Speeches

  • Felicitation of Successful Chartered Accountancy students
    Date: August 6, 2015 
    Venue: Lokmat Bhavan, Aurangabad 
    Event: Felicitation of CA students  

    Speech of Lokmat Editor-in-Chief Rajendra Darda at felicitation of Successful Chartered Accountancy students

    Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Mr Shivdayal Srivastava, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Aurangabad branch chairman CA Pankaj Kalantri, senior vice-president of Lokmat Omprakash Kela, other dignitaries on and off the dais, CAs, CA students, parents and friends. 
    Let me at the outset congratulate all the successful Chartered Accountancy students. 
    I am also very happy that these successful students who brought fame to Marathwada region are being felicitated at the hands of Mr. Shivdayal Srivastava, Pr. Commissioner of Income Tax.
    I congratulate students who have passed CPT. Friends, CPT is the first step to become a CA. After 12th, CPT tests your knowledge, passion, hard work, etc. If you succeed in CPT, it’s like you get a ticket to enter the BUS.  After Passing IPCC 2nd Step, you enter the BUS and get a Seat and after Passing Final, you reach the destination. 
    The path of this journey to success is full of difficulties. Some leave due to failure in exams, some continue, many hurdles come in journey, but those who are consistent and patient reach the final destination. 
    CA Course is the Cheapest Course in India, but it is also one of the Hardest.  Out of 100 only 8 to 9% pass exams. Thus it’s a Challenge to your skill and Knowledge.  News of Daughter/Sons of Panipuriwala, Rickshawala topping the exams all over India, is a matter of pride.
    Unique feather of CA course is Articleship, where students learn practical knowledge from CA. It is very rare that a professional shares knowledge for betterment of his future generation.
    Aurangabad Branch of WIRC of ICAI is having good infrastructure, library, etc. for students. It is one of the best in India. Students should use it for their betterment.
    CAs are partners in nation building, which incidentally is also the tagline by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
    I would like to use this opportunity to tell a few things to those who have passed CA Final. Passing of the CA Exams is not an end but just the beginning of a new life. Future of a CA is “bright” but his choice should be “right” i.e, to go in Practice or JOB or business.
    I wish you all the best for your future journey. Thank You. 

  • Felicitation of NVS Principal Ranjit Dass
    Date: September 19, 2014 
    Venue: Hotel Taj Residency, Aurangabad 
    Event: Felicitation of Nath Valley School Principal Ranjit Dass

    School Education Minister Rajendra Darda’s speech 
    at a programme to honour Principal Ranjit Dass for receiving the National Teacher’s Award. 

    Dear Ranjit Dassji, Principal of Nath Valley School, distinguished dignitaries and friends.  
    First of all, let me extend my heartiest congratulations to Principal Ranjit Dass who has won laurels for Aurangabad and Marathwada by receiving the prestigious National Teacher’s Award. As an education minister of this progressive state, it is indeed a matter of great pride for me that a teacher from my hometown has been chosen for the highest honour in the field of education. 
    It was 23 years ago that Aurangabad witnessed a very exceptional experiment when Nath Valley School was set up. It was a new model led by Principal Ranjit Dass. Lesser number of students per class, highly motivated teachers and focused education… NVS indeed ushered in a kind of revolution. Dass sir’s matchless ability to motivate students meant that NVS students not only excelled in academics but also in cultural activities, sports and a variety of other fields. And sir, we all respect you because of high moral standards that you bear. May it be a son of an industrialist or that of a common man, you have never differentiated between them. You have also strictly adhered to quality standards and that is why NVS is the most coveted brand today. And yes, you must be given credit for leading the Police Public School initiative wherein today wards of policemen right from constable are getting the quality education at affordable fees. 
    Mr Dass, you have a master’s degree from Oxford University and could have chosen to shift to any metro. I know you were offered the job as principal of the Doon School. However, you chose to remain in Aurangabad, a comparatively smaller city, and the region has benefitted immensely from your erudition. 
    Those who educate children well are more to be honoured than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well, Aristotle has said. 
    Mr Dass you are such a teacher who has inspired generations of students. It gives us immense pleasure to felicitate you. I am sure you will continue making contribution to enrich the field of education in Marathwada. Once again, heartiest congratulations to you and all your teacher colleagues and trustees.

  • Workshop on Education for Innovation and Innovation in Education
    Date: June 18, 2014
    Venue: Pune
    Event: Workshop on Education for Innovation and Innovation in Education 

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at two-day workshop organised by School Education Department in collaboration with Consulate of Israel and ORF

    Hon’ble consul general of Israel Mr. Jonathan Miller, the representative of Consulate of Israel in Mumbai, Aparna Shivkumar, other representatives of Observer Research Foundation, secretary, school education Ashwini Bhide, all the officers of School Education Department present here, other dignitaries on and off the dais,  and all the participants of this training programme.
              At the outset, I would like to say that this training programme in collaboration with consulate of Israel and ORF is one more feather in the cap of the school education department.  In the past 3 to 4 years, we have been making consistent efforts towards effective implementation of Right to Education (RTE) Act and improvements in quality of education.  Apart from ensuring appropriate policy framework, we have given emphasis on comprehensive training to the teachers on various facets.  We have collaborated with the British Council for English language and leadership training.  We took assistance from M/s. Accenture for Learning outcome training.  Recently, we have entered into an MOU with IIT, Mumbai for Mathematics and Science teacher’s training through A-View technology.  As part of our quality enhancement initiatives, we have also collaborated with the Consulate of Israel and ORF to organize this two-day training programme.  It gives me immense pleasure to be with you here today and inaugurate the training programme.
    All of you are aware that Israel is a country small in size and with very limited natural resources.  Yet the progress it has made in agriculture, research and high-tech industry is mindboggling.  They have made it possible by making education as a tool to transform the society.  They have proved that we can cultivate creativity and entrepreneurship by way of an effective education system.  It is very important for all of us to learn from them how to encourage innovative and out of box thinking in our children from the early age itself.  I am sure this two-day training programme will offer you a wonderful treasure of new learnings. The experts from Israel are here to share their experiences in innovative education.  You are going to be the torchbearers of these new concepts which can give a new edge to our education system.
    About 200 delegates are taking part in the deliberations in the two-day event. They include 150 teachers from higher secondary and upper primary sections and 50 of our BEOs, EOs, DIET principals and SCERT officials. The focus will be more on innovations and vocalization since education system in Israel is very good at that. Experts will guide the teachers on how to encourage creativity and entrepreneurship among the children from the early years. 
    Since my friends from Israel are here, it would not be out of place if I give a brief overview of education scenario in Maharashtra here. The span of education in the state is very vast. Nearly 20 million students study in 1 lakh 5 thousand schools and more than 7 lakh teachers impart knowledge to them. 
    Since we began implementing the RTE in Maharashtra from April 1, 2010, we have basically concentrated on three parameters. We have made our syllabus equivalent to national curriculum with an aim to impart quality education. We also know that our teachers have to be outstanding if we want to mould good students. Hence, we have enhanced educational qualifications of teachers. We are using experts to train teachers. British Council has trained 67,000 primary teachers and 20,000 secondary teachers in English. We have also concentrated on improving infrastructure in our schools. 
    I am greatly thankful to Mr. Miller, the Consul General of Israel and also the Observer Research Foundation for organizing this wonderful programme.  This collaboration of ours will go a long way in ensuring the universalisation of quality in education in our state.  I wish you all the best for a successful training workshop.

  • MASSIA Exhibition
    Date: January 3, 2014 
    Venue: Garware Stadium, Chikalthana Industrial Estate, Aurangabad 
    Event: Advantage Maharashtra Expo 2014 

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at MASSIA’s Advantage Maharashtra Exhibition 2014  

    President of Marathwada Association of Small Scale Industries and Agriculture (MASSIA) Sunil Bhosaleji, convener of Advantage Maharashtra Expo 2014 Raman Ajgaonkarji, MASSIA office-bearers Ashok Bedse Patilji and Narayan Pawarji, Aurangabad Industrial Suppliers Association president Shailesh Deshpandeji, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends.    
    At the outset, let me congratulate MASSIA for organizing the grand industrial exhibition Advantage Maharashtra Expo 2014. This is the fifth such exhibition organized by MASSIA, I was told and your consistent efforts to promote industrial and business growth are indeed praiseworthy. I know MASSIA since it was Industries Association of Young Entrepreneurs (IAYE). You have always been a bunch of young, zealous and committed entrepreneurs and nobody can deny valuable contribution you have made in the industrial development of the region.  
    It is my firm belief that SSIs and micro industries can only create jobs. Very honestly, I would not be interested in units which are not going to create jobs. I am for balance between large and small units. Large units can provide work to smaller units and SSIs can then be in a position to create jobs. 
    Friends, it would not be wrong to say that Aurangabad is today on the cusp of a major industrial revolution. The city would soon be part of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor project. I consider it as my great fortune that I as an industry minister could make efforts to include Aurangabad in the ambitious project. Basically, Delhi-Mumbai is a 1500-km railway line. It will see industries coming up in distance of 150 kilometers on either sides of the railway line. The DMIC will pass from Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It would be interesting to watch 150 km area on either side of this corridor developing rapidly.
    Though many areas in Maharashtra have been included in the DMIC, I am happy that Shendra-Bidkin is making progress fast. Land acquisition has been done on a large scale here. A company called AE-Com is planning the development of the area. In the first phase of the project, 2004 hectares land will be acquired. We have gone much ahead. Now, infrastructure development work has to pick up. 
    Why so much stress on DMIC? Friends, let me tell you that the project has potential to double employment in 7 years, triple the industrial output in 9 years and quadruple exports in 8 to 9 years. A bright future is indeed waiting for the region. 
    The vision of DMIC is very clear. The project aims at creating a strong economic base with globally competitive environment, and state of the art infrastructure. It will be possible for local entrepreneurs to attract more foreign investment only with the help of well-developed communication channels, efficient transportation and stable regulations. The Maharashtra government is doing its level best to create a conducive business environment. We are looking at making state a global manufacturing trading hub. The city will be hosting international exhibition cum convention centre and 50 acres land has been earmarked for that. The work on this centre will start soon.  Let us all unite and be a part of this magnificent picture of growth. 
    I once again congratulate MASSIA for its initiative in organizing this exhibition and thank them for giving me an opportunity to express my views. I am sure deliberations and transactions in the expo will accelerate the industrial growth of this region. 

    Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra.

  • Felicitation of Varroc MD Tarang Jain
    Date: February 8, 2013     
    Venue: Welcom Hotel Rama International, Aurangabad
    Event:  Felicitation of Varroc MD Tarang Jain 

    Speech of School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at the programme to felicitate industrialist Tarang Jain on receiving ‘Man of the Year 2012’ award from Auto Car Professional.


