In an exclusive interview with the Free Press Journal, Minister of Industries Subhash Desai said that the MoU signed with Chinese companies will be implemented. In addition, he informed that the state government has recently amended the industrial policy to attract more investments post the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can you provide details on the MoU with SIDBI that was signed on Wednesday?
It will be a great support to MSMEs. SIDBI will be MSMEs’ partner for the state of Maharashtra. As per the MoU, SIDBI will design schemes in the area of equity support, interest subvention and resolution of stressed MSAMEs (understanding their issues, intervening as per their needs, and evaluating their status).
In addition, SIDBI will study the existing framework of schemes and suggest modifications to enhance efficacy and remove bottlenecks. It will be a process of handholding in the state for MSMEs’ onboarding into digital platforms such as PSBLoansin59Minutes, stock exchange listing, and e-commerce platforms, like GEMs.
SIDBI has earmarked a fund of Rs 1 lakh crore for MSMEs. It will be the state government’s efforts to avail maximum funds and related benefits for the MSMEs in Maharashtra. The state government will work as facilitator. We have set up a project management unit, comprising officials and SIDBI, for the effective implementation of the MoU.
Despite COVID-19, the state government signed MoUs of about Rs 25,000 crore investment. What is the present status?
More than 50 per cent companies/investors, who had signed MoUs, were allotted land on a lease/rental basis and the remaining are in the process of allotment. As far as Chinese companies who have signed MoUs are concerned, the government has not put any ban on them, but we are slow on that. The implementation of MoUs will take place.
The government launched the MahaJob portal with big fanfare, but there is a mismatch between job seekers and job givers. How are you addressing this issue?
We have started working on bridging the demand and supply gaps on the MahaJob Portal. More than 2 lakh job seekers and few thousand companies as job givers are registered. However, there is a gap, as many job seekers are unskilled. So, we are providing them skill sets and segregating the requirements of companies into different skill sets to try to match the profiles of the job seekers. There is a regular review meeting every week being held to address various issues.
Will the Maharashtra government amend the industrial policy because of the present COVID-19 pandemic?
We are amending the industrial policy as it is a continuous process. The state government recently took four initiatives, including MahaJob Portal, the Maha Parvana scheme and Plug and Play model. They were amendments to the industrial policy. We are again amending the policy, especially for the IT sector. The government intends to provide more physical and fiscal incentives.