in allotting resources and projects. The Sarkaria Commission (1983) investigated a gamut of issues related to Centre-state relations, including financial powers, and made recommendations. The Centre and opposition parties are not on the same plane in the ongoing freebies debate. In Maharashtra, the Vedanta-Foxconn case has threatened to reopen an old faultline that dates back to the 1950s, when the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement realigned politics in the region around linguistic identity. It gained traction as the metropolis of Bombay, the capital of Bombay State, became a bone of contention between the emerging states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Linguistic identity has since been a powerful strand in Maharashtra politics with the Shiv Sena weaponising it to establish itself as a regional party that spoke up for the local manoos. However, the administration and capital negotiated their way out of the nativist trap; Sena too realised that it was in the party’s self-interest not to frame capital and investment in ethnic colours. The Sena-BJP alliance that came into being in 1989 privilleged the Hindutva agenda over regional-nativist impulses and a political consensus seemed to have emerged on nurturing Mumbai as the business capital of the country. That consensus seems to have fractured with Ahmedabad emerging as a competitor for attracting capital in the 2000s, when Narendra Modi became the chief minister of Gujarat.There is no reason why cities or states within India must not compete among themselves for investment and industry. In fact, they should. At the same time, the political gloves are off, Centre-state chill is deepening, many MLAs have become fungible assets, making for tricky terrain when it comes to who decides to invest where. The stakes are high when the faultlines run deep, watch this space.
WITH THE Vedanta-Foxconn project not coming to Maharashtra, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Thursday that it was necessary to create an ‘investment climate’ in the state.“Earlier, an important Vedanta group project was planned in Ratnagiri. However, it was shifted out of state after opposition from locals. Thus, it is not the first time that Vedanta had backed out so personally, I am never sure of the group setting up its unit in the state till it actually happens,” Pawar told mediapersons in Pune. On the deal falling through, he said, “Now that this has happened, we should think about what else can be done.”He said Maharashtra was always among the preferred destinations for an investment, because state leadership encouraged such activity. It was the proactive approach of Maharashtra…but now there seems to be an impression that the state doesn’t need more [investment]. There should be efforts to get investment projects in the state.”“An investment climate is needed to be created…Those in power should think of the state but are engaged in unnecessary controversial issues. Both the Opposition and the ruling parties should end this and focus on development of the state instead,” Pawar said.On the ruling BJP in Goa inducting MLAs from Opposition parties, the NCP chief said that it was not something new. “We have seen this in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh where the BJP has split rival parties in power. This means that there is use of resources and power for destabilising governments of rival parties,” Pawar said.
Maharashtra Congress on Thursday alleged that the Vedanta-Foxconn project has been shifted to Gujarat under pressure from the central government even as the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had offered a better package to the company to set up the plant. The project has been moved to Dholera in Gujarat, although it is an "inconvenient" place as compared to Talegaon near Pune, where it was earlier planned to be set up, state Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant claimed in a statement, adding that the move will harm the country as there is a possibility of the project getting stalled. A blame-game has begun in Maharashtra following the announcement two days ago that the joint venture semiconductor project of the Indian conglomerate Vedanta and Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, proposed to be set up near Pune earlier, will come up in Gujarat. "Even as the previous MVA government's offer for a better package than Gujarat, the Vedanta Foxconn project has gone to Dholera under pressure from the central government. Since Dholera is an inconvenient place, many companies, including ISMC Digital, which proposed manufacturing semiconductors just like Vedanta-Foxconn have chosen to withdraw from the same place," he said. Moving the Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor project to Dholera will not only harm Maharashtra, but also the country, Sawant alleged. The Congress leader claimed that as per the internal report of Vedanta company, Talegaon in Maharashtra was the suitable place for this semiconductor project. A comparative study of both Talegaon and Dholera was conducted, and Dholera was given less preference citing various reasons like lack of water supply, skilled labours, electronics manufacturing ecosystem, absence of supply chain vendors and secondary manufacturers and also marshy land, he said. "Even though Maharashtra had offered many concessions, including more capital subsidy than Gujarat, the decision to move the project to Dholera has been made only under the pressure of the central government," Sawant alleged. When Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat, he had announced many non-feasible projects in his state and wasted thousands of crores of rupees from the taxpayer's money, he claimed. "Recently, three companies had applied when a proposal was invited for semiconductor manufacturing with an estimated investment of USD 10 billion in the country. One of them, ISMC Digital, was supposed to come up at Dholera. But this company has fled Dholera