Even during the pandemic, Maharashtra was one among the many states that were star performers in attracting investments into industry. Taking pride in the efforts in such achievements, P Anbalagan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), talks about what sets MIDC apart from other industrial development corporations (IDCs) in India. He spoke about all this and much more in an interview with Free Press Journal’s Jescilia Karayamparambil and RN Bhaskar. Below are edited excerpts.
Can you tell us about MIDC, its role in Maharashtra industrial development and key responsibilities?
It was set up in the year 1962 by a special act of the state government with the mandate to achieve balanced industrial development in Maharashtra. It is a special planning body which operates through a vast network of local offices.
Most other industrial bodies that exist in other states are formed by company law. But MIDC is through a statute.
We aggregate land and develop all the needed infrastructure like roads, power supply, sewage treatment, effluent treatment plant among others facilities. MIDC also runs a fire brigade which is parallel to the urban local body. Nowhere in the country, does an IDC run such a system.
It acts as an important link between investors and the government being the single point of contact for all investor relations. MIDC administers the investment lifecycle in the state from outreach to aftercare and is responsible for providing essential infrastructure to businesses like land, power, water and more.
The organisation manages 289 industrial parks built over 2.25 lakh acres of land across the state. Over the last few years, MIDC has focused on fostering business relationships with nearly all major trade partners of India. MIDC plays a key role in the state’s industrial and infrastructural development.
MIDC is the state’s nodal Investment Promotion Agency. The corporation is not only the country’s largest Industrial development authority but is also South East Asia’s most competent Investment Promotion Authority. Over the last 5-6 decades, MIDC has enabled the state to achieve an undisputed leadership position with regards to investments and industries. MIDC is the only investment agency that is part of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA). In India, Invest India is a member of WAIPA and then at the state level it is only MIDC.
Key responsibilities under its scope
As a special planning authority, MIDC is responsible for acquisition of industrial land and aggregates the disparate industrial development efforts within one body that can generate real expertise and track record of delivery.
Increases the pace and agility of the state’s response to investors/developers provides access to a single window system for land application and allocation to boost the ease of doing business in the state and boost external investment.
Focuses on holistic development of the state in each region through the development of industrial clusters.
Improves investment-readiness of key city projects by developing the propositions to make them more attractive to external investment.
Provides specialised and sustainable infrastructure with sectoral focus such as sector specific industrials hubs for Agro industries, IT/ITeS parks, Textile, Wine and more.
Provides designated chemical zones, commissioning and management of CETP and CHWTSDF for effective treatment of industrial waste.
24x7 power supply through dedicated feeders and has the largest water supply network in Asia providing almost 2,500 MLD per day.
How have you managed to maintain the leadership ranking in terms of attracting investments Into India?
Be it a foreign direct investment or domestic investments, for two decades the state continues to lead. Now, 30 per cent of investment from overseas comes to our state. These investments are spread across the state mainly because of various developments in the state.
Even during the pandemic, the state could attract major investments. This shows that Maharashtra is poised to become a trillion dollar economy in the next five to six years. There are not many states (at sub-national level) that have the potential to contribute a trillion to the economy.
MIDC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 54 companies that is worth Rs 1.12 lakh crore recently. Out of the 54 companies, 36 companies are already given land and are in the final stages of land allotment. Seven companies out of the nine companies are in the data space.
By mid-April, the transfer of land for all these companies will take place. Barring one company, 53 companies would have invested in the state by May end. This is the speed and efficiency at which the state works. The state also enjoys the trust of international and domestic players.
How is the land acquisition process of MIDC different from other industrial centres?
Maharashtra is the only state, which has an Act for enabling acquisition of land. This act allows farmers and industry negotiation. Very rarely do we go in for critical acquisition. More than 90-95 per cent of land is acquired by consent.
For instance, the Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC) 10,000 acres of land were acquired through consent and there was no court case against the land acquisition of this project. This is mainly because MIDC negotiated with the landowners/ farmers. MIDC also engaged with them from the beginning and built the confidence. MIDC offers the best price, and the farmers know this. We normally do not touch land under irrigation but prefer to focus on barren land instead.
In Aurangabad, we gave them the best price and 10-15 per cent share of the developed land. Compared to other states which depend on the Central government’s rules to acquire land, Maharashtra has its own land acquisition law.
Some reports stated that MIDC took back the land that was not put to use by the companies. Why?
It is a routine process. As per the statute, all land provided by MIDC has to be put to use for minimum/ basic industry requirements within a stipulated period. The land is only taken back after 10 years when we realise that despite giving extensions the land has not been used. MIDC took back around 2,000 such plots in recent times and auctioned them to new companies/ industries.