    Respected Badrinarayan Barwaleji, CMIA president Sunil Raithatha, secretary Munish Sharma and man of the moment, my friend and Varroc MD Tarang Jain, other dignitaries on and off the dais, Friends from Industry, Members of the Press. 
    Friends, at the very outset, let me extend my heartiest congratulations to Tarangji for his outstanding achievement. As a peoples' representative of this city, it is indeed a matter of great pleasure and pride for me that an enterprising industrialist from our city has received the most prestigious “Man of the Year 2012” award from Auto Car Professional. Mind you, industrial giants like Shri Rajiv Bajaj, Shri Pawan Goenka, Shri Jagdish Khattar, Shri Ratan Tata, Shri Pawan Munjal and Shri Vivek Sehgal have been the earlier recipients of this award. So, Tarangji you have, very deservedly, become a member of a big league and the whole industrial fraternity from this region takes pleasure in it. 
    I have been witness to the spectacular growth of Varroc Group in the last 22 years. From one plant to 34 plants and seven engineering centres in different parts of the country in this small period of time is in itself a huge achievement. And I am glad that out of 10,000 jobs generated by Varroc group, 30 per cent are in Aurangabad. Automobile spare parts produced by this group have found favour with all national and multinational automobile companies and it is for this very reason that Varroc has become one of the top three component manufacturers in the world. Most importantly, Varroc might have gone global with acquisition of car lighting business of the US company Visteon and opening its facilities in different countries, but it still has strong roots in Aurangabad, the city where its headquarters is based. I would urge the industry to emulate his example. 
    Nothing worthwhile can be achieved sans vision. And Varroc group, as we see, is a vision of an energetic and self-motivated individual - Tarang Jain. He not only has vision but has the capacity to translate this vision into a reality and that is why he is a true leader. What I like most about Tarangji is that he is not satisfied with achieving 20 per cent per annum growth only, but is also passionate about upholding human values and quality culture. He comes across as a down to earth person, a leader who believes in teamwork. My friends in industry always tell me about his involvement in different local initiatives and activities taken up by the CMIA. Many first generation entrepreneurs have been benefitted by his guidance. His support for local sports and sportsmen is well known. Varroc is indeed ahead in fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility too. 
    Tarangji, you also deserve special praise because you came in Aurangabad when this region was considered as one of the most backward in the State. No social and industrial infrastructure, no network of industries to rely on. You could have very well stayed in Mumbai and pursued your dreams there but then you decided to make Aurangabad as your 'karmabhoomi' and the rest, as they say, is history. 
    Friends, during my stint as industry minister, I had an opportunity to decide the modalities of the proposed Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor. Fortunately, we could make Aurangabad as an important component of this project. I am sure it will throw up tremendous development opportunities for Aurangabad. It is my ardent wish that local industrialists play an important part in the future development. 
    Aurangabad is a promising information technology (IT) industry destination and we should make concentrated efforts to attract IT industry in the DMIC. I appeal to local trade and industry to join hands for further development of this city. I am sure with united efforts of you all, Aurangabad will take a great leap forward. 
    Friends, industries here have achieved many milestones as far as growth and turnover figures are concerned. They have time and again proved that they do no lag in quality and are able to compete globally. Tarangji's achievement only goes on to affirm this fact. 
    Tarangji, let me once again congratulate you for the amazing feat you have achieved. My wishes are with you for your future journey. We see you not only as Man of the Year but as Man of the Future Decades. I am sure that Varroc group will continue its trailblazing journey in future too. 
    I thank the organisers for giving me an opportunity to be amongst this august gathering today. I promise you wholehearted support of the state government in the industrial development of this city and the region and whatever activities you will take up in the DMIC. Thank you one and all. Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.  

  • UK India English Partnership Forum
    Date: January 23, 2013 
    Venue: London
    Event:  UK India English Partnership Forum 

    Speech of School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at  UK India English Partnership Forum
    Director, British Council India, Mr Rob Lynes, Director English and Examinations, British Council Mr Mark Robson, counsellor, British High Commission, New Delhi Andrew Jackson, distinguished members and friends.
    It gives me immense pleasure today to participate in UK India English Partnership Forum as a part of Indian delegation. It is my privilege to get associated with a prestigious institution like the British Council. 
    Friends, I am looking forward for fruitful discussions on strategic partnerships, commercial opportunities and research collaborations, especially in the area of English language teaching and learning.
    When we talk about overall development, especially inclusive growth, the first criteria for such development starts with free and fair universal education to all and thus Education has a major role to play in developing countries. 
    India has a rich tradition of a teacher-disciple relationship. Education, which was once a prerogative of the elite class, has become accessible to all, thanks to the efforts made by different visionary leaders and social reformers who spearheaded this movement and worked hard to take education to the grass-roots level.
    India has made a huge progress in terms of increasing primary education attendance rate and expanding literacy to approximately two thirds of the population. India’s improved education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to the economic rise of India.
    In India, National Policy on Education in 1986 has provided environment for awareness, science and technology education and introduction of traditional elements. District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) was introduced in 1994 with an aim to universalise primary education by reforming and vitalizing the existing primary education system.
    Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) launched in 2001 in India is one of the major steps and one of the largest education initiatives in the world. This recent initiative presents its guidelines, planning methodology, and creates data on elementary education created under District Information System for Education (DISE). The scheme does not merely remain on paper and collects data about school attendance, teachers’ absenteeism, out-of-school children, midday meal and many other aspects of elementary education. 
    Recently, India has taken a big stride by ensuring free and compulsory education to all children upto the age fourteen by making a Constitutional commitment. The Parliament has passed Right to Education Act (RTE) making education a fundamental right of all children of age group 6-14 year in the country.
    Maharashtra, which has a long tradition and history in imparting education, is contributing its mighty share in national endeavours to provide education to all children in the country.
    Maharashtra has made giant strides in education. The increasing literacy rate points to the success of the State Government’s efforts to take education to the grass-roots level. Over the last 50 years Maharashtra has seen many advances in the education sector i.e. universalisation of education and changes in the quality of education. In its early days, providing education to all was a primary goal of the State due to which the State worked to boost the number of primary schools located in the rural areas. The Government’s emphasis on primary education reflects its rising literacy rate. The State is also leading in higher education.
    Maharashtra has achieved numerical development in the field of Education. There are more than 75,500 primary schools in the State, while the number of secondary and higher secondary schools exceeds 21,000 and 7000 respectively. More than two crore students are imparted education in these schools. Maharashtra Government has taken many steps to provide not only the school education but also the technical and higher education to the children of the State. Similarly, strong measures were taken to stop the malpractices in the field of education. It is the policy of the Government to provide primary education as nearer to the home as possible. Overall expenditure on education in Maharashtra during the year was about Rs. 290 Billion.
    Since the British Council is a well-known international organization of the United Kingdom and has impeccable reputation for conducting English language training programmes, my government thought it will be an appropriate agency to improve the standard of English language teaching in the State schools. 
    Friends, there is no need to tell you that English is today a global language. It is being used extensively in diverse fields such as trade, education, communication, sports, science and many more. In fact, proficiency in English is one of the major factors that led to Indian Information Technology (IT) companies emerging as the global players. 
    It’s only because of realizing importance of English language that the subject was introduced in all the State schools from the standard first from the year 2000. The Programme ‘SMART-PT’ (Statewide Massive and Rigorous Training Programme for Primary Teachers) has boosted schools as well as improved teaching skills. Today’s generation is cool, smart and has an ability to take any challenge and can conquer the world.
    You cannot think of providing quality education in English without good quality teachers. Undoubtedly, we have good teachers but when it comes to English language teaching, they need improvement. 
    The region-wise need analysis done by the British Council of the status of English language also threw light on poor status of English language teaching in the state. Through this tie-up with the Council, we intend to impart English language teaching training to primary teachers. In the first phase, it is aimed to give training to 67,000 teachers from primary schools of the Government and Local Self Government agencies. 
    A sustainable partnership project between the Government of Maharashtra and the British Council will develop both the language proficiency and methodological skills of primary schoolteachers. Every school will have at least one trained teacher in English language. I am sure the outcome of UK ELT English language partnership forum will finally benefit 14 million learners across the State. I assure our utmost co-operation for this initiative with the British Council for implementing the projects in the State.
    I express my sincere thanks to the British Council for inviting me for such an important forum and my best wishes for cultural and social development programme undertaken by the Council.

  • Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology, Pune
    Date: January 7, 2013
    Venue: Bansilal Ramnath Agarwal Charitable Trust's Vishwakarma Institute of Technology (VIT), Bibwewadi, Pune.
    Event: National-level Convention and Entrepreneur's Summit VISWHAPRENEUR 2012

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at National Conference organised by Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology, Pune-VI Entrepreneurship Development Cell


    Chairman of Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology, Pune Rajkumr Agarwal, principal VIIT Prof D B S Karkare, chief mentor Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) -VIIT Prof Dr R S Acharya, other dignitaries on and off the dais, teachers and my student friends.
    It indeed gives me a great pleasure to be amongst a vibrant gathering of future technocrats of India today. At the outset, let me congratulate the EDC of the VIIT for organizing this prestigious national convention for budding entrepreneurs and entrepreneur’s summit Vishawpreneur 2013.

    Friends, inculcating spirit of entrepreneurship amongst youngsters has become important in these days of globalization even as the nation aspires to be the next economic superpower. Traditionally, it was seen that youngsters preferred jobs, that too of clerical bent, over entrepreneurship. However, the need of the hour is for them to take a bold decision and embrace entrepreneurship which leads to wealth creation. 
    According to an estimate, we need to create jobs for 550 million youth who are likely to enter the job market in near future. The capacity of agriculture sector to create jobs is limited. Neither the Government nor the large organized industrial sectors can create so many jobs. There is no doubt that encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship is the best option for meeting the requirements of the job markets. 
    Both Union and State governments have recognised the importance of entrepreneurship and taken several proactive steps. The Draft National Entrepreneurship Policy speaks of creating conditions conducive for fostering entrepreneurship. It also moots entrepreneurship education at primary, secondary and higher education level, encouraging Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship through Incubation, improving access to finance and recognizing and celebrating entrepreneurship. There is also a plan to create permanent national commission on entrepreneurship under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of India. Globalisation has thrown open many opportunities in a variety of fields. It is for youngsters to seize them and make a mark. Youths of India are intelligent, hard working, have vision and I am sure provided right opportunities and guidance they would emerge as globally successful entrepreneurs. They have as their role models, many Indian industries which have made a mark internationally with global acquisitions. 
    Conferences like these can play an important role in providing direction to youth. I was happy to know that e-cell of the VIIT is quite active and even gets aid from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for running its activities. I was told that 16 of 72 engineering colleges in Pune have e-cells. More and more colleges should come up with these cells as today job of educational institutions has not remained limited to imparting technical knowledge only. You have to work for preparing mindset of the budding engineers so that they dream of creating a world of their own. 
    It is very apt that this conference is being held in Pune, a city which emerged as a global metro due to its entrepreneurial spirits. Prestigious industrial families like Bajaj, Kirloskar, Shirke, D S Kulkarni to name a few have aided industrial growth of this city. This conference will see highly interactive sessions related to information technology, civil and real estate, electronics and telecommunication industry and service sector. I appeal to young engineering students to benefit from the guidance of experts and accept the challenge of becoming entrepreneur. 
    I am thankful to the management of VIIT for inviting me as a chief guest and giving me an opportunity to be a part of the insightful deliberations here. I now declare the prestigious Vishwapreneur 2013 as opened. My best wishes for the proceedings of this mega event. 

    Thank you one and all. 

    Jai Hind, 

    Jai Maharashtra. 