due to lack of facilities and water availability. Interestingly, the Gujarat government had entered into an MoU with this company," Sawant said. According to him, Jiophone, a joint project of Google and Reliance, left Dholera and moved to Tirupati. Earlier, Lockheed Martin Corporation withdrew from the solar battery project. Hindustan Construction Company had entered into an MoU to build a waterfront city worth Rs 40,000 crore at Dholera. But after paying some money for the place, it withdrew. Lashing out at the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government for losing the project, Sawant said it would have provided employment to the people of Maharashtra and income to the country. "There is a possibility now that project would be stalled for a long time due to the stubborn attitude of the central government. Just like Dholera, GIFT City project (in Gujarat) was also stalled. International Financial Services Centre, which was to come in Maharashtra was moved there as soon as Modi government came to power. The financial centre would have brought a huge investment to Maharashtra benefitting all. But the central government did not allow it to happen," the Congress leader alleged. When Modi was the chief minister, his government forced the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation to take Rs 10,000 crore worth of bonds, showing that it had found gas reserves. No gas was found ultimately and the company became debt-ridden. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) was forced to buy GSPC by the Modi government, he said. "PM Modi has claimed to have promised Maharashtra a bigger project than Foxconn, but the state does not need his grace for such a big project," Sawant said. "Maharashtra has always remained number one in the field of industry on its own merits. It is unfortunate that BJP leaders are weakening the state to fulfil Modi's dream of making Gujarat successful by snatching projects from Maharashtra," Sawant said.
Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar has demanded an inquiry by a retired judge to ascertain the role of the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the deal with Vedanta-Foxconn falling through. “What efforts did the Aghadi government make to bring this project to Maharashtra?” he asked on Wednesday, requesting Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to get the matter investigated through a retired judge.Holding MVA responsible for letting the project relocate to Gujarat, Shelar said, “Then Industries minister Subash Desai (MVA) government owes an explanation as to what they did to retain the project.” Shelar said Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis had gone all out in pursuing the project since July 2022. He said, “On July 26, a delegation under the managing director of Vedanta Global, Arya Hebbar, met the CM and Deputy CM and gave a presentation on the project”…”the delegation said they were keen to invest in Talegaon, Pune due to the availability of skilled manpower, industry-friendly environment, connectivity to Mumbai and JNPT ports, strong value chain, and modern infrastructure.”TIMELINEAugust 2015: BJP-Shiv Sena govt headed by Devendra Fadnavis announces Foxconn plan to invest in MaharashtraOctober 2016: Fadnavis says Foxconn discussing issues it faces with CentreOctober 2017: Indo-China row delayes project, says FadnavisJuly 2018: Meetings continue between Foxconn and state officials over land requirementJanuary 2020: Industries minister Subhash Desai announces that deal with Foxconn cancelled due to company’s internal disputes with Apple IncJanuary 2022: Minister Aaditya Thackeray and NCP MP Praful Patel hold virtual meeting with Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources Limited, to bring projects like semiconductor and display FAB to stateMay 2022: Desai and Aaditya meet Agarwal at World Economic Forum in DavosJuly 2022: Delegation of Vedanta-Foxconn meets CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Fadnavis. Govt issues press release about project with an investment of Rs 1.54 lakh crore. Also mentioned is that executives of Vedanta-Foxconn are satisfied with the project site proposed at Talegaon Phase IVSeptember 5, 2022: Agarwal meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says that along with energy security for India, Vedanta FAB and semiconductor project discussedSeptember 13, 2022: Vedanta-Foxconn signs MoU with Gujarat govt
Pune: Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule on Wednesday alleged that Gujarat bagging a mega Vedanta-Foxconn semi-conductor plant was part of a "conspiracy" to reduce Maharashtra's importance. The Union government was consistently taking steps to "demean" Maharashtra, she claimed. The Lok Sabha member from Baramati said she was not against Gujarat getting the big-ticket project, but it happened after a Memorandum of Understanding for the same had been signed with the Maharashtra government. "It is part of a larger conspiracy to bring down the importance of Maharashtra, the only state in the country poised to become a trillion dollar economy," she told reporters here. "I am making these allegations consciously...the Union government is consistently taking steps to demean Maharashtra. There will be a long-term setback for Maharashtra as we continue to lose more and more mega investment projects," she said. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should stop their "hospitality tours" and focus on the issue of unemployment, Sule said. The CM and his deputy were free to go and visit all the Ganesh pandals and celebrate everything but Maharashtra needed a focused chief minister, she added, in a dig at Shinde and Fadnavis's visits to Ganesh pandals during the recent Ganesh festival."If the need be, they should have two CMs, one can attend 'yatras' and the other can run the state," she further said. This was not the time for blame game and Shinde and Fadnavis should hold an all-party meeting over these issues, she added.
