The prospects of Vidarbha attracting more investment received a shot in the arm when Union minister for heavy industries, Praful Patel on Saturday asserted that it would be very difficult to attract investors in Vidarbha with the new industrial policy and insisted for a special industrial package for region.
Patel, who was in Gondia for a function on the occasion of his father, Manoharbhai Patel's birth anniversary informed that he had brought the issue before the chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan and deputy chief minister, Ajit Pawar recently and urged them to consider it for the backward Vidarbha region.
"The new industrial policy is for the entire state and it would not serve the purpose of Vidarbha when the government tries to bring investors by organising a two-day conclave in Nagpur - Advantage Vidarbha on February 25 and 26," he pointed out. Through the proposed Advantage-Vidarbha, the state government aims to explore the potential of Vidarbha and attract investment in the area of auto and auto ancillary, agro and food processing, mining and power equipment, logistics and supply chain, IT, textile and tourism.
There is a need for a separate industrial policy for Vidarbha which should be flexible and industry-friendly to attract investors in the region. Moreover, the government should give incentives and other facilities in case-to-case basis. There should be industry specific incentive. "I have no objection if the government extends such a special industrial package for other backward areas," he said and expressed his reservations for attracting investors in Vidarbha with the help of the new industrial policy, announced recently by the chief minister.
He also said that the industrial power tariff of the state is much higher than other states, particularly the neighbouring states. "Without giving a reasonable power tariff to the industries, it would very be difficult for the state to attract new investors in Maharashtra," he further said.
On Afzal Guru's hanging, he said that Guru should have been executed much earlier. "The delay generated unnecessary speculation," he said.