Mumbai: Maharashtra’s new industrial policy—christened Magnetic Maharashtra, Brand Maharashtra—aims at boosting the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The policy, cleared by the state cabinet on Wednesday, offers these industries waiver from tax on electricity consumption, stamp duty, local taxes like octroi. It also offers MSM industries Rs.1 concession per unit in electricity tariff if they set up units in the state’s backward regions such as Vidarbha and Marathwada.
The policy also offers MSMEs 5% subsidy on capital investment in taluks classified as C and D for development purposes. Maharashtra government has classified all 357 taluks in the state in five categories on the basis of industrial development—A, B, C, D and D+.
The new policy allows special economic zone (SEZ) developers whose projects have got struck due to issues like land acquisition, changes in tax laws by the central government, etc. an exit route. The SEZ developers can develop the land in their possession as an integrated industrial township project. They can utilize their land in 60:40 ratios. This means SEZ developer will have to use 60% of total land in possession for industrial purpose; the rest can be used for residential and commercial purpose.
Around 27,500 ha has been acquired for SEZs. As the state was finding it difficult to address the issue of land acquired for SEZs, industrial policy got delayed by more than one year. The last five-year industrial policy, announced in November 2006, aimed at attracting mega projects with a minimum investment of Rs.500 crore. The new policy aims at attracting Rs.5 trillion investment over five years and create two million jobs.
It has also created the concept of ultra mega projects—those which attract an investment of Rs.1,500 crore or more and has the potential to create 3,000 direct and indirect jobs. Such projects will be offered additional incentives. A panel under the chief secretary will be constituted to decide on the incentive packages for such projects.
The new policy also offers additional floor space index (FSI) to all industrial units in existing industrial parks as well as new industrial parks. FSI indicates permissible construction on any plot. For instance, if FSI is one and size of plot is 1,000 sq. ft, construction allowed is 1,000 sq. ft. The exiting FSI in industrial parks is one and now it has been increased to 1.5.