MUMBAI: Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has accused the opposition of making false claims over the Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor plant going to Gujarat, and also questioned it over the Nanar refinery project. Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have sought to corner the state government following the announcement two days ago that the Rs 1.54 lakh crore semiconductor plant would be set up in Gujarat and not in Maharashtra as proposed earlier. "It is disappointing that negative, false and baseless claims are being spread to gain political mileage. This is only to hide their own incompetence. I want to ask opposition leaders, who sent back Rs 3.5 lakh crore refinery from Maharashtra? My advice to these leaders is to focus on becoming competent and efficient and not negative and desperate, " Fadnavis, who is visiting Moscow, tweeted. He also welcomed Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal's tweet that Maharashtra will be key to "forward integration" to the joint venture in Gujarat. "We welcome your decision to choose Maharashtra for forward integration. We will always remain competitive and extremely business friendly," the BJP leader added. The Thackeray-led Shiv Sena had sided with the locals who were opposed to the refinery project that was to come up at Nanar in the coastal Ratnagiri district. Earlier, in a series of tweets, Agarwal said Vedanta-Foxconn JV had been professionally assessing site for the multi-billion dollar investment. "This is a scientific and financial process which takes several years. We started this about 2 years ago," the industrialist said. They shortlisted Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and had been engaging with each of these governments as well as central government and "have received fantastic support," he said. "We decided Gujarat few months ago as they met our expectations. But in July meeting with Maharashtra leadership, they made a huge effort to outbid other states with competitive offer. We have to start in one place and based on professional and independent advice we chose Gujarat," the Vedanta chairman said. The multibillion dollar long-term investment will "change the course of Indian electronics", he said, adding that it will create a pan-India ecosystem and "we are fully committed to investing in Maharashtra as well." "Maharashtra will be our key to forward integration in our Gujarat JV," he added.
The Uddhav Sena desperately needed a comeback after it was ejected from Maharashtra in June. It has found one - and its young leader, Aaditya Thackeray, is leading from the front, accusing the government that replaced his father's of betrayal.On Tuesday, it was announced that a $20 billion project for building semi-conductors had been allocated to Gujarat by Vedanta in partnership with Foxconn, the Taiwan corporate.Maharashtra had been in the running for the project - or at least it believed it was. And the Uddhav Sena has accused the government of Eknath Shinde and the BJP of allowing a golden opportunity to pass into the hands of the PM's home state.Aaditya Thackeray (File photo)Gujarat government said Aaditya Thackeray, and others in the Uddhav Sena have similarly hurled allegations of discrimination against the "Marathi Manoos" (sons of the soil), a complaint that the Sena has patented over decades.The 20 billion-dollar project, located near Ahmedabad, is expected to create 100,000 jobs and the Gujarat government has said that the joint venture is the largest investment by a corporate in any state.Embarrassed by the fact that the BJP, which largely runs his government, has gained big - the Vedanta deal has been announced crucially before Gujarat votes for its next government - Eknath Shinde phoned the PM today and expressed sentiments of the state that the project should have gone to Maharashtra.Devendra Fadnavis, PM Modi and Eknath ShindeHe says he was assured by the PM that "a large project would be given to Maharashtra soon". As Gujarat Chief Minister, the PM relocated the Tata's Nano project to Gujarat from West Bengal, where Mamata Banerjee led huge protests against the car factory.Eknath Shinde is right to fret. The all-important election for Mumbai's municipal election, the BMC, is to be held soon, and if he wrests it from the Uddhav Sena, his claim that he controls the real Shiv Sena after his rebellion against its founding family will stand much stronger.But the PM and his top aide, Amit Shah, must deliver a strong showing in Gujarat, a state the BJP has governed since 1998 and where Arvind Kejriwal is swinging for the fences to establish himself as the runner-up. If he succeeds in diminishing the Congress, he will further his contention of being the main Opposition party, a prospect that is unwelcome for both the BJP and the Congress.Arvind Kejriwal in GujaratThe PM's much-propagated "Gujarat Model" was based on landing projects like the Vedanta - Foxconn 20 billion-dollar investment as front and centre of the model. The dilemma for the top leadership of the BJP: they couldn't be publicly seen as playing favourites with their own state and benefiting it at the expense of Maharashtra. Yet, with the upcoming Gujarat election, the luscious project and its accompanying headlines create a huge talking point for the PM to take to voters.The Uddhav Sena remains in alliance with the Congress and Sharad Pawar's party, both of which have added to the outrage over losing the Vedanta deal. Ajit Pawar, Leader of the Opposition, has written to Eknath Shinde pointing out that the project was needed for the growth of Maharashtra and jobs. Ajit Pawar (File photo)Leaders from Maharashtra have a laundry list of projects and headquarters which have been shifted to Gujarat after 2014, when the PM took charge of the country. The list includes shifting of the diamond market from Mumbai to Surat in Gujarat; moving the International Financial Centre to Gujarat's GIFT City from Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex in November 2007 had a huge cost to Maharashtra as it resulted in the diversion of foreign direct investment worth Rs 1.63 lakh crore to Gujarat. The Congress claims that Devendra Fadnavis, who is now Deputy Chief Minister, misled people that an International Financial Centre would also be set up in Mumbai and allowed then Chief Minister Modi to gain benefits.Maharashtra is the second most industrialised state in India (Tamil Nadu is the first) and has huge anxiety about job creation.This is what Team Uddhav wants to cash in on. A regional rhetoric with emotive allusions of Maharashtra and Mumbai being sabotaged by "outsiders".PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com(Swati Chaturvedi is an author and a journalist who has worked with The Indian Express, The Statesman and The Hindustan Times.)Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author.
