Mumbai's ambition to be counted as an International Finance Centre (IFC) may now start to take real shape. In a dig at Gujarat’s GIFT city, touted to be India’s officially designated international finance centre, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said no other city in the country was as equipped as Mumbai is, to become a global finance centre.
Towards this, Fadnavis said, his government has set in motion a number of plans that will take shape soon. The CM said he had already formed a panel of bankers and corporates to provide feedback on the issue to the state. “I have invited Deutsche Bank’s co-chief executive Anshu Jain to be part of this panel, along with other eminent personalities. RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has promised his support to the panel’s working.”
The city will also get a building at Bandra-Kurla Complex. “This will be an iconic building constructed by MMRDA, which will house some of the biggest international firms we are trying to lure into the city.”
Dismissing the Opposition’s claims that the city lost out on the international finance centre tag to GIFT, Fadnavis said, “There is no such official tag by the Centre. Every city aspires to be an international centre. However, it is up to the financial community to decide where they want to do business. All we can do is provide the infrastructure and environment for it. No other city in the country has the benefits that Mumbai has, to offer to the business community.”
The CM said he had already got the Centre to waive a transaction charge that was imposed on fund managers operating from Mumbai. “We are also planning to rationalise our stamp duty because a lot of corporates have told us that they don’t ink their agreements in the city because stamp duty is very high.”
A panel under the UPA government had recommended that the Centre give status of IFC to Mumbai. However, the Congress-led UPA government sat on the proposal. Things have not changed much since the BJP-led NDA took over at the Centre.