  • NATH VALLEY SCHOOL 20th Annual Day Function
    Date: December 15, 2012
    Venue: Nath Valley School (NVS) Campus, Nakshatrawadi, Aurangabad
    Event: NVS 20th Annual Day 

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at NVS Annual Day Function 


    Principal Ranjit Dass, vice-principal Uma Mohandas, headmistress J D’silva, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends,
    I am really happy to be here with you in this 20-year-old renowned school. Actually, I feel happy to visit any school for two reasons…one, it takes me back to my own carefree school days. And two, it makes me feel younger when I am in the company of young people!
    But this Nath Valley School is specially close to my heart, as I have been associated with it since long. I have been witnessing the growth and achievements of this school from close quarters from 16 long years. The credit of this success goes to a number of persons…the trustees, who spare their valuable time and use their wisdom for the betterment of this school, the parents who place their faith and trust in the management, the teachers who work with a mission to educate and groom the students,…and of course, the lion’s share goes to the dynamic principal Mr Ranjeet Dass! 
    We are all proud that this school has been accredited by the British Council and given the International Award. The motto of the school “truth and knowledge” speaks for itself! Mr Dass and the teachers take efforts to inculcate values like patriotism, national integration and love for the environment in the minds of the students. 
    Today, we need to be very clear about the difference between knowledge and education. Mark Twain said, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”  As you know, education is the transfer of knowledge, skills, habits from one to another. It is a continuous process. Nath Valley School strives for excellence in education. The teachers see that the student is exposed to various extra-curricular activities like sports, music and fine arts - according to his aptitude - without forcing anything on him. Since he does what he likes, he does it well. Because, as you know, work is not work, but fun, when you enjoy it.
    A sound mind thrives in a sound body. That’s why the school encourages different sports and has invested in a covered sports complex that enables sports activities even during the rains. 
    Harold Howe said, “What a school thinks of its library is a measure of what it feels about education.” Nath Valley boasts of an excellent library. It has all gadgets like LCDs and encourages the appropriate use of computers. At the same time the school maintains the human face of the techno-savvy students. 
    This school has now become a benchmark, as to how a school should be! It is student-friendly and teaches each child to be independent, creative and self-sufficient. And I have no doubt that the beautiful eco-friendly and homely atmosphere of this place must be inspiring everyone to give their best!
    There are many innovative ideas that the school has pioneered in the last two decades…..having just 25 to  27 students in a class, nutritious lunch, regular assessment, light schoolbags! And above all, no conventional homework! 
    I am reminded of the story of a little girl who came home crying. She said to her mother, “My teacher punished me for what I didn’t do. The mother said angrily, “I will see her tomorrow. But what was it that you didn’t do?”’ “The girl sobbed, “My homework!”
    I remember the earlier days when students were given so much homework that their parents were overloaded with studies! But Nath Valley minimized this, right from the beginning and parents must be definitely finding this a relief. Someone has said, “If there were no schools to take away the children from home for some time, mental asylums would be full of mothers (and nowadays, fathers!).” It is a pleasure but also a stress to bring up a child. I am sure that the curriculum of this school must be helping parents to reduce their stress.
    A philosopher said, “My school days were the happiest days of my life…. That should give you an indication of the misery that I have endured in the 35 years of my life that followed!”  But I have no doubt in my mind that the students of Nath Valley in years to come will not only say that their school days were happy, but also that they continue to be happy due to THEM!
      In a school, after passing his twelfth, at the felicitation function, a student said, “I’d like to thank the Internet, Google, Wikipedia, Microsoft Word ……and above all, ‘copy-paste’ for my success.” However, I am sure the students of Nath Valley will express their gratitude to their Principal and teachers when they succeed in life.
    I have fond memories of the simple ZP school in Yavatmal where I studied. I owe a lot to my teachers. I realize now that it is not how big or posh a school is, but the values that it gives you, that make you a good, compassionate, honest human being. You students have fortunately both…a state-of-the-art school that also teaches you to respect values and culture.
    All kids are not fortunate like you. Children in rural areas have to assist their parents either on the field or they have to take care of little ones in the house. The UPA Government has passed Right to Education Act in 2009. It provides free and compulsory education for the children between ages 6 to 14.
    The Government of Maharashtra has implemented this Act in true spirit. In Maharashtra under my ministry we have one lakh schools where approximately 20 million or 2 crore students are studying. Free books and learning material are provided. Midday meal and school dresses are also provided by the Government. I am aware of the fact that there is no fun in quoting the number of schools in our state, we will have to concentrate on quality education in Government schools and Government-aided schools. I hope to expand e-learning in all schools.
    Remember friends, the difference between school and life is that, in school you are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you are given a test that teaches you a lesson. 
    Before I close, I wish to earnestly tell you that you may sell your brain, but never put a price tag on your heart and soul. You should never have to say, “I am a lighthouse in the middle of a bog-brilliant but useless.” Always try to give your best. 
    As I look back to the sixties when I was schooling, I think, “What is the best part of school life? Great education? Knowledge sharing? Great learning experience? Indeed, the best part of school is all the fun you have!” 
    Aim at the stars and we reach the trees! Aim high, be positive and always respect human dignity.

  • Inaugural Lecture on “Constitutional Ethics” in the memory of Shri V.R. Savant
    Date: September 1, 2012
    Venue: Auditorium, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Campus, Aurangabad
    Event: Lecture series in the memory of late Shri V R Sawant alias Dadasaheb Sawant

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at the inaugural lecture of late V.R. Savant Lecture Series

    Honourable Chief Justice of India Shri S H Kapadia, 
    Honourable Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Shri Mohit Shah, 
    My colleague in Cabinet and higher education minister Hon Rajesh Tope, 
    Chairman and Managing Trustee of Shri V R Savant Memorial Trust 
    Honourable justice Arvind Sawant, 
    Hon. Justice Sharad Bobadeji,
    Honourable vice-chancellor of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (Bamu) Dr Vijay Pandharipande, 
    Registrar Dr Dhanraj Mane, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends.
    It is indeed a great honour to be amongst you all today for the inaugural lecture of the lecture series in the memory of late Shri V R Sawant alias Dadasaheb Sawant. 
    At the outset, let me congratulate Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University and Shri V R Savant Memorial Trust for starting the lecture series. 
    It is indeed a fitting step for perpetuating the legacy of late Dadasaheb, a towering personality whose unmatched contribution in different fields has immensely helped in development of Marathwada.
    Friends, late Dadasaheb was a successful person in the worldly sense that he had set up a very large and lucrative tax consultancy practice in the then Hyderabad state having a team of chartered accountants and advocates working under him. 
    However, he strongly believed that one who has achieved success in life should do something for society too. 
    So, when he settled in Aurangabad in 1960s, he dedicated himself to the cause of spread of education among rural masses which saw the birth of Marathwada Shikshan Prasarak Mandal. Deogiri College, Aurangabad; Balbhim College, Beed; Law College, Beed; Shivaji College, Parbhani and many other schools and colleges were the result of his vision and tireless efforts. 
    His contribution in the growth of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University as the member of the then executive council and an active educationist was immense. 
    As a member of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) he played an important role in setting up ST divisions in different districts of Marathwada. 
    When it comes to cooperative movement, he was actively involved in the formation of the Aurangabad District Central Cooperative Bank.
    Late Dadasaheb had a rich and glorious career spanning different fields but always came across as a selfless man who put society above himself.  
    It is his genuine concern for the education of masses that made him work till the last moment of his life in his nineties. 
    His life was inspiring one and it is for us to learn values like hard work, dedication and commitment to social cause from him.
    I sincerely thank organizers for inviting me for today’ programme and once again congratulate them for hosting the prestigious lecture series. 
    I am sure that they will continue this fruitful activity with same faith and vigour in future too.
    Friends, today we have been lucky to have amongst us honourable Chief Justice of India Shri S H Kapadia who is going to deliver the inaugural lecture on Constitutional Ethics. 
    There is no doubt it will be an intellectual feast and enlightening experience for all of us to hear honourable Justice Kapadia to speak on an important issue. 
    Like you all, I am also eagerly waiting to listen to the thoughts of the learned judge, so I will not take much of your time.

     Thank you very much…..

  • Dedication of the first phase of Marathwada Auto Cluster
    Date: August 31, 2012
    Venue: P-174, MIDC, Waluj, Aurangabad
    Event: Dedication of the first phase of Marathwada Auto Cluster

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at dedication of the first phase of Marathwada Auto Cluster 


    Honourable deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, my colleague in the state cabinet and minister of state for industry Sachin Ahir, Marathwada Auto cluster chairman Shri Ram Bhogale and dignitaries on and off the dais.
    Friends, it gives me a great pleasure today to be amongst you for the inauguration of the first phase of the Marathwada Auto Cluster (MAC), a great piece of infrastructural marvel. State of the art machines and equipment, video conferencing, training centre.... it has everything a world-class facility should have. The MAC confirms Aurangabad’s status as a major automobile hub in Maharashtra along with Pune and Nashik.
    The MAC is one shining example of how public private partnership (PPP) projects should be implemented. Friends, I would like to compliment MAC chairman Ram Bhogale and his entire team for making the project a reality.
    When I was the industry minister of Maharashtra, I have personally seen how CMIA office-bearers have worked for the project. Whenever I was in Aurangabad, they used to call on me with one or the other demand related to auto cluster. They also came frequently to Mumbai, sent mails, SMEs and made innumerable phone calls taking consistent follow-up. If the government sanctioned one demand, they would come up with another. It will not be an exaggeration to say that they made my life miserable.
    But jokes apart, I am glad that during my tenure I could be of some help in making important decisions like in-principle approval for the project, allotment of funds, allotment of land at Waluj and sending the proposal for final approval to the Central Government.
    Friends, we will now have to face the challenge of completing the entire project by the deadline set by the Government of India - October 2013, that is 15 months from now. Of Rs 81.35 crore project, Rs 58.20 crore will come from the Union government and Rs 8.06 crore from the State. The local industry, which will have to raise Rs 15.06 crore, has already collected Rs 4.80 crore and I am told would raise its contribution to Rs 7.5 crore in two months. However, by December they have to raise Rs 7.5 crore more.
    I was told that looking at the industry situation, it will be difficult to raise such a huge amount. The MAC cannot obtain loan from the commercial banks as the property created is funded to a great extent by Government grants.
    We are very fortunate to have with us a visionary and dashing leader like honourable dy CM Ajit Pawar today. The Pawar family has spearheaded growth of Pune and its industry. Sir, you are very much aware of needs of entrepreneurs. May I request you on behalf of industries of Aurangabad that the State Government extend a soft loan of Rs 7.5 crore for the MAC? It can be repaid in equal installments in ten years. Now, this is the third auto cluster in the State after Pune and Nashik. There, local municipal corporations have funded the project. In Pune, local industries raised less than Rs 15 lakh and in Nashik less than Rs 50 lakh. Here, industries will already be collecting Rs 7.5 crore and in such a situation, a helping hand from the government would be important in encouraging them.
    Sir, I have witnessed the growth of this city of 2.5 lakh people to 15 lakh. And local industries have played an important role in the development that gathered pace in 1980s. There were some industries that came from outside and downed shutter after availing of all the benefits. But thereafter, all the players worked with strength and dedication, sometimes even without government help. Today, Aurangabad has emerged as a proud industrial destination. It has a broad base of automobile, beer, pharma, packaging and a variety of other industries. Industries are coming up in Shendra industrial estate and soon Bidkin will also see development. I am aware that in the last one year, some problems were not addressed. The process for sanction to the prestigious international Convention Centre project has slackened and there is a need to pay more attention to this.
    Recently, Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata was in Aurangabad and even he saluted the entrepreneurial spirit of Aurangabad. The city is a leading centre in all fields barring information Technology (IT). Though next one or two years might be challenging, I have a great faith in the ability of the local industries and I am sure that they would come out unscathed.
    I once again congratulate the entire local industry on inauguration of the auto cluster and extend my best wishes for the future.

    Thank you.

    Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra.

  • Speech on the occasion of Release of Business Icons of Aurangabad a coffee table book by Lokmat
    Date: Tuesday, July 3, 2012
    Venue: CIDCO Natyagruh, N-5, CIDCO, Aurangabad.
    Event: Release of ‘Business Icons of Aurangabad’ a coffee table book by Lokmat Media Pvt Ltd. 