In Kolhapur, a piece of land was kept for 10-12 years. We resumed activities in this plot and accommodated close to 10 units with an investment of Rs 2,000 crore, and will be employing 5,000 people in one year or 18 months. However, these plots are small in size but MIDC hopes to conduct such drives more often.
Does this decision have something to avoid speculation?
Yes, these lands are for industrial use and not for investors to invest in land. If a company or investor takes additional four years (from the early set timeline) to develop the land, he or she will have to shell out 75 % of the land cost to MIDC. Most people do not invest in MIDC land for speculation.
How much of your expertise from the previous stint in the Pollution board have you been able to implement in MIDC? How much has been invested to keep industry effluents in check?
The environment department and industry department should work in tandem for sustainable development.
Both institutions should share a common (environmental) infrastructure. In most places, the common effluent treatment plants have been overtaken by MIDC. We have undertaken retrofitting and we have done exceedingly well across the state.
We have taken a step forward. We have also created sector-specific trunk infrastructure for the chemical, pharma, textile electronic and food processing sector.
The state is undertaking a massive overhaul of its existing infrastructure. We are upscaling 100 per cent of our effluent-handling capacity -- 200 MLD to around 350 MLD within the next five years.
For the past two years, MIDC has invested around Rs 52,000 crore for environmental infrastructure. Work on these projects is at various stages of implementation.
We will be spending Rs 5,000 crore by 2024. This is excluding infrastructure for chemical zones and pharma centres.
What are your employment targets?
Maharashtra Industrial Policy 2019 has mandated that Rs 10 lakh crore investment will generate 4 million jobs. Roughly, 20 per cent jobs come from manufacturing, 60-70 per cent is from services and the rest from others.
The 54 MoUs that were recently signed has the potential to generate 3 lakh jobs. Apart from that, the state has a total FDI investment of Rs 80,000 crore. MIDC in the normal course of business had allotted land for an investment of Rs 15,000 crore. So, we are assuming that the recent initiatives will generate around 5 lakh jobs.
There is also a programme called Chief Minister Employment Generation Programme (CMEGP). It is also planning to generate 2 lakh jobs every year. So, through MSMEs alone in the next 5 years, we will generate 10 lakh jobs. CMEGP is doing very well.
In terms of employment targets, we were short by 3-4 per cent (as against Maharashtra Industrial Policy 2019 target).
Meanwhile, the Mahajobs portal will help us mobilise the workforce even during the migration of talent. Today, there are 3 lakh youth that have registered with the portal and more than 8,000 jobs by 3,000 companies have been advertised. Around 40,000 people have applied for the 8,000 jobs.
How has Maharashtra adapted to the changing environment during the Covid-19 pandemic? What are the key reforms the state has initiated?
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackerayji unveiled Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 the state’s economic recovery plan. The state launched bold and impactful investment reforms which include: Plug & Play infrastructure; Maha Parwana, Maha Jobs and Investor First Programme.
MIDC has also signed strategic investment cooperation agreements with key corridor partners such as the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) for the USA, United Kingdom – India Business Council (UKIBC) for the UK, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency for South Korea and World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) for Global investors.
What were the outcomes of these initiatives under Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0?
The domestic and global business community has responded with strong confidence in the state’s vision. In three instalments of Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 -- MoU signing events in June, November and December 2020 -- Maharashtra garnered investment commitments worth Rs 1.12 lakh crore by signing MoUs with 54 companies.
The engagements saw participation from both domestic and global businesses from USA, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Spain.
Besides these investment commitments, the state also attracted regular investments of Rs 14,698 crore and FDI investments of Rs 79,216 crore during the past one year. With these investments, the state has succeeded in mobilising industrial investments of over Rs 2 lakh crore.
Details of some upcoming projects:
India’s first smart industrial city for Food Processing, Auto & Components, ESDM and Textile has come up in AURIC Aurangabad as part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor spread over 10,000 acres.
An electronic and engineering smart city is coming up in Talegaon along with a Hi-Tech city spread across 15,000 acres in Dighi Mangaon.
The state is also in the process of finalising engineering hubs at Khalapur in Raigad and Shahpur in Thane.
A dedicated Data Center is coming up in Taloja.
With the focus on food processing, electronic system design and manufacturing, medical equipment and engineering, Nashik- Malegaon-Ahmednagar region is fast developing over 5,000 acres.
Over 8,000 acres have been identified in the Pune-Chakan-Talegaon-Satara region as a hub for auto components, defence, food processing, heavy engineering, gems and jewellery.
With an area of 4,000 acres, Nagpur- Amravati region to further develop as aerospace and defence hub along with Textile and Food Processing hub.