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Manufacturing holds key to future growth: Fadnavis

New Delhi : Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said that manufacturing holds the key to future growth of Maharashtra.

Fadnavis, who was addressing the Maharashtra Investment Seminar in Mumbai, indicated that 50 percent of employment in Maharashtra still comes from agriculture which contributes only 11 percent to the state’s GDP.

Clearly, in his view, this sector was not going to provide the much needed employment opportunities for the people of the state.

“Employment opportunities would only be forthcoming from the manufacturing sector,” he added.

In conjunction with the ‘ Make in India’ week, Fadnavis addressed a few of the biggest problems in the state, including infrastructure growth, which have not kept pace with industrial growth. He said this was one of the key issues that his government was working on addressing. In this connection, he stated that the new Mumbai Airport would be completed by 2019, thereby easing the congestion on the present airport.

He also stated that a new airport at Pune was under consideration. In terms of the Mumbai Metro, he stated that the project had gone from the concept phase to the construction phase in a record time of eight months.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman stated that while Maharashtra continues to remain the top state in terms of investment, adding the state seems to have lost some vigor over the past few years.

Sitharaman said the situation has been changing as the state government was taking steps to improve the investment climate.

She highlighted some of the measures that the Central Government was taking which was helping improve the investment climate in the country, including the opening up of more sectors for FDI, simplifying procedures to promote the ease of doing business in the country, setting up of commercial courts, formulation of a Bankruptcy Code among others.

Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal, who was also present at the event, stated that Maharashtra was trying to bring about a greater degree of transparency and probity in the functioning of the government.

He lauded the state government for introducing new and innovative methods to finance infrastructure development and for its use of technology.

Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on his part said the length of the road network in Maharashtra had tripled in the last couple of years. He stated that his government was planning to upgrade the Mumbai Port Trust and the JNPT with investments of Rs. 5,000 crore and Rs. 20,000 crore respectively.

The session also witnessed the unveiling of several new policies of the Government of Maharashtra. These include policies pertaining to the retail sector, port sector, electronics (with an emphasis on fabrication), single window clearance and promotion of SC/ST businesses.

The session was also addressed by leading industrialists such as Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts, Baba Kalyani, Chairman, Bharat Forge, Dilip Shangvi, Managing Director, Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Nikhil Meswani, Executive Director, Reliance Industries Ltd., G V K Reddy, Founder and Chairman and Managing Director, GVK Group, Sajjan Jindal, JSW Steel Ltd. among others. (ANI)