iconimg Monday, April 20, 2015

Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, February 28, 2013
With finance ministers and bureaucrats in the North Block refusing to give special status to the country's financial capital, Mumbai hasn't got much from the Union Budget in the last five years.

Consequently, the city's multi-billion dollar makeover plan has only been inching forward, with clearances and funds trickling in slowly from the Centre.

But, stakeholders of the project feel that Thursday's Budget should grant the much-needed push and exclusive tag to the city.

Narinder Nayar, chairman of Mumbai First, wherein private players are partnering with the state for the city's makeover, said, "The Centre should incentivise faster execution of Mumbai makeover projects by ensuring quicker approvals and funds."

Nayar and other business want finance minister P Chidambaram, who had set up a high-powered committee to study possibility of an international finance centre in Mumbai, to take the story forward.

As part of the first phase, the Mumbai Inc has sought the setting up of an International Banking Operations Centre (IBOC) in the city.

The operations centre would enable banks and corporate houses to raise and deploy foreign exchange in the country.

In the consultation round with the finance minister held earlier, the officials had sought increased funding for the city's infrastructure projects.

"We have asked for funding and assistance for several ongoing infrastructure projects," said K Shivaji, principal secretary, finance (reforms). 

CM Prithviraj Chavan had earlier written to the National Development Council, asking for national project status for certain projects, which would help in getting 90% funding from the Centre.

"Projects such as the Mithi redevelopment are pending for want of funds, which the Centre should help us with. Centre's intervention is a must to ensure low-cost housing," said Priya Dutt, Congress MP.