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda on the occasion of release function of coffee table book ‘Business Icons of Aurangabad’ 


    Respected Shri Ratan Tataji, Shri Venugopalji Dhoot, chairman Videocon group, my elder brother, guiding force behind Lokmat Group of Newspapers and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Vijay Darda, young leaders of Lokmat Group Rishi Darda and Karan Darda, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends…

    Let me first congratulate personalities that feature in the Coffee Table book Lokmat Business Icons of Aurangabad. I have seen growth of many of you from close quarters and can vouch for your vision, integrity and dynamism that have made you successful. I must mention here that you never thought about development of your own businesses or your industries alone. You are the people who have always been conscious that you owe something to society. Through your industries, you have added wealth and created large-scale employment. You indeed deserve to be icons of Aurangabad.

    Today, I am extremely happy that we have amongst us Shri Ratan Tataji, an Icon of Indian industry to release this beautiful Coffee Table Book. I am equally happy that Videocon chairman and our very own Venugopalji Dhoot has agreed to be the chief guest this evening. I have no doubt their very presence will inspire industrialists and traders from this region.
     
    Mr Tata received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rockefeller Foundation in New York for innovation in philanthropy recently. People from Marathwada are indeed happy to see global recognition of your selfless efforts for the cause of poor and downtrodden.

    I remember reading Mr Tata’s speech at Rockefeller programme and what he basically said was businesses should be sensitive that they are making a difference in the life of the common man of the region they are operating in and have to do things to help the community prosper. Mr Tata, you act what you preach and that is why you have earned global acclaim.
     
    Aurangabad is today a mature industrial and tourism destination. Industrialisation of this region began in 1960s and today it boasts of a sound base of automobile, engineering, pharmaceuticals, seeds and liquor industries. Aurangabad is home to companies like Bajaj Auto, Videocon, Skoda, Wockhardt, Garware and Siemens, to name a few. This progress has been made possible because of the various government schemes to encourage the development of this region and also ceaseless efforts by the sons of soil.

    I have been industry minister of this prosperous state. I am proud to mention that during my tenure, Aurangabad was included in the prestigious Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project. In the years to come, Aurangabad will surely reap the benefits of the DMIC.

    Aurangabad has a great scope for development of Information Technology (IT) industry. A survey by NASSCOM-AT Karney has placed Aurangabad among top 25 cities in India with potential for growth of IT industries. The same survey says that the cost of operations for IT industries is 34 per cent less in Aurangabad compared with the other metros. Mr Mukund Kulkarni of CMIA had made a PowerPoint presentation here that provides us a lot of information about IT potential of this region.

    Still, fact remains that Aurangabad has not yet seen satisfactory growth on the front of IT Industry. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the leading IT company in India and people of Marathwada expect that it should make a base in Aurangabad. This will certainly fuel growth of IT industries here.

    I know that you never make such announcements offhand but I am sure that after returning you will give a thought to this request from people of Marathwada and in future we will see Tata group setting foot on this land of saints.

    I have known Mr Tata for nine years. I was honoured that he came to Aurangabad to attend marriages of both my sons Rishi and Karan who are part of this august gathering. As a three-time peoples’ representative of this city, I thank Mr Tata on behalf of people of Aurangabad for accepting the request of Lokmat Group and gracing this function. It’s great to see efforts of Icons of Aurangabad being recognized in the presence of stalwarts like you and Venugopalji.

    My best wishes to all. 
    Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.

  • Holy Cross Special School function, Thane
    Date: May 11, 2011 
    Venue: Holy Cross Special School, Thane
    Event: Dedication of Vocational Training Centre for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at Holy Cross Special School function 

    MLA Eknath Shindeji, Rotary District Governor Dr Jayant Kulkarni, Thane Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev, Bishop Ferdinand Fonseca, Trustees of the Triumph Foundation, principal, teachers and students of Holy Cross Special School, other dignitaries on and off the dais.
    Friends, let me at the outset confess that I am overwhelmed today. The Rs 75-lakh Vocational Training Centre for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children that you are dedicating to society today shows how much difference a bunch of committed people can make for a cause where even governments might fall short. 
    I congratulate Rotary Club of Thane Hills for this project. Around 30,000+ Clubs spread over 200 countries and membership in excess of 1.6 million... My dear Rotarians, you are indeed doing a great job for serving mankind. And no, this is not about getting publicity or placing photographs in newspapers but about projects concerning welfare of society like this special centre aimed at imparting vocational training to mentally and physically challenged children. 
    Friends, society's accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment. Inclusion is extremely important for these kids with and without disabilities. Though we do have special schools for mentally and physically challenged children they provide elementary training and education upto the age of 16 years only. After this, they have to go back home, as if the doors of opportunities are closed for them forever. I am glad that this centre will be offering training to the special children as chef, courier delivery boys, file-making, data entry and courses including textile, tailoring, carpentry and electronic and electrical maintenance. There is no better way to bring these children into the mainstream of society than making them stand on their own feet through vocational training. 
    I am hugely impressed with the work of the Sisters of Cross, who set up the Special School of Holy Cross 14 years ago and are running it with devotion. Commendably, you are running this project solely on the aid by the patrons. 
    The State Government offers aid through its schemes for such initiatives. I thank the organisers for giving me an opportunity to inaugurate this project. Good luck and I wish you all the best.

  • Inauguration of Multiple Council Meeting of Lions Club International MD 323
    Date: February 18, 2011
     Venue: Hotel Rama International, Aurangabad
    Event: Inauguration of Multiple Council Meeting of 
    Lions Club International MD 323

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at Lions Multiple Council meeting 

    Honourable Multiple Council Chairperson Fatehchand Ranka, former International President Lion Rohitbhai Mehta, Lions International director Narendra Bhandari, other dignitaries on and off the dais and renowned Lion leaders of Lions Multiple District 323.
    Today as I stand before you... I take a deep sense of pride and gratitude that I am addressing senior Lion leaders of the World’s largest service organisation – Lions Clubs International that has over 1.35 million members spread across 206 countries. Eleanor Roosevelt said and I quote, "When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die. Giving is the thermometer of our love for others."  I salute you for the desire and dedication you all have in pursuing your motto “WE SERVE”. I am told Multiple District 323 happens to be the largest Multiple of India and the most active one with a galaxy of past International leaders and some upcoming leaders too.
    I am here amidst you all at the behest of your dynamic leader Fatehchandji Ranka. He was very keen that since this Multiple Council Meeting is in Aurangabad, I must come to address and share my views with you all. Fatehchandji, let me just say these lines for you....
    Parindon ko manzil milengi yakeenan
    Yeh faile hue unke par bolte hai
    Wohi log rehte hai khaamosh aksar
    Zamaane mein jinke hunar bolte hai
     Let me take this opportunity to sincerely applaud you for the charismatic leadership skills exhibited by you not just this year but over the years in the Lions’ arena.
    I am inaugurating this august gathering of Lion leaders of Multiple District 323 which comprises 5 states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.  All these states are blended together by rich and varied cultures. Your multiple with 48500 plus Lions across 1250 clubs truly creates a platform TO SERVE...TO CREATE a better society....TO BUILD a better tomorrow.
    The Lions organisation started as a dream of an insurance agent Melvin Jones in 1917 and now, Lions are about to celebrate their 100 years in service very soon. I am told that Helen Keller appealed to Lions in 1925 Ohio Convention to become “Knights of the Blind” and the efforts undertaken by Lions in combating blindness are commendable. I have heard a great deal about the Lions Quest Programme wherein Lions have taken up the project closest to my heart in which you help to foster in young people important life skills, healthy attitudes, strong character, positive relationships and active citizenship through easy to use classroom materials and important community partnerships. If we compare our ‘Lions Quest programme’ with our ‘Right to Education Act’ there is definitely a similarity of objectives. But one thing worth pondering is that, in a diversified country like India, elementary education must be provided to all first....then only you can instil life skills in them.
    I would like to put my views by quoting Mahatma Gandhiji who said,  “Before you do anything, stop and recall the face of poorest, most helpless, destitute person you have seen, and ask yourself, what I am about to do that is going to help him?”  Our Right to Education Act provides that every child of the age group of 6-14 years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till completion of elementary education. 
    I would like to mention here some of the steps being taken by the government to ensure spread of education: 
    Huge Budgets
    Midday meal
    Distribution of Books
    Distribution of Dresses
    Students outside the school system
    Adoption of Government or self Government-run schools.
    Virtual classrooms
    E Library
    E Classrooms.
    In Maharashtra, I am proposing to have an active partnership between the Government and social organisations.
    SWOT – Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat…..
    Friends, you must know your SWOT. Very recently I visited a Club and I asked a Gentleman, “Do you know what is SWOT?” He replied in affirmation.
    He defined SWOT like this:
    S  - for Strength
    W - for Weakness
    O - for Opportunity
    T - for Threat
    I said, “Excellent. Can you give me examples?”
    He said, 
    “S for Strength – My wife is my strength
    W for Weakness – My neighbour’s wife is my weakness
    O for Opportunity – Neighbour is out of station and his wife is at home
    T for Threat – I am out of station and my wife is alone at home.”
    Jokes apart, friends, SWOT is the buzzword of management.
    The strength of our Lions organization is –
    Our number is very large, we are well-to-do and we have the urge to do something for the deprived society.
    Ladies and Gentlemen...
    There is no thrill in easy sailing,
    When the skies are clear and blue.
     There is no joy in merely doing things,
     Which any man can do.... 
    But there is some satisfaction that is mighty sweet to take, when you reach a destination that you thought you would have never made. Helen Keller said and I quote, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
    Sahi kahaan hai ki...........
    Manzil unhi ko milti hai
    Jinke sapno mein jaan hoti hai.
    Pankh se kuch nahin hota,
    Hauslon se udaan hoti hai…
     I am very much impressed by the Lions Emblem. I see a Lion’s head on each of the two sides, facing in opposite directions – one looking back to the past with pride; and the other looking to the future with vision and hope. Just like your efforts in the past on ‘Sight First,’ I do hope that in future you will take up initiative in education. Today, I stretch forth a hand of fellowship in service to all Lions in this hall. 
    As you are approaching your centenary year of celebration of service I humbly appeal to you to sit, relax and think what should be your priorities as Lions for next decade. Let us educate all children and pave the way for a BETTER INDIA.  
    It is our privilege that all of you are in the historic City of Gates – Aurangabad. I am sure you all will find time and solace in viewing the historical monuments here. 
    I am sure Lions District 323 H-2 and the Lions of Aurangabad, under the guidance of District Governor Vijaykumar Bagdia and Convenor Mahavir Patni, are making your stay most comfortable here. I wish you a memorable time in Aurangabad.

  • Inaugural Function of Global Maharashtra Conference and Trade Fair
    Date:     January 5, 2011 
    Venue:  CIDCO Auditorium, Aurangabad
    Event:  Inaugural Function of Global Maharashtra Conference    and Trade Fair at Aurangabad.

