Mumbai: The Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra has flayed the Centre over its decision to make Gujarat’s Gandhinagar the headquarters of the proposed International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).
The central government had issued a gazette notification on April 27 to this effect. Shiv Sena and BJP, the erstwhile allies, are now engaged in a verbal duel over the shifting of the centre from Mumbai to Gujarat.
Sena MP Arvind Sawant, who had raised the issue in the Lok Sabha during his last term, has said this is not "sabka saaath sabka vikas". On the other hand, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has alleged that the issue has been raked up to cover up the failure of the Shiv Sena-led MVA in the handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the decision was "disappointing" and termed it as a move against Mumbai, which is widely seen as the country's financial capital. Stating that IFSC has been moved from Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) to Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant alleged: "This happened on Maharashtra Day.
The state is pained by this sad decision and we have to appeal against it." Sawant also released the video of his speech made five years ago in the Lok Sabha opposing shifting of the IFSC to Gujarat from Mumbai. He said that the MVA government was concerned about "what is due to Maharashtra" and was not against setting up a financial services centre in Gujarat.
However, Fadnavis, who during his five-year tenure as Chief Minister between 2014 and 2019 was at the forefront for the development of IFSC at BKC, today defended the Centre’s decision saying that the city lacked the required infrastructure.
He claimed that between 2007 and 2014 (when the Congress-ruled Maharashtra and led an alliance in Delhi), neither the state nor the Centre did anything towards setting up the IFSC, while Prime Minister Modi (who was then Chief Minister of Gujarat) pursued the idea and developed the needed infrastructure.
He suggested that Mumbai could become an additional financial services centre, in addition to the headquarters in Gujarat. However, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said the Centre’s decision was disappointing and it was being done to reduce Mumbai’s stature. He demanded that the Centre should reconsider its decision saying that Mumbai is the financial hub of the country.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi in her tweet said, "Taken away from Mumbai, would have helped the city create 100,000+ new jobs in the financial sector and in ancillary service." State School Education Minister and Congress leader Varsha Gaikwad tweeted:
"Rest In Peace" IFSC (International financial services centre) dream of Mumbai...Mumbai is again robbed of its opportunity to become an IFSC destination due to special biased love of our Prime minister for Gujarat. PM is for the country or just for one state?"