Facing massive Opposition criticism after Vedanta-Foxconn’s decision to shift a multi-million dollar project to Gujarat, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Wednesday welcomed Vedanta Resources Chairman Anil Agarwal’s tweet saying they are “committed to investing” in the state.The Maharashtra deputy CM also lashed out at Opposition parties for their reaction over the relocation of the Rs 1.50 lakh crore semiconductor and fabrication plant to Gujarat.Fadnavis’ post on Twitter came after Vedanta’s Anil Agrawal in a series of tweets, said they “have to start in one place & based on professional & independent advice we chose Gujarat”.“This multi billion dollar long term investment will change the course of Indian electronics. We will create a pan Indian ecosystem and are fully committed to investing in Maharashtra as well. Maharashtra will be our key to forward integration in our Gujarat,” said Agarwal.Vedanta-Foxconn has been professionally assessing site for a multi-billion dollar investment. This is a scientific and financial process which takes several years. We started this about 2 years ago. (1/4)— Anil Agarwal (@AnilAgarwal_Ved) September 14, 2022Tagging Agarwal’s post, Fadnavis, who is in Russia, tweeted, “It is disappointing that negative, false & baseless claims are being spread to gain political mileage. This is only to hide their own incompetence. I want to ask opposition leaders, who sent back ₹3.5 lakh crore refinery from Maharashtra?” “My advice to these leaders is to focus on becoming competent & efficient and not negative & desperate.”It is disappointing that negative, false & baseless claims are being spread to gain political mileage. This is only to hide their own incompetence.I want to ask opposition leaders, who sent back ₹3.5 lakh crore refinery from Maharashtra?— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) September 14, 2022Devendra Fadnavis was referring to the proposed refinery project at the Nanar village in the state’s Ratnagiri district to counter the Opposition attack.In 2015-16, Fadnavis had taken initiative to get Asia’s first green refinery project to Maharashtra. The project promised investment of Rs 3 lakh crore and employment to one lakh people. It was to be a joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco.However, the Shiv Sena, which was then an alliance partner of the BJP in the coalition government between 2014 to 2019, opposed the project in the coastal Konkan region. As a result, the process of land acquisition for the world’s largest single-complex refinery project was stopped and the project was scuttled.Now, the Eknath Shinde and Fadnavis government, which returned to power in June 2022, is once again trying to revive the project. Maharashtra Industries Minister Uday Samant even held meetings with stakeholders last month.According to a BJP source, “Shinde and Fadnavis are set to aggressively push the refinery project. It will help them to showcase the Rs 3 lakh crore investment and one lakh job.”BJP leaders said it will also help the state government to diffuse the Opposition attack over the Vedanta-Foxconn project’s shift to Gujarat.Leaders of the Congress, the NCP and the Shiv Sena have made a scathing attack on the state government for letting the important investment and employment-oriented project slip away to the neighbouring state of Gujarat.The opposition leader Ajit Pawar said, “The project relocation to Gujarat was out of political pressure. Ahead of Gujarat assembly polls, BJP leaders seem to have taken a decision thus depriving Maharashtra its investment and employment share.”Stung by the opposition charge over the project, state leaders said they took up the matter with Vedanta-Foxconn. A highly-placed source in the BJP said, “The relocation of the project to Gujarat was a big setback to the state. And top leadership had to find a way out to recover some lost ground.”Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said Wednesday he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was assured that the Centre would help bring “big projects” to the state.