    Speech by School Education Minister Rajendra Darda at second Global Maharashtra Conference and Trade Fair


    Hon’ble Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister, Maharashtra, Hon. Shri Balasaheb Thorat, Revenue and Guardian Minister, Hon. Shri Rajesh Tope, Higher and Technical Education Minister, Hon. Shri Chandrakant Khaire, Member of Parliament, Aurangabad, Hon. Smt. Anita Ghodele, Mayor, Aurangabad Municipal Corporation, Hon. Shri Mansing Pawar, President, Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, other dignitaries on and off the dais, Ladies and Gentlemen and Friends from industry,It gives me great pleasure to be a part of inaugural function of the second Global Maharashtra Conference and Trade Fair in Aurangabad.I specially thank and congratulate Shri Mansing Pawar and all his teammates from Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture for organizing such a mega event in Aurangabad. 
    Many persons of Maharashtra have migrated to various parts of the world and successfully built businesses, services, companies and careers across the globe. Global Maharashtra Conference and Trade Fair is an attempt to bring successful entrepreneurs across the world and provide a common platform that can culminate in mutually beneficial long-term partnerships. And I am very happy that this event is taking place in Aurangabad, when our State- Maharashtra is celebrating 50 Glorious Golden Years of its formation. 
    Today, there are lucrative opportunities for trade, manufacture and services in the state of Maharashtra. If the emerging businesses in Maharashtra and the successful persons of Maharashtra origin settled abroad are brought on one platform, the interaction can lead to many interesting partnerships mutually beneficial to both.Here I would like to say that Maharashtra is the most favourite and ideal destination for investment. Maharashtra being more progressive, economically and socially stable, educationally and culturally far ahead from other states of India, has set new standards of development in the last 50 years. 
    I would like to say that Maharashtra is having exiting times ahead. There are tremendous activities going on in various areas including economy and business. 
    *In Maharashtra, the industrial service sector accounts for 84% of its income and the State contributes over 13% to national GDP and also its per capita income is higher that the country’s per capita income.Maharashtra employs 15.7% of total employed population in India.
    *State contributes 27% of Indian exports.
    *Maharashtra contributes 24% of the total output of India in Engineering sector and nearly 50% of the Engineering exports of India.
    *10% of total FDI in the State is for Engineering sector.
    *It has become a leading automobile production hub. The auto industry in Maharashtra has played a key role in the industrialization of the State. Every single segment of the sector, including two and three wheelers, passenger cars and commercial vehicles is represented in the State. Maharashtra accounts for nearly 38 percent of the country’s output of automobiles by value. Around 40 percent of the workforce engaged in the automobile industry in the country is employed by the State. And it is very important to note that at least one part in every vehicle manufactured in the country is being manufactured in Aurangabad. 
    *The advent of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor is an important and ambitious initiative which is aiming to transform a large part of India. Maharashtra has a very important role to play in this initiative since this marks one end of the corridor and Maharashtra provides the only sea interface to the whole corridor in form of JNPT, MbPT and other minor ports. And I am proud to say that Aurangabad is a part of prestigious DMIC project. 
    Here I would like to request Hon’ble Chief Minister that we are in the process of building an International Convention Centre as a part of the DMIC Project here at Aurangabad, which needs a backup and pushup for its completion. Investment-friendly policies, excellent infrastructure and a strong productive human resource base have made Maharashtra a favored destination for the manufacturing, export, distribution, financial services and infrastructural development.Our Government is always encouraging the entrepreneurs for setting up their business in Maharashtra.
    Maharashtra has attained number one position because of its progressive policies, excellent communication and urge to achieve new heights in every field without compromising quality, past performance and glory. As our State entered into Golden Jubilee year of its formation, we have committed ourselves to make Maharashtra a Global State with your co-operation and wishes. I am sure that this event will seek to bring on a common platform NRIs and global investors from various countries to participate in export/import activities from our region. The event will also give an opportunity to showcase the product and services originating or assembled in our region.Once again I would like to thank Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture for inviting me on this platform today. Let me assure you of the Government’s unstinted support to your noble efforts at all times.
    Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra.
  • Tourism Conclave, Aurangabad
    Date: October 18, 2010
    Venue: Aurangabad
    Event: Tourism Conclave

    Speech of Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at two-day Tourism Conclave hosted by  Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

    Honourable civil aviation minister Prafulbhai Patel, mayor Anitaji Ghodele, host Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (MACCIA) president Mansinghji Pawar, convener of this Tourism Conclave Ram Bhogaleji, Ashishji Pednekar, Sunit Kothariji and dignitaries on and off the dais.
    At the outset, let me congratulate Maharashtra Chambers and all organizations who have taken initiative in organizing the Aurangabad Tourism Conclave. As a people’s representatives from this city, it gives me immense pleasure in welcoming the tourism service providers including tour operators, representatives of travel agencies, hoteliers and foreign delegates including consul generals.
    Friends, one is amazed to think of Aurangabad’s immense tourism potential. Every nook and corner of this city is steeped in history and has a tale to tell. For world heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora, Aurangabad is the Gateway. Daulatabad Fort and Aurangabad caves are great architectural marvels. And if Agra has Taj Mahal built by an emperor in the memory of his beloved, we have Bibi-ka-Maqbara, a prince’s tribute to his queen mother. Ghrishneshwar temple of Ellora, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, and nearby pilgrimage centres like Shirdi and Shinganapur make Aurangabad a major centre for religious tourism too. Eco-tourism thrives here due to Lonar crater and Gautala Sanctuary.
    It is considering this potential of Aurangabad that the State Government implemented the Ajanta Ellora Development Project (AEDP) with the Japanese aid.
    Incidentally, I was the minister of state for tourism when the AEDP phase-I was taken up. I remember works like afforestation, dedicated water systems, conservation of monuments, conservation of gates, roads to inaccessible places like the Pitalkhora caves and  viewpoint  and widening of roads leading to Ajanta and Ellora being implemented.
    Connectivity is very essential for growth of tourism and as a people’s representative I had taken up the demand for modern airport with the civil aviation minister Prafulbhai Patel.  Thanks to his positive attitude, Aurangabad today boasts of one of the finest airports in India.
    It is no wonder then that Ajanta drew 3,62,000 tourists and Ellora 9 lakh during April 2009 to March 2010. Figures are based on the tickets sold at the monuments and let me tell you this does not include children under 14 years, who get free entry. Tourism industry has thus made a great contribution in development of Aurangabad, which is also a major industrial destination.
    I do feel that there is a lot in store for us in future. The AEDP-II will see works like Rs 57-crore Ajanta Visitor Centre and Rs 38-crore Ellora Visitor Centre which will give a unique experience to the tourists.
    I would like to request our dynamic minister Prafulbhai Patel to ensure regular international flights from Aurangabad. Connecting Aurangabad to Rajasthan tourist circuit will also be a major step. Prafulbhai you have given so much to this city. It is only because of you every year Haj flights are operating from here. All Hajis are remembering you in their ‘Duas’. Previously we had Delhi-Jaipur-Udaipur-Aurangabad-Mumbai flight.  As it has been discontinued for some years our tourism industry has been paralysed. Please, restore our connection to Rajasthan. Our tourism industry will never forget you.
    Aurangabad can be connected to Buddhist circuit. Colombo-Buddha Gaya flight flies over Aurangabad skies and if it can halt at Aurangabad new avenues will be opened for the local tourism industry. This morning itself, I spoke to Mittalji, the Executive Director of MIHIN LANKA airlines persuading him to complete an international Buddhist circuit by stopping their Colombo Gaya flight at Aurangabad. 
    Aurangabad is no longer a backward city. Let me tell you that young businessmen from this historic town recently made headlines nationally by making a bulk purchase of 150 Mercedes luxury cars in one day. We have all other infrastructure required for tourism - star hotels, malls, multiplexes, international airport.   I am  sure  that we can emerge as a three-day tourist destination. Growth of tourism means generation of jobs and that is why we should all come together to promote tourism.
    I was told that delegates who have come for this conference will be visiting the tourist places. I am confident that after seeing for themselves the facilities here, they would become brand ambassadors of this historic town. I once again congratulate my friends and organizers Mansingh Pawar and Ram Bhogale for hosting the event of such magnitude. My best wishes to you all. 
    Jai Hind, Jay Maharashtra.

  • IMC Foundation Day Function
    Date: September 6, 2010 
    Venue: Walchand Hirachand Hall, Indian Merchant Chamber, Churchgate, Mumbai.
    Event: IMC Foundation Day Function 

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at IMC Foundation Day function 

    Indian Merchant Chamber president Dilip Dandekar, Gul Kruplani, Arvind Pradhan, Kiran Shantaram, other dignitaries on and off the dais, distinguished friends from Industry, Ladies and Gentlemen.
    Firstly, on this 104th Foundation Day of this esteemed organization I would like to congratulate you. It is my greatest pleasure to attend this event and I would like to thank the IMC for inviting me to be a part of it.
    I am aware that IMC was established in the wake of the ‘Swadeshi Movement’ by our visionary business leaders to support long freedom struggle. Hence, the father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi accepted the Honorary Membership of IMC.
    IMC is the only business organization which has played a crucial role in pre-independence, post-independence and also post-liberalization era.
    Friends, the achievements of Maharashtra are plenty. The state has been a role model of development for the whole nation for the past many years. The story of its growth from an agrarian state to an industrial powerhouse is an inspiration for many states of India. Despite all the criticism and shortfalls, Maharashtra’s capital, Mumbai, still remains the first place of choice for overseas businessmen who want to do business in India.
    Numerous entrepreneurs have realized their dreams in this soil, many of whom have built their empires starting from virtually nothing.
    Success stories of persons starting with zero capital and becoming big are plenty. It is noteworthy that even as many of the large industrial houses have expanded across the country having set up various production units outside the state, Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, still houses most of their corporate offices and most of the decisions are taken here.
    With 9.4% of India’s population, Maharashtra has 19% of industrial production. Maharashtra contributes for 14% of India’s GDP. Maharashtra employs 15.7% of total employed population in India.
    Maharashtra contributes 27% to Indian exports. The state contributes hefty 61 per cent to India’s corporate tax collections and 37 per cent to the country’s personal income tax accruals.
    It ranks first in India with respect to both aggregate bank deposits (Rs 10 Lakh Crore) and gross credits (Rs. 8.8 Lakh Crore)
    Besides, it is the second most urbanized state, after Tamil Nadu, and second most literate, after Kerala. (Its literacy rate is 76.9 per cent as against 65 per cent at the national level). Maharashtra is the leading state in attracting Foreign Direct Investment. Maharashtra accounts for about 98% of the total wine production in India. Maharashtra is the largest exporter of Gems and Jewellery. It has the largest industrial infrastructure provider – MIDC. 
    I will just quote what recent studies done by some reputed organizations say about Maharashtra.
    Maharashtra is the No. 1 state in overall business competitiveness, according to Business World, States’ Competitiveness Survey-2009
    Mumbai outpaces Bangalore, becomes India’s Top Biotech city, according to Biospectrum Top 20 Industry Overview 2009-10
    Maharashtra has 20.6% of investment of India, which is the highest in India, according to RBI Report on Investment 2008-09 published in September 2009.
    The state of Maharashtra has proven to be the best in higher education. Maharashtra is home to the highest number of institutions rated high in the country and has the maximum number of universities, according to Ernst & Young report on Building Blocks. 
    Infrastructure in Education - Edge 2010.
    Mumbai is among the ‘Top 40 cities in the world’, in terms of economic activity, political power, knowledge and influence, and quality of life, according to The Wealth Report 2010, Knight Frank
    The list is long gentlemen, the point I am making here is Maharashtra has been at the forefront of India’s growth story and has made tremendous contribution to the nation over the past 40 years.
    However, the journey in not yet complete. While rejoicing in our achievements, we must not forget that true destination still eludes us. There are many milestones we have to achieve and many peaks we have to climb.
    I agree there are many challenges:
    Industrial growth has to be all over Maharashtra. 
    There are many parts of Maharashtra which still have not attracted industrial investment and in turn we could not create employment in those backward regions.
    Allocation of adequate funding is needed to boost infrastructural development in the state.
    Uninterrupted power and electricity supply to industrial units.
    It is necessary to use information technology extensively and effectively to enhance the competitiveness of Maharashtra’s industrial climate.
    Improving the quality of technical and vocational education in the state to enhance the competitiveness and employability of the youth is essential.
    Bringing about industrial reforms to enhance the image/efficiency of the Government in the eyes of the public is needed.
    Making the business image of the state friendlier to investors-both local and foreign.
    Government of Maharashtra is committed to bring in these initiatives which will help retain No. 1 position Maharashtra has held for so long.
    Many such initiatives being taken are:
    Creation of a separate MSME department to have better focus on MSMEs
    Reserving 30% land for MSMEs in MIDC areas.
    Creating a completely online digital single window clearance system 
    Forthcoming New Agro Industrial Policy for creating value addition for farmers produce.
    State is also planning to come out with a new industrial policy which will reflect the changing needs of the Industry.
    A new land acquisition approach with an inbuilt PAP policy which focuses on sustained involvement of affected people if project undertaken.
    Creation of land bank. Putting unutilised land bank to industries use.
    Helipad project in major industrial areas.
    As a Minister of Industries of this state, I again want to reiterate my commitment towards growth and progress of the state.
    Once again I would like to thank the IMC for inviting me to speak on this platform today. Let me assure you of the Government’s unstinted support to your noble efforts at all times.
    Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra 

  • National Business Conference on MSMEs – Gearing up to Global Competitiveness
    Date: August 26, 2010
    Venue: Indian Education Society, Opposite Lilavati Hospital, Bandra (West), Mumbai 
    Event: National Business Conference on MSMEs – Gearing up to Global Competitiveness (MSMEs – Challenges and Opportunities)

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at Maharashtra Economic Development Council national conference 


     
    Mr. Vithal Kamat, President, MEDC
    Mr. Arvind Vaidya, President, Indian Education Society
    Mr. Aurn Maira, Member, Planning Commission, GOI
    Mrs. Meenal Mohadikar, MEDC Regional Director MMR
    Other dignitaries on and off the dais, Ladies and Gentlemen, My colleagues, distinguished friends from Industry and Dear Entrepreneurs,

    · It is my honour to inaugurate this important National Business Conference on MSMEs – Gearing up to Global Competitiveness organized by Maharashtra Economic Development Council. 

