With the Government of India’s recurring efforts to boost industries, technologies, education, growth & development through various schemes, India has grown leaps and bounds within a few years. Throwing the spotlight on the transforming India, Elets Technomedia organised India Transformation Summit. E Ravendiran, Member Secretary, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board addressed one of the sessions on how state PSUs have contributed to the growth story.
Mr Ravendiran started on the note that Maharashtra is a high industrialist state with over one lakh industries. “If we want to retain the status and if we want to attract more investments, we need to take proactive steps compared to other states”, he added.
Addressing the session, Mr Ravendiran said, “Just like other states, Maharashtra has also taken a lot of initiatives to fetch more investments and ease business in the state. For any industry to set across India, it has to apply at least 13 departments and take a minimum of 40 to 42 permissions which pose an issue for the industries. Secondly, the availability of a skilled workforce is another challenge.” To do away with such a tedious process, the Government of Maharashtra, recently, announced a policy that any industry which is investing more than Rs 50 cr they will be issued the permissions within 48 hours, he added.
Such moves promote the ease of doing business and allow industries to set up easily. However, Mr Ravendiran said, “There are around 25 statutory permissions of the 42 which takes their own time of three to four months or sometimes six months. So these are a few critical areas where the government wanted to intervene and reduce the time so that investments to industries can be promoted.”
Adding on he said, “If we look at recent policy and guidelines by the government, the timelines have been shortened. For example, is we talk about pollution control. We issue the certification or permit for different categories of industries to operate. As per the new policies, the permit has to be given within 30 days as after that it will be deemed given.”
Elaborating on the steps taken by the state to resolve the skilled labour issue, he said, “Due to the COVID pandemic a huge number of labourers have migrated back to their home states. This raised challenges in front of the government to create a skilled workforce by skilling up the local labour. And, we are working on it.” Moreover, the government came up with a workers’ bureau wherein the government will be accelerating the skiing of the labour, he added.
Further, he mentioned that Mumbai is the financial capital of the country and to retain that position there is a need to focus on region-based development. Detailing this, Mr Ravendiran said, “Maharashtra is a big state and has many regions. For example, if we look at the Konkan region, the government is focussing on the food processing industry. Similarly, in Mumbai how the film industry can be improved, whereas, for the Aurangabad region the government is focussing on automobiles and EV industry, etc.”
Further, Mr Ravendiran stated, “COVID-19 is a global pandemic and it has affected the economy globally which has directly impacted the businesses and industries. The pandemic comes with the possibility of joblessness as layoffs are taking place worldwide. So there is a possibility that many Indians working abroad may come back and look for opportunities in India. This may take us to a state of underemployment as we would be having more skilled labour but limited jobs.”
He concluded by raising a few concerns, “Observing a six-month-long lockdown will simply equate to killing the economy. In Maharashtra, today, not even 30 percent of the production is back. There are various challenges like unavailability of skilled labour, availability of the supply chain, and even if the production is on the roll where is the consumer to buy it.”