Mumbai: Days after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Lok Sabha that International Financial Services Centre will come up first in Gujarat, the Congress today alleged that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnvais has misled the state on the prospects of such facility in Mumbai.
Attacking Fadnavis on the issue, the Congress accused him of “compromising” the interests of the state under the “pressure” from Centre.
The Maharashtra government’s lobbying for an IFSC in plush Bandra-Kurla complex seems to have suffered a setback after Jaitley told Parliament that one can think of another IFSC only after the one being developed at GIFT City in Gandhinagar is optimally used.
Addressing a press conference today, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesman Sachin Sawant referred to Jaitley’s statement.
“In his reply to a Gujarat MP, Jaitley said an International Financial (Services) Centre is being developed in Gandhinagar and there is no proposal for another IFSC anywhere in the country till the one in Gujarat is fully operational and utilised to full capacity,” Sawant said.
He said this stand of the Centre has “exposed” Fadnavis.
“This has exposed Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ farce of misleading the people of the state in the last two years. He has been saying that the second IFSC will be set up in Mumbai,” the Congress leader said.
He said a task force was set up under Union Minister Jayant Sinha regarding the Mumbai IFSC.
“Excuses were given that only 38 hectares of land was available in the BKC and not the required 50 hectares,” Sawant claimed.
He said the IFSC could come up in neighbouring Navi Mumbai near the upcoming international airport.
“Jaitley’s statement in the Lok Sabha gives a clear indication that there is no proposal for the IFSC in Mumbai,” Sawant said.
An IFSC deals with flows of finance, financial products and services and mainly caters to customers outside domestic economy.
Meanwhile, Sawant alleged that the elevated rail corridor on the Western suburban line in the city was being scrapped whereas the “unfeasible” project like the Bullet Train connecting Mumbai with Ahmedabad is being promoted.
“Fadnavis has compromised the state’s interests and this amounted to an anti-state activity. He is yet to make a statement of scrapping the elevated rail corridor,” he alleged.
Sawant said the erstwhile UPA government had proposed an IFSC in Mumbai in 2007 itself considering the importance of the city as a global hub.
“However, the government changed and in 2015, the new rulers shifted the IFSC to Gujarat,” he said.