    · I congratulate Mr. Vitthal Kamat, President MEDC for providing a unique platform for the representatives from MSME sectors, Banks, financial institutions, Government officers and Management students and I am sure this two days conference enables them to explore the new opportunities, new concepts and innovative ideas to promote MSME sector.   

    · Inclusive growth with social equality is a foundation stone on which any great nation is built. Current governments in the state and centre live by this mantra only. Bridging the gap between Bharat and India is what we are pursuing with all our resources and energy.

    · Part of the solution to this challenge lies with MSMEs. MSMEs are going to bring drastic change that we have been looking for past many years.

    · According to me, the key parameter to judge success of a venture is not by its top-line or bottom-line but by how many people are employed by it. This is where MSMEs become so important.

    · In a large country like India, MSMEs are needed because of the following advantages
    o MSMEs are labor-Intensive therefore provide large-scale employment
    o Short gestation period therefore entrepreneurs can recover their investments faster
    o Low administrative cost therefore cost-effective products
    o Induce growth of industrially backward regions ensuring balanced regional development
    o Flexible organization therefore more innovative and agile.

    · Friends, the success story of India is actually a success story of our millions of entrepreneurs.

    · Today in India, (as per the 4th census of MSME sector) there are about 26 million units of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which provide employment to about 59 million people, contribute 45% towards industrial output and 40% towards exports. These units are making 6000 products ranging from traditional items to high tech products.

    · In Maharashtra,
    o There are more than 90,000 active registered MSME Units operating in various districts.
    o These Units are providing employment to more than 10 Lac people
    o The total investment of more than Rs. 39,000 crore has been done in the state with a production capacity of Rs.190, 000 crore.
    o The State Government is giving special focus on the MSME sector to achieve its objective of high growth with greater employment opportunities.

    · The Government is committed to initiate measures to address the challenges faced by the SME sector in the areas of
    o Availability of Cheap and Timely Finance
    o Technology Upgradation
    o Skill Set Upgradation
    o Export Promotion
    o Effective Marketing

    · The government is also taking many initiatives to further boost the MSME in Maharashtra.
    · First of all I must say that considering the importance of MSME sector a separate post of Secretary for SMEs has been created.
    · Recently, Government of Maharashtra has made amendments in PSI 2007 particularly for the benefits of the SMEs.

    a) 5% subsidy on capital equipment for technology upgradation limited to INR 25 lakh
    b) 50% subsidy on the expenses incurred for quality certification limited to INR 1 lakh
    c) 25% subsidy on cleaner production measures limited to INR 5 lakh 
    d) 50% subsidy on the expenses incurred for patent registration limited to INR 5 Lakh
    · Moreover SME Units setting up facilities in the “C”, “D”,”D+” cluster will be entitled to the IPS applicable to one step higher incentive category.
    · We are also planning to provide minimum 30% plots to the SMEs in MIDC area. 
    · State Government will definitely give importance to MSME sector in the forthcoming industrial policy

    · The cumulative performance of the state under various schemes of Ministry of MSME is as under.
    a) Cluster Development 
    Item Maharashtra India
    Ongoing projects 25 213
    DSR 6 70
    Soft Intervention 15 110
    DPR 3 33

    10 proposals under preparation

    b) Prime Minister’s Employment General Programme
    Year 2008-2009 2009-10 (P)
    Units assisted 1692 3281
    Margin Money Utilised (Rs.lakh) 2455.61 4755.29

    · The Government also intends to set up a special institution for the SMEs to address the skilled manpower shortage faced by MSMEs.
    · Plans are afoot to soon bring in a new industrial policy which effectively addresses the changing dynamics of industry and can give requisite support to all industry sectors especially the MSME sector, which is the prime focus of the government.
    · The Central Government is also very keen on developing MSME sector. Recently (May 11, 2010) a meeting with the State Ministers and Secretaries was held in New Delhi to discuss the challenges and opportunities and recommendations of the Prime Ministers Task Force regarding the MSMEs. 
    · A task force has been established to look into the issue of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) set up under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Prime Minister. This task force recommends significant improvements in four critical areas.
    Infrastructure– Industrial Infrastructure Upgradatoin Scheme (IIUS) to cover private Industrial Estates (IEs), as Townships, Flatted Complexes, incentivising states for encouraging local bodies to set up IE, Private IE.
    Credit- National fund for unorganized sector, SME exchange, liberal moratorium, uniform loan application.
    Marketing- Procurement preference, access to international markets and strengthening NSIC. 
    Technology and competitiveness – NMCP: Lean manufacturing, ICT, Mini-tool room, Tech and Quality Upgrade, Entrepreneurial and Managerial development, Design Clinic, Quality Standards, IPR, Market assistance. 
    · Various initiatives are planned around these four issues by state as well central government.
    · All these initiatives indicate that the government of Maharashtra is committed to create a conducive and entrepreneur friendly environment in the state for MSMEs to flourish and bring prosperity all around.
    Thank You and Jai Hind.

  • IT Awards 2010,Mumbai
    Date: August 20, 2015
    Venue: Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan Auditorium, Mumbai
    Event: It Awards 2010

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at IT Award 2010 function 

    Honourable CM Shri Ashok Chavan, minister of state for industry Sachin Ahir, noted computer expert Dr Vijay Bhatkar, my colleagues in the industry department, other dignitaries on and off the dais, distinguished friends from industry, ladies and gentlemen.
    First of all, let me congratulate all the nominees for this prestigious award. Your nomination itself is a win for Maharashtra. Whether you win or not today, the state is definitely winning because of you. You are the backbone of India’s growth story and it is a matter of personal pride for me to be speaking to you today.
    Since 2004 the government of Maharashtra has been saluting the best in IT industry through this award. The objectives of these awards are: 
    1. To promote entrepreneurship in IT Industry in the State.
    2. To recognize and appreciate outstanding performance in IT activities.
    3. To encourage rapid spread of use of IT in society.
    4. To encourage use of IT as means of creating employment opportunities.
    Friends, just to mention a few figures about global IT spends,
    According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide information technology industry, comprising of hardware, software, IT services and BPOs, clocked aggregate revenues of $1560 billion in 2008, a y-o-y growth of 5.6 per cent. In 2009, it is estimated to grow marginally by about 3.5 per cent and touch $ 1614 billion.
    In comparison, according to NASSCOM, the Indian IT/ITeS industry is expected to clock aggregate revenues of US$ 71 billion in 2008-09, up from US$ 56 billion in 2007-08, indicating a growth rate of 27% Export revenues are expected to reach US$ 47 billion in 2008-09 as compared to US$ 36 billion in 2007-08, a growth of 32%. You can notice the share of India is not much, a mere 5% of the world market, but our growth rate is an astounding 27% in year 2009 in terms of aggregate revenues. The point I am making here is our journey is far from over and we still have a lot to do and achieve.
    After the IT revolution in India, Maharashtra has been one of the leading states in IT sector with major hubs in Mumbai, Pune and Thane.
    *Maharashtra contributes over 30 per cent of the country’s total export of software.
    *The State housed 5400 IT units with employment exceeding 4 lakhs 
    * 119 IT parks established in the State with investment exceeding Rs 19,000 crore.
    * According to Nasscom, Pune is a leader in BPO services.
    *Maharashtra’s IT sector grew at 24%, to a total of $8.8 billion in 2008-09. During the last financial year, exports exceeded Rs 20,500 crore, the second highest in the country.
    *The State’s exports have grown by 8.4 per cent in the last 7 years.
    *Mumbai and Pune have developed as the key centres of IT in the country. Pune, it fact, witnessed the highest IT experts, contributing more than half of the total at around $5,228 million, followed by Mumbai at $ 3,346 million in 2008-09.
    *The STPI units in Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Kolhapur also showed noteworthy growth. Nagpur and Aurangabad are coming up as next IT destinations.
    Maharashtra offers software products for all industry verticals such as Automotive, Engineering, Automation, Networking and Hardware, Electronics, Energy, Telecom oil and Petroleum, Healthcare, Financial Services, Logistics, Retail, E-Governance, Education etc.
    Maharashtra provides many advantages and incentives for growth of IT sector
    To further boost IT sector in Maharashtra, government came out with an IT/ITES policy in 2009. The highlights of this policy are:
    *Promotion of low HDI and TIER-II cities (As per AT Kearney Report) Aurangabad, Nagpur and Nasik as the emerging new areas with high potential for the IT Sector.
    *Promotion of animation, VFX, comics and gaming  sector
    *Additional FSI for IT parks
    *Promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation
    *Promotion of Green IT
    *FSI benefits by way of 100 per cent additional FSI
    *Recreational, residential and other support facilities
    *Eligible IT-ITES units covered under PSI will be exempt from payment of Electricity Duty.
    *IT/ITES units will be supplied power at industrial rates 
    *Property tax shall be levied on IT-ITES units at par with residential rates 
    *VAT on sale of IT products will generally be charged at the minimum floor rate.
    It is no wonder today Maharashtra has 119 IT parks and 59 IT/ITES SEZs 
    Moreover, Maharashtra also provides additional incentives to all projects based on amount invested and employment generated under its Package Scheme of Incentives. The highlights of the scheme are:
    *100 % waiver of stamp duty
    *Exemption from electricity duty
    *Interest subsidy
    *Royalty refund
    *Refund of Octroi/Entry Tax in lieu of Octroi
    *Special Incentives for Units coming up in the 10 low Human Development Index Districts.
    *Apart from that, Maharashtra with its premier education institutes like IIT Bombay and SP Jain Institute is producing world-class engineering and management graduates, providing the manpower to IT industry.
    Maharashtra has 661 Engineering institutes producing 1.88 Lac engineers every year. 229 Management schools churning out 21,500 managers and 681 ITIs producing 1.2 Lac trained people every year.
    Friends, Maharashtra is the leader in India in terms of industrial performance for the last 40 years. The State, which has witnessed nine per cent growth, boasts of a sound economy. The service sector is showing healthy growth and has contributed 62 per cent to the income. You will be proud to know that Maharashtra contributes 13 per cent share in National GDP.
    *As many as 6182 IEMs have been filed for the proposed investment of Rs. 5.58 lakh crores in the State which promise to create 28 lakhs new jobs.
    *2670 IEMs have gone to production with an investment of Rs. 1.50 lakh crores and employment generation of 8.36 lakhs.
    Human development
    *Maharashtra produces more than 10 lakh higher education graduates and 2 lakh technical graduates annually. It is a young state with 67 per cent of population below 34 years of age.
    *32 per cent of National IT profession
    *33 per cent of country’s Internet users
    What is the secret of such a performance? It is the outcome of hard work and vision of our entrepreneurs, leaders and government.
    The growing rate of investment in Maharashtra proves the business community’s confidence in the investor-friendly and reforms-driven State Government.
    On a closing note, I would urge you all to dream big, fly high because your success is the source of our pride.

