Mumbai: Amid the Chinese government’s willingness to "deepen friendly and cooperative" relations with Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover, the Maharashtra Government on Tuesday in its presentation to the NITI Aayog team urged clarification with regards to investments and acquisitions by Chinese companies in the state.
At the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the state government has referred to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) guidelines issued on October 15, 2020, for restriction of investments from border sharing countries, mainly China.
The government last year had signed an MoU with the Chinese automobile company Great Wall Motors for investment in the state. The company had signed an agreement with General Motors to take over their plant at Talegaon in Pune district. The company will invest Rs 3,770 crore and provide jobs to 2,500. However, the company is still waiting for the Centre’s approval. The state government has sought clarification from the Centre whether the acquisition by Chinese companies is allowed or not.
In another case, Hengli, a Chinese company in the engineering sector has proposed to invest Rs 250 crore and it will provide jobs to close to 150 people in the state. ‘’The FDI remittance was received by the company before the release of the DPIIT guidelines. The company is seeking clarification with respect to their proposed investment in India,’’ said the state government in its presentation to NITI Aayog.
Further, the state government also sought clarification whether a joint venture/merger where one partner is Chinese is allowed. The state government has sent a communication to DPIIT on March 18, 2021, but has yet to receive the clarification.
Moreover, Thackeray took up 41 issues with the NITI Aayog at the meeting. He urged the transfer of 45 acres of railway land for Dharavi redevelopment, availability of land for the development of metro car shed at Kanjurmarg, amendment to the Coastal Regulation Zone rules for the development of 64 private salt pans, the establishment of Coal Regulatory Authority to remove mismatch in prices and strengthening of health infrastructure through ADB loan.
The government has urged to revise the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) norms and finalisation of mitigation guidelines. This is necessary as the norms do not have any time indexation and due to which the rates need to be revised and indexed with either the Wholesale Price Index or the Consumer Price Index to ensure that they neutralise the effect of inflation.
Thackeray pleaded for early release of GST refund of Rs 30,000 crore which may surge to Rs 50,000 crore. Further, CM demanded that the profiteering by insurance companies under the Prime Minister's Crop Insurance Scheme should be stopped.
Thackeray said the state government in cooperation with NITI Aayog to speed up the development process. He added that NITI Aayog appreciated the state government’s corona management and its initiative to promote electric vehicles.