From hiring high-end cars to booking suites in starred hotels, the state government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the Make In India event becomes a success. Prime minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event on Saturday.
The state and central government did not get much of a response from state heads of leading countries. The only countries that will attend various programmes during the week are Sweden, Lithuania, Finland and Poland. Dozens of other countries, however, have agreed to send their official delegation of ministers.
With more than a 100 foreign delegations expected to land in the city for the week-long event, the city does not have enough Mercedes cars to rent out. It has requested the Ministry of External Affairs for additional cars from other cities. “The demand for the high-end cars shot up owing to the VIP attendance. Most of the countries have booked S and E series Mercedes cars for their respective heads. The bookings made privately by the participating industries have also led to the shortage. The government will need more than 30 Mercedes cars. We were forced to approach the Ministry of the External Affairs for the additional cars,” said an official from Mantralaya.
The state government has also blocked suites in starred hotels in south Mumbai to cater to the last-minute rise in demand during the Week. According to protocol, the government provides accommodation and transport of a 10-person staff accompanying state heads. The delegations that are not headed by the prime or deputy prime ministers are provided with other high-end cars. “The Mercedes cars cost us around Rs18,000 a day, while other cars like the Corrola cost Rs6,000 a day,” the officer said.
Four state agencies — the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation(MIDC), the BMC and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation — are shouldering the financial burden of the Week and it is expected to range between Rs80 crore and Rs100 crore. “The major responsibility of big events, exhibitions and hospitality, logistics has been taken by the MIDC, which is spending more than Rs40 crore. The MMRDA is spending on the space and logistical support. This costs about Rs15 crore,” an official said.
Meanwhile, the state government plans to sign an MoU with leading multinational firms.
According to Mantralaya officials, the state government has sealed deals with giants from various sectors and the official announcement will be made on Monday. “Besides automobile and IT, we are expecting sizeable investment in the textile sector. Leading global players in education and healthcare are also in the process of discussion and deliberation,”said Swadheen Kshatriya, state chief secretary.
Uddhav accepts CM’s invitation to attend event
Ending the week-long suspense, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will attend events during the ‘Make in India’ week. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has not only invited Thackeray for the event, but has also asked him to give concluding remarks at the ‘Make in Mumbai’ seminar to be held on February 15.
The move has got significance in the wake of recent war of words between the allies on various issues.
According to sources, Fadnavis personally invited Thackeray for the event, which was accepted.
Following this, a formal invitation was sent to Thackeray by industries minister and senior Sena leader Subhash Desai on February 9.
The suspense had been building up over Thackeray’s attendance. The Shiv Sena chief was not invited to lay down the foundation stone for the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial at Dadar on October 11 last year. This, despite all the other BJP allies being invited to the event, which was even attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Thackeray will attend a cultural event called ‘Maharashtra Night’ to be held at Girgaum Chowpatty on February 14. “Thackeray will visit Maharashtra’s stall at the exhibition centre on February 15 to be held at the Bandra-Kurla Complex. He will also address the concluding session of the ‘Make in Mumbai’ seminar to be held at the same venue in the evening,” said a senior official, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Confirming the same, Desai said the chief minister has invited the Shiv Sena chief for the event and he has agreed to attend. “The chief minister spoke to him on the phone and extended the invitation,” Desai told Hindustan Times.