    Thank you

  • EEPC Award Ceremony
    Date: August 6, 2010
    Venue: Mumbai 
    Event: Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) Award Ceremony

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at EEPC Award ceremony 

    Engineering Export Promotion Council national chairman Mr Aman Chadha, regional chairman Mr Nayan Shah, representatives of export award winning industries, other dignitaries on and off the dais, ladies and Gentlemen. Good evening to you all. It is a very happy and proud moment for me to be here and speaking to you.
    First of all, let me congratulate all the nominees for this prestigious award. Your nomination is a win for Maharashtra and India. Whether you win or not today is another matter but nation is definitely winning because of you. You are really the backbone of India’s growth story and it is a matter of personal pride for me to be speaking to you today.
    Moving forward, I would like to thank EEPC for doing the fine work. They are instrumental not only in promoting the industry but also in recognising the performers and rewarding them and in the process motivating others.
    Friends, India has done well in past years in engineering sector. 
    According to the DGCI&S up to March 2009, India’s export of engineering goods and services has posted a growth of 15.76 % during 2008-09 in comparison to the previous fiscal. The data indicate that export of engineering goods and services from India has reached USD 47640.89 million up to March 2009. In the month of March 2009 Exports of Engineering goods were to the tune of USD 2578.28 million.
    In rupee terms, India’s export of engineering goods and services are valued at ` 218766.90 crores during 2008-09 which is 32.10% higher than ` 135806.8 crores during 2007-2008.
    India continues to be one of the fastest growing exporters of engineering goods, growing at a CAGR of 30.1%, trailing only China among major engineering exporters, but well above the global engineering average export growth of 13%.
    During 2004–2008, India leapfrogged Australia, South Africa, Ukraine and Malaysia to become the 30th largest exporter of engineering goods in the world. Germany is still the top engineering exporter with a share of 15% and is faced with strong competition from China which has become the second largest exporter in the world.
    Having said all that, I must point out the challenges that lie ahead. As I have already said, despite all this growth rate, India is still a marginal player in global context.
    With a 0.8% share of world engineering exports in 2008, India is 30th ranked country with Germany ranked first and China ranked second. For a country aspiring to become a super-economy of the world, India has a long road ahead.
    A key determinant of every country’s export performance is its export product portfolio in terms of the technology used in its products, e.g., High Technology (HT), Medium Technology (MT), Low Technology (LT) and Resource-based (RB). India is ranked below most India-like countries on the technology intensity of its engineering exports, which indicates their low level of value addition as compared to such exports from other countries.
    However, the share of technology-intensive products (HT and MT) in India’s engineering exports has increased from 50% in 2004 to 68% in 2008, indicating upward movement along the value chain.
    Internally also, when compared to non-engineering exports, engineering exports have grown at a relatively lower CAGR of 12.7%. Other sectors like IT, BT are growing at a greater pace.
    My purpose of telling you all that is not to draw a bleak picture but to show you that there are a lot of opportunities in this sector which need to be tapped. More players need to invest in this sector, more employment needs to be generated and more contribution to world trade needs to be made.
    Despite all the odds and competition in this sector, India has lots of things going in its favour
    A world-class human resource pool
    Availability of cost-effective labour
    India has well-developed vendor base for supporting engineering industries as well as an established IT sector supporting engineering services sector.
    Strong quality and technology capabilities. More than 2500 firms in the engineering sector in different areas have acquired ISO 9000 accreditations
    Key ferrous and non-ferrous metals such as mild steel and aluminium are abundantly available in India. It gives India a major cost advantage as raw materials account for nearly 50% of industries operating cost
    Coming home to Maharashtra,
    With 9.4% of India’s population, Maharashtra has 19% of industrial production
    Maharashtra contributes for 14% of India’s GDP
    Maharashtra employs 15.7% of total employed population in India
    Maharashtra contributes 27% to Indian exports
    Maharashtra contributes 24% to total output of India in Engineering sector
    Maharashtra employs 37.8% of all people employed in this sector in India
    Maharashtra contributes a nearly 50% of total engineering export of India
    10% of total FDI in the state is for engineering sector
    Major players like L&T, TATA, Schneider, Godrej, ABB, JSW, Suzlon, Cummins have shown confidence in Maharashtra and have invested in the state over the past 40 years.
    The list of such achievements is long gentlemen, the point I am making here is Maharashtra has been a leader in engineering sector for long and it is poised for that quantum leap to become a global destination for engineering sector with various initiatives government is taking.
    The advent of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) is one such important and ambitious initiative which is aiming to transform a large part of India. Maharashtra has a very important role to play in this initiative since this marks one end of the corridor and Maharashtra provides the only sea interface to the whole corridor in terms of JNPT & MbPT and other minor ports.
    Today if you want to set up any manufacturing unit or business in Maharashtra, you need to get more than 100 approvals including company setting, construction permits, industrial permits and other related approvals. Government of Maharashtra is actively working towards shortening this process as much as possible. We aim to reduce the number of approvals, reduce the cost involved and also reduce the time taken. In this regard, one important initiative recently taken by Maharashtra is Single Window Clearance Portal. The focus of this initiative is to provide single window clearance to industrial projects to simplify business approvals and procedures. It is an online interactive dynamic portal where an entrepreneur can get more than 200 services from various departments.
    Moreover we have set up a separate entrepreneur zone to guide people on how to set up new businesses. Government is also planning to come up with a booklet called “Doing Business in Maharashtra”, which compiles all the relevant information an entrepreneur will need, in the form of a comprehensive booklet.
    All these initiatives indicate that government of Maharashtra is committed to create a conducive and entrepreneur-friendly environment in the state and it is constant endeavour to ensure Maharashtra and India achieve that super-economy status, it is destined for.
    On a closing note, I would once again congratulate all nominees for their fine achievement and EEPC for organizing this event and inviting me to be a part of it.
    Thank you ladies and gentlemen and have a gala night ahead.
  • Inauguration of Vidarbha Industries Association,Nagpur
    Date: July 30, 2010 
    Venue: VIA, Nagpur
    Event: Inauguration of Vidarbha Industries Association renovated office

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at inauguration of VIA’s renovated office 

    President of Vidarbha Industries Association Pravin Tapdia, vice-president Satyanarayan Nuwal, Prafull Doshi, secretary Anil Parakh, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends from industry.
    * I am extremely happy to be here on the occasion of inauguration of Vidarbha Industries Association's renovated office. Fifteen years back VIA shifted to the new premises at Udyog Bhavan and at that time the office was inaugurated by Babuji Late Shri Jawaharlalji Darda, the then Industries Minister for Maharashtra, and today I am inaugurating VIA's completely renovated office to meet the changing needs of the association and its members.
    * For the last three decades, the Vidarbha Industries Association is one of the premier regional industrial organizations actively involved in the promotion of industrial and economic activity of this region.
    * VIA's role in development of Industry and Commerce in Vidarbha region is very prominent and that's why VIA is recognized by the Government as a pioneer regional industries association.
    * Today, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you various aspects of industrial development in Maharashtra, issues thereof and policies and initiatives taken by the State Government.
    * Friends, being economically and socially stable, educationally and culturally far ahead amongst other states of India and with reasonably well-developed industrial infrastructure, it is but natural for Maharashtra to be the most favoured industrial investment destination amongst Indian and foreign investors.
    * Maharashtra has robust economy that is opening up multitude of opportunities and producing a variety of jobs. The State is in the forefront in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, automotives, engineering, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, agro processing etc.
    * Maharashtras' economy has progressed to a mature, knowledge-based economy fully oriented towards services followed by manufacturing.
    * On the one hand opportunities for employment in manufacturing industry are growing and on the other hand unemployment is still high. Today, therefore, the issue is no longer about unemployment but about employability.
    * I am proud to say that MIDC is India's largest industrial infrastructure provider with 225 industrial estates spread over 1,30,000 acres of land.
    * Maharashtra Government has taken many important and progressive policy decisions for industrial growth, with specific focus on SMEs. Very recently, considering the demands from various industries associations, Government of Maharashtra has taken Cabinet decision to amend the Package Scheme of Incentive 2007 to provide additional benefits of SMEs, in D and D+ area.
    (Under this, the interest subsidy is now extended to all sectors, IPS amount increased, expansion eligibility norms diluted and zero-VAT units given IPS)
    * New Initiatives:
    - Online single window system
    - Creation of land bank
    - Planning of Gas distribution network for industries.
    - New policy for project-affected persons.
    - Plantation of trees in MIDC area.
    - Construction of new galas and sheds.
    - Branding of Maharashtra potential-
    - E & Y as a knowledge partner
    - To take back unutilized industrial plots.
    - Strengthening of Udyog Setu/Udyog Bhavan
    - Heliports.
    * Recognizing the need to assist agro-processing industry, the Government has drawn up an ambitious Agro-Process Policy. This is under finalization, and the present draft is placed on the Government's website to invite suggestions.
    * I am proud to announce that the state through MIDC has already developed a portal for providing online single window system for the use of industry. We intend to develop the portal into a single-stop interface of industry with all the wings of the Government.
    * When we talk about Nagpur, apart from being a major commercial and political centre with Zero mile marker, Nagpur has very good connectivity by Air and Road to the other parts of the country. Nagpur's geographic location advantage gives it a great potential for investment in commercial and industrial sectors.
    * In Vidarbha region, MIDC has 33 big and 35 small industrial estates on 17,783 hectares land.
    * The mega project policy has unleashed big investment in Vidarbha region. A total of 56 mega projects have proposed an investment of over Rs 35,000 crore, out of which 13 mega projects have gone into production.
    * As part of the Vidarbha Package, Setu counters have been opened at Nagpur and Amravati w.e.f. 1st January, 2010. Arrangements have been made to receive the applications related to DIC, MIDC, MPCB, Factory Act, Boiler Act, Shop Act and Electricity connections through Setu. In the last six months, Nagpur Setu has dealt with 2084 applications while Amravati Setu has settled 653 applications.
    * As on day, the fly ash cluster of Chandrapur, Bamboo Clusters at Gadchiroli and Chandrapur, Garment cluster at Nagpur are in the process of implementation. In addition, Dal mill cluster at Mul, District Chandrapur, Garment and oil mill clusters at Amravati, steel furniture cluster at Nagpur, Steel casting and machine part cluster at Hingna, Nagpur, are in the stage of diagnostic study.
    * MIDC has started infrastructure works worth Rs 25 crore in MIDC areas in Vidarbha region. Additional works of Rs 200 crore are also proposed.
    * (Special Economic Zones approved: Butibori- 147 hectares, Nandgaon Peth -1010 hectares, Yeotmal-208 hectares, Akola- 100 hectares and Bhadravati - 637 hectares).
    * Well friends, the projected growth in Industrial production brings more good news for the state in general and Vidarbha region in particular. The growth in manufacturing sector for the financial year 2010-2011 is projected at 9.2%. The Food Processing Sector too has started to grow at over 10% rate, and supplemented by the proposed Agro Processing policy of Maharashtra, this sector too will bring massive investments to Maharashtra.
    * We however, will not rest on our laurels. With active co-operation from industries associations like VIA, the state aims to become a favoured investment destination globally.
    Thank you.

