Maharashtra- Investment and Industrial Policies
The State of Maharashtra has always played a leadership role in the national economic and social renaissance. It has looked at advances in science and technology as great opportunities for bringing about economic transformation and social change. One great opportunity in this new century, rightly termed as the 'Century of Knowledge', is the emergence of knowledge-based industries. Information Technology (IT) was just a forerunner among these industries and Maharashtra responded rapidly and became a leading State in IT. Another emerging opportunity on the horizon is Biotechnology.
Maharashtra is a leading state in production of Grapes in the whole country. In regards to agriculture land under grapes cultivation and grapes production, Nashik and Sangli districts are at forefront in the State. Apart from these, grapes are also grown in the districts of Ahmednagar, Pune, Satara, Solapur & Osmanabad. Nowadays, grapes are produced in Latur district of Marathwada also. However, Nashik and Sangli districts are ahead in the production of grapes in a scientific manner. The progressive farmers in these districts have also entered in the grapes exports and grapes processing sector.
'The Prime Minister, in his address at the National Conference held on 18th April 2006 in Mumbai observed that last year was a good year for the Indian manufacturing enterprise. Therefore, it was not only possible to sustain the current economic growth rate of 8% but to realistically hope to target a rate of 10%. The Prime Minister also acknowledged the significance of the manufacturing sector which can provide jobs that are required to absorb the vast number of people who are unemployed at the moment, especially those who will need to move out of agriculture. He cited the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council's identification of key sectors where India can become a global manufacturing hub and the advocacy of "cluster approach" for ensuring economies of scales and scope in the development of key industries. He mentioned that the boom in the SEZs will create competitive export clusters. He also emphasized that the industrial strategy must focus on all spheres of modern manufacturing and that an effective policy intervention in the manufacturing sector would require better coordination between various departments of the Government.'
Considering Maharashtra's strengths in terms of human resources, connectivity and infrastructure, and the special significance of Information Technology (IT) for generating employment, increasing efficiency and improving the quality of life, the State Government announced its first IT Policy in 1998. It was followed by the IT and ITEnabled Services (ITES) Policy in 2003 which provided comprehensive support for the further development of this sector in Maharashtra.
SEZs are specifically delineated duty-free enclaves treated as a foreign territory for the purpose of industrial, service and trade operations, with exemption from customs duties and a more liberal regime in respect of other levies, foreign investment and other transactions. Domestic regulations, restrictions and infrastructure inadequacies are sought to be eliminated in the SEZs for creating a hassle-free environment.
The State of Maharashtra has been in the forefront in attracting foreign direct investment for accelerating the pace of economic growth. The SEZ scheme seeks to create a simple and transparent system and procedures for enhancing productivity and the ease of doing business in Maharashtra.