Mumbai finance hub may be called North 51, to have Metro station

The decision to go ahead with the plan comes even as the IFSC proposal has yet not been approved

mumbai Updated: Jan 21, 2017 00:20 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,International Finance Services Centre,Bandra-Kurla Complex
The International Finance Services Centre in Bandra-Kurla complex has been on Mumbai’s wish list for 7 years.(HT FILE)

The proposed International Finance Services Centre (IFSC) at Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai is likely to be named North 51, derived from the area’s pin code and the north Mumbai location.

The task force on the IFSC chaired by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and MoS for civil aviation Jayant Sinha zeroed in on the name this Wednesday in a review meeting.

The panel, in its review meet, also ruled in favour of a more Indian identity for North 51 along with open and green spaces instead of just the new-age dark glass and concrete towers. The master plan for the centre will be accordingly worked on and submitted to the state by the consultant in the coming three months. The proposed BKC metro station will also come up now at the IFSC.

The decision to go ahead with the plan comes even as the IFSC proposal has yet not been approved. The Ministry of Commerce rejected the state’s proposal to consider 50 hectare (minimum land requirement mandatory for getting finance special economic zone tag) in built up area instead of plot size.

The government has now sent a renewed proposal, demarcating the 50 hectares of physical area.

“We have redrawn the boundaries for the IFSC and carved out the requisite contiguous 50 hectare plot. It will include the entire MMRDA ground and other areas. We hope to get the approval soon. Mumbai has a natural advantage with IFSC and that cannot be denied on any grounds,” said a senior official and member of the task force.

The state officials suspect that the delay from the Centre for the Mumbai IFSC is on account of Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), the country’s only designated IFSC, an approved financial SEZ and a project closely associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The officials claim GIFT will not get investors if there is another financial centre so close to it.

To get around this hurdle, the panel is now working on a Mumbai-GIFT corridor to have a better linkage between the two proposed finance centres. The Taskforce has asked member and Bank of Baroda, managing director Jayakumar to work on this proposal.

It was also decided that Mumbai IFSC should have a tie-up with Qatar and Dubai to create a South Asia-Middle East corridor. The ICICI MD Chanda Kochhar, also on this task force, is looking at how these tie-ups can be possible.

The finance centre has been on Mumbai’s wish list for the last 7 years. Fadnavis put it back on track after he took over the government by setting up the task force to turn it into a reality.

State officials are expecting delay in Centre’s approval to the project. “We don’t expect this file to move for another year. We will get the tag eventually. In the meanwhile, we will prepare a master plan for BKC IFSC, we already have interested investors with BKC land being a gold mine,’’ said an official, closely associated with the IFSC project.

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First Published: Jan 21, 2017 00:20 IST