‘Maharashtra has potential for several financial hubs’

March 15th, 2008 - 12:37 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 14 (IANS) Maharashtra has the economic potential to harbour and nurture several international financial centres like Mumbai, said K.V. Kamath, managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank, here Friday. Speaking at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) meet, “Maharashtra Annual Day: Infrastructure the much needed Astra”, Kamath said: “I believe that not just Mumbai, several international financial centres will spring up and the time will come when the country’s economy will be able to throw out surpluses.”

“The current growth being witnessed in the country does not find any mention in the developmental economics books,” he said.

“The growth is stupendous but there are challenges and obstacles in its path,” he pointed out.

According to him, the real problem “lies in the acute paucity of infrastructure development”.

“States are rich and funds are available which can overcome the challenges. And if you want to make Mumbai an international financial centre, the state will have to focus on the infrastructure development,” he said.

According to Kamath, the conceptualisation and immediate execution of the infrastructure development plans a la Chinese way will certainly pave the way for the growth and it may even take the per capita income to possibly $1,500 in near future.

V.K. Jairath, Maharashtra principal secretary (industries) also spoke at length on the need for a focus on the infrastructure development in the state.

Jairath said the state was at present focussing on the power scene. “The state has already allocated Rs.27 billion ($675 million) for power. After power, we want to take the issue of ports and then airports and then roads,” Jairath told the audience.

“Not much focus is being given on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. This freight corridor is intrinsically woven with infrastructure development,” he added.

According to Jairath, land acquisition is the key problem the infrastructure industry faces.

“Land acquisition is a problem and unlike other states we are not that bad,” he said.

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