NCP questions residential provision in industrial policy

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday questioned the 40% reservation for residential and commercial purposes in the proposed industrial policy.

The policy would potentially allow the conversion of 27,000 hectares of land acquired for special economic zones (SEZ) in the state into integrated industrial zones (IIZs).

Congress minister Narayan Rane controls the industries department in the state. In the four-hour discussion on the policy at the state Cabinet meet, NCP ministers such as RR Patil, Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal raised objections over the reservation.

Home minister RR Patil said that the policy would allow developers to make supernormal profits by auctioning land to builders. He, along with other ministers, demanded that the developers interested in setting up IIZs should seek the clearance of the Cabinet, instead of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation.

“The land, primarily in Raigad, Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune, has been acquired for industrial purposes. In several cases, the MIDC was the co-developer. Instead of bringing in industrial investment, the land will now be sold as real estate. So, seeking the permission of the Cabinet should be a must,” said an NCP minister.

Under the new policy, the Integrated Industrial Zones (IIZs) will get a floor space index (FSI) of 1.5, allowing more buildable area.  Rane said that the reservation for residential purposes has been granted to facilitate construction of integrated townships to enable people to walk to work.

The policy is significant as the state was one of the pioneers in setting up SEZs. Of the 63 SEZs notified, 18 are operational. Over the last one year, 27 SEZs have opted out. Even a giant SEZ such as Reliance’s MahaMumbai in Panvel has not taken off and could potentially be converted into IIZs.

 

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