CM attacks oppn; defends committee under Modi

Nagpur :  Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis lodged a scathing attack on the opposition while replying to the motion of thanks to the address of Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao. He presented before the house how his government has kept its word on the speedy governance within a month of its inception. He assured new policies on a host of issues and also defended the proposed committee under Modi on Mumbai’s issues.

The chief minister appeared in an unusually aggressive mood during his about 75 minute long speech on Monday. He questioned the opposition leaders including erstwhile chief minister Prithviraj Chavan over indecision during his regimen.

“No force on this earth can separate Mumbai from Maharashtra,” he asserted adding that his suggestion of a committee for Mumbai headed by the Prime Minister is meant for the fast track development of the city.

“Development is measured in terms of ‘ease in doing business’. India ranks 180th on the list according to the criteria that assess India from ‘ease’ in Mumbai. We need to cut down on time to acquire permissions. A committee under PM would ensure Mumbai’s development and would contribute to the national wealth in turn,” Chief Minister said.

CM says Government is planning to restart the Dabhol Power Project

“There are a number of infrastructure projects pending with the Central government and they need sympathetic consideration and clearance. The projects include those from railways, housing and infrastructure. If the Prime Minister is the chairman of the committee, these pending projects can see the light of the day,” he said.

CM also reiterated that his government was committed to abolish the local body tax (LBT), he said they would not wait to scrap the LBT till the introduction of GST. He also said the government will take up a housing scheme for policemen and sanitation workers of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Chief Minister said that his government’s quick decisions have expedited work on 72 km of metro rail lines within first month of the government. He mentioned metro rail network in Mumbai, Navi Mumba, Thane, Pune and Nagpur. “Work on Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ 33.5 km, completely underground project worth Rs. 23,136 crore is expected to take off in 2015. While, Wadala-Kasaradavali (Thane) project has received centre’s nod, new project for the Mankhurd-Dahisar line has been prepared. Two metro lines in Nagpur have received centre’s nod while it is expected for two lines in Pune very soon,” he said.

“Our government worked on your dream project,” Fadnavis said to Chavan while elaborating on the developments on 34 km long Nariman Point-Malad coastal road project. He also took a dig at Ajit Pawar mentioning how Chavan persuaded the project instead of the sea link project, which was controlled by the ministry under NCP. “Central government’s notification in 2011 is a major hurdle in the project. Our government is pursuing the Central government to do away with the notification so that the project takes off,” he said, informing the house that basic work on the project report has been initiated by the MCGM.

Government is planning to restart the Dabhol Power Project, Fadnavis said while revealing the government’s plans to fulfill its election promise of ‘power to all’. “The Centre’s policies on providing coal linkages has ensured that we would get quality coal from nearby mines. That would mean a reduced production cost and cheaper power. The power and oil and natural gas ministries have developed policies that would help us reviving projects like Dabhol power project (Enron),” he said.

Fadnavis also said that the government is firm on doing away with the LBT. “I had a long discussion with the Union Finance Minister. He has agreed to factor in the LBT into the GST. This means that the new tax structure won’t affect income of local bodies. They would be given their share by the Central government. We intend to do is as much early as possible, as the new proposal will ensure that financial independence of the local bodies would remain intact,” he said.

Abhijit Mulye

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