2:29 am - Thursday November 5, 2015

Maharashtra has to be biggest contributor to Make in India, says Fadnavis

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Devendra Fadnavis  meets Nitin Gadkari

Maharashtra has to be the biggest contributor if Make in India is to succeed, the state’s chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Saturday.

“I represent a state which has always held the key to India’s makeover. It contributes most to GDP of India, contributes most to industrial output,” said the 44-year-old CM, speaking on the topic “States hold the key to India’s makeover”. Fadnavis said he could sense a competitiveness among states now to develop, attract investment, go forward, set benchmarks.

Talking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative, he said, “If Make in India dream has to come true Maha has to be biggest contributor. The ease to do business has to improve.”

Fadnavis said he had already started the process to bring down the number of permissions for business. He said he had found that in some instances as many as 76 permissions were required.

“In a few months, if you want to start a unit in Maharashtra, you will not need to wait for three years, it’ll be done in one-three months.

Fadnavis also shared his digital vision, saying, “Maharashtra has decided we will be the biggest player in the Digital India movement.”

He identified Maharashtra’s agrarian crisis as its biggest challenge. “We need to ensure moisture security… 80% is dry land farming.”

He said 25,000 villages in Maharashtra were drought-prone. “We have decided to make the state drought-free in five years. It is possible with proper water management; we will use technology, satellite imagery.”

Sharing his idea of governance, Fadnavis revealed a penchant to move fast. One such recent move has been to shun the use of paper files and go digital.

He plans to make 2015 the year of technology for Maharashtra, a state that has India’s booming commercial capital Mumbai as well as Vidarbha, which often hits the headlines for farmer suicides.

Fadnavis has been decisive in his approach so far, much in line with being clear from a very young age that he will be a politician.

He is as grassroots as any leader while being in sync with the modern times.

After his the death of his father, who was the MLC of Graduates Constituency, Fadnavis, 18 at the time, told his mother Sarita he would make politics his career.

He completed law studies from Nagpur University and was an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (BJP’s student wing, which he led at the state-level).

He won his first election as a civic corporator at the age of 22.

Politics, however, did not stop him from further studies. He did his Masters in project management from a German institute.

Fadnavis went on to became Nagpur’s mayor (second youngest in the country then), and in 1997, he headed the state’s first mayor-in-council, similar to the state’s council of ministers, to run the local government.

He managed to stay out of controversies even as his following as a mass leader grew. His remarkable performance in opposition benches of the Maharashtra assembly won him national and international accolades. He won the best parliamentarian award from the Commonwealth Parliamentarian Association. His experience as a college-level debater came handy in cornering several ministers.

He was a thorn in the ruling camp’s side, especially in his last two terms, when he accused Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress leaders of corruption and irregularities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described him as a “national asset” at a public meeting in Nagpur in the run-up to the state elections. “I am obliged to the people of Nagpur for giving Maharashtra and the nation a brilliant and committed leader like Devendra Fadnavis,” Modi had said.

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