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New Aerospace and Defence Policy for Maharashtra

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The Maharashtra government on Tuesday approved a defence and aerospace production policy, aiming to attract $2 billion investment in five years and create 1 lakh jobs.

Under the policy, the state government will create a corpus of Rs1,000 crore to provide initial working capital to the small and medium enterprises in defence and aerospace.

Under its defence and aerospace policy, the government plans to establish ‘defence hubs’ at Pune, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Aurangabad. The policy offers incentives to public sector undertakings in this sector to facilitate establishment of ‘anchor units’ that would develop market and ecosystem for the MSMEs. The policy also talks of reimbursement of stamp duty, establishment of exclusive industrial townships and rationalisation of industrial laws.

The corpus of Rs1,000 crore would be managed by a professional fund manager and used to provide working capital for the MSMEs in this sector, according to a press release issued by the chief minister’s office.

The release said the state plans to contribute substantially to the union government’s target to reduce India’s dependence on defence and aerospace imports from the current 70% to 30%. The policy will offer financial concessions and incentives to develop indigenous technologies in this sector and establish “anchor units” to build an ecosystem, the release says.

The cabinet also approved an electric vehicles industry policy stressing use of EVs (electric vehicles) as modes of mass transport, apart from a textile policy and a logistic park policy. The EV policy aims to attract an investment of Rs25,000 crore and create one lakh jobs.

The moves come ahead of the Magnetic Maharashtra investment summit to be held in Mumbai on 18-20 February, an industry department official said requesting anonymity.

“We hope to attract a large number of investment proposals in these sectors during the business summit and the policies are an attempt to show what Maharashtra is ready to offer. We have been fine tuning these policies for quite some time now and tried to make them as dynamic as possible,” the official said.

The official added that the policies specifically addressed the MSME sector “which has the potential to create jobs”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate Magnetic Maharashtra on 18 February. Last month, the state unveiled its start-up and innovation policy targeting an investment of Rs5,000 crore and facilitating 10,000 start-ups in five years. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis also attended the World Economic Forum at Davos last month to promote Maharashtra as India’s top investment destination.

The state cabinet also approved a specific industrial policy to facilitate allotment of specially designed industrial complexes for the manufacturers of readymade garments, gems and jewellery, micro-electronic and miscellaneous engineering goods. The cabinet decided to give extension to the Maharashtra Industrial Policy of 2013 which, among other things, allows promoters of special economic zones to convert SEZs into integrated industrial townships.

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