  • Launching of MCCIA MSME Lean Manufacturing Clusters
    Date: July 24, 2010
    Venue: MCCIA, Pune
    Event: Launching of MCCIA MSME Lean Manufacturing Cluster

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at MCCIA Lean Manufacturing Cluster launching  

    Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture president Mr Mukesh Malhotra, additional director general Anant Sardeshmukh, joint managing director of ZF Steering Jitendra Munot, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends from industry. 
    I am extremely happy to be here on the occasion of launching of Lean Manufacturing programme by Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture. The assistance for Lean Manufacturing Programme is of vital importance to MSMEs for taking measures for reduction in cost, and improvement in quality of products. I am happy that the MCCIA programme is the first scheme to be launched under NMCP programme in Maharashtra, and amongst the pioneering in the country.
    The Mahratta Chamber is one of the premier regional chambers of commerce and are actively involved in the promotion of industrial and economic activity of this region worldwide. MCCIA’s role in the development of industry in and around Pune is laudable. MCCIA is scaling new heights by the day and continues to be a leader in offering pro-active networking and the advisory services for the benefit of the business community in Pune. I am happy that the Chamber has planned several projects which are of national importance.
    The NMC Programme of Government of India provides a great opportunity for MSMEs in improving their level of competitiveness in national and global markets.
    I am sure MCCIA will also help in catalyzing benefits under all schemes of NMCP for the SMEs in the region.
    The globalisation of economy has presented great opportunities for SMEs in India. But opportunities are not coming without challenges. It has been observed that MSMEs are far too engaged in the day-to-day operations of the units to dedicate time and resources for understanding and implementing various techniques which would help them in enhancing productivity and thereby competitiveness in the world. The Lean Manufacturing techniques are of critical importance to all industries for reducing cost and increase productivity.
    Today, I also want to take this opportunity to share with you various aspects of industrial development in Maharashtra, issues thereof and policies and initiatives taken by the State Government.
    Being economically and socially stable, educationally and culturally far ahead amongst other states of India, having reasonably well-developed industrial infrastructure, it is but natural for Maharashtra to be the most favoured industrial investment destination amongst Indian and foreign investors.
    Maharashtra has robust economy that is opening up multitude of opportunities and producing a variety of jobs. The State is in the forefront in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, automotives, engineering, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, agro processing etc.
    Maharashtras’ economy has progressed to a mature, knowledge-based economy fully oriented towards services followed by manufacturing.
    On the one side opportunities for employment in manufacturing industry are growing and on the other hand unemployment is still high. This is because the majority of our youth lack the necessary vocational skills. Hence, we have decided that while allotting land in MIDC we will also start vocational training with co-operation of local industries. This will also sort out the problem of local employment.
    I am proud to say that MIDC is India’s largest industrial infrastructure provider with 225 industrial estates spread over 1,30,000 acres of land.
    Maharashtra Government has taken many important and progressive policy decisions for industrial growth, with specific focus on SMEs. Very recently, the Package Scheme of Incentives 2007 was amended to provide additional benefits to SMEs, in D and D+ areas.
    (Under this, interest subsidy is now extended to all sectors, IPS amount increased, expansion eligibility norms diluted and zero-VAT unit given IPS)
    New initiatives:
    *Online single window system
    *Creation of land bank
    *Planning of Gas distribution network for industries
    *New policy for project-affected persons
    *Plantation of trees in MIDC area.
    *Construction of new flatted galas and sheds.
    *Branding of Maharashtra potential - E&Y as a knowledge partner.
    *To take back unutilised industrial plots.
    *Strengthening of Udyog Setu/Udyog Bhavan
    * Heliports
    Recognizing the need to assist agro-processing industry, the Government has drawn up an ambitious Agro-Process Policy. It is under finalisation, and the present draft has been placed on the Government’s website to invite suggestions.
    The State is amongst the first five chosen by the Government of India for its e-Biz project which seeks to provide 13 services online. Meanwhile, I am proud to announce that the state through MIDC has already developed a portal for providing online single window system for the use of industry. We intend to develop the portal into a single-stop interface of industry with all the wings of the Government.
    The new IT & ITES policy 2009 is aimed at consolidating the gains of the previous policy and encourages spread of IT throughout the state.
    The mega project policy has unleashed massive investments in Pune region, especially in Auto and Engineering sector. With 58 mega projects with investment of over Rs 48,000 crores, Pune is by far the highest in attracting investment. As a result of our policy, Pune is now the biggest automobile manufacturing hub in the country and is one of the most important centres in the world.
    India’s demographic dividend will increase our population from 1 billion in 2001 to 1.4 billion in 2026. India will have the maximum working young force in the world.
    However, a demographic dividend does not mean people, but productive people. Converting our people into productive people requires radical reform.
    The skill/Education Mismatch: About 89% of the 15-59 year olds have had no vocational training. Of the 11% who received vocational training, only 1.3% received formal vocational training. The current training capacity is a fraction of the 12.8 million new entrants into the workforce every year.
    Today, therefore, the issue is no longer about unemployment but about employability.
    Well friends, the projected growth in industrial production brings more good news for the State in general and Pune region in particular. The growth in manufacturing sector for the financial year 2010-2011 is projected at 9.2%. The car segment is expected to grow by a whopping 15.3% and commercial vehicles by 13.6%. This is great news for Pune Region in particular which is the undisputed leader in the auto sector. The food processing sector too has started to grow at over 10% rate, and supplemented by the proposed Agro Processing policy of Maharashtra, this sector of manufacturing too will bring massive investments to Maharashtra.
    We, however, will not rest on our laurels. With active co-operation from industries associations like MCCIA, the state aims to become the favoured investment destination globally.
    Thank you.

  • Seminar on 'Challenges posed by Globalization to Indian Industry and Commerce'
    Date: July 13, 2010
    Venue: Birla Matoshri Sabhagrah, New Marine Lines, Mumbai
    Event: Seminar on 'Challenges posed by Globalization to Indian Industry and Commerce'

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at a seminar organised by Commerce and Industry Cell of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) 

    Hon. Shri. Pranab Mukharjee,
    Hon. Shri. Ashokrao Chavan,
    Hon. Shri. Manikrao Thakare,
    Hon. Shri. Sushil Kumar Shinde,
    Hon. Shri. Vayalar Ravi,
    Hon. Shri. Veerappa Moily,
    Hon. Shri. Murli Deora,
    Hon. Shri. Gurudas Kamat
    Other dignitaries on and off the dais, and my friends from Industry,
    *Let me first welcome Hon. Pranab Dada to the State of Maharashtra, a land of opportunities and a favourite investment destination.
    * I am very much sure that this important seminar on 'Challenges posed by Globalization to Indian Industry and Commerce' will definitely contribute in giving a proper boost not only to the Indian industry but also to the economic and industrial growth of Maharashtra. I congratulate Shri Mahendra Darda and Commerce and Industry Cell of MPCC for organizing this interactive event.
    * Here I am proud to say that Maharashtra is the most attractive and ideal destination not only for Foreign Direct Investment but also for domestic investment.
    * Maharashtra is spearheading development in the country. With its proactive policies and excellent infrastructure facilities, the state continues to occupy the dominant position amongst the industrially advanced states in India.
    * The globalization, coupled with liberalization in India has brought great prosperity, advancement and respect to our country. However, globalization comes with its own set of challenges and I am sure this seminar will discuss those challenges and the ways to overcome them.
    * Globalization has brought unprecedented opportunities for all human development, in developing as well as developed countries. We should pay immediate attention to ensure rapid development in education, health, water and sanitation, labour and employment, apart from science, technology and infrastructure. A strong foundation of human development of all people is essential for social, political and economic development of the country.
    * Our State Government under the dynamic leadership of Hon. CM Shri Ashokraoji Chavan has come up with many important and progressive policies and decisions particularly for industry and commerce which will definitely help to sustain and grow in this global competitive atmosphere.
    * In Maharashtra we have -
    * Industrial investment and infrastructure policy 2006.
    * Package Scheme of Incentives 2007
    * Mega Project policy 2005
    * I.T. and I.T.E.S. policy 2009
    * Bio-technology policy
    * Industrial Cluster
    Maharashtra state has taken a number of initiatives:
    * More incentives for micro and small industries.
    * Online single window system
    * Forthcoming Agro industrial policy
    * Creation of Land Bank
    * Establishment of Gas distribution network for industries
    * New Policy for project-affected persons.
    * Employable training to the youths in I.T.I. with the help of Industrialists. (To create more employment to local people)
    * On behalf of Maharashtra I would request Hon. Union Finance Minister to look into some issues which are very important for the state for its sustainable growth in the world of globalization.
    * MSEs - Creation of rehabilitation fund for equity assistance to sick units.
    - Funds for strengthening of infrastructure at District Industries Centres.
    - Creation of mechanism on the lines of BIFR for MES sector.
    * ASIDE- (Assistance to State for Infrastructure Development and Allied Activities)
    - Increase in Gol assistance to infrastructure projects for export promotion. (At present grants are approximately 80 cr. per year).
    * SEZs-
    - We are at early stages of development of SEZs and also compete with other countries in Asia and elsewhere to attract SEZ units.
    - The present tax benefits should continue as originally envisaged.
    Special Packages
    Government of India has declared some special packages regarding excise, income tax and subsidy for states like Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh. It is my request to the Central Government to announce the same special packages for industrial development of districts in Maharashtra affected by farmers' suicides.
    Thank you and good day.

  • Skill Development for Emerging Marathwada
    Date: June 26, 2010 
    Venue: Government College of Engineering, Aurangabad 
    Event:  Skill Development for Emerging Marathwada conference

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at conference organised by CMIA and Akrutigold Institute


    My colleague in Maharashtra cabinet and Higher and Technical Education Minister Rajesh Tope, Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture vice-president Capt Piyush Sinha, Akruti City Gold Institute director Mr K N Vaidya, principal of Government Engineering College, Aurangabad Dr W Z Gandhare,  other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends. 
    As I stand here on this dais of Government College of Engineering at Aurangabad, I recollect the days about 50 years ago when Nirlep set up their factory in the sleepy town of Aurangabad and today I can proudly say Aurangabad is one of the finest developed industrial cities, not only in Maharashtra, but also on an all-India basis.
    Here in Marathwada, big industries are working hand in hand with small scale and component manufacturers. We have first generation technically qualified engineers who have started units in the MIDCs as well as big national and international brands and companies like Bajaj, Videocon, Skoda, Audi and many others working to support each other’s growth plan. Marathwada is today one of the finest examples in the country showing ecologically balanced and sustainable industrial growth supported by planned housing growth by CIDCO to provide housing and residential requirements of different strata of society. It is also a hub of quality educational institutes which strive very hard to provide the required skilled and trained manpower to support the industry.
    Today, Marathwada is emerging as one of country’s prime auto-manufacturing bases. The recently sanctioned auto-cluster has placed it amongst the likes of Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Surat. Industrial harmony and relationship is one other area in which Marathwada has excelled. This is because industrialists of Marathwada have always believed and worked towards inclusive growth. This is the main driver which has made Marathwada one of the silent and steady growing regions.
    Management Theories from USA, Europe and Japan are now discussing the concepts of vendor development and vendor relationship. Industrial growth in Marathwada has always been a story of healthy relationship of the big companies with their component suppliers who have worked together as extension departments. Quarterly production targets of the bigger units have automatically got converted as the sales and delivery targets of the component manufacturers.
    Aurangabad is one of the few Industrial hubs that has a range of industries
    *Automobile
    *Auto Components
    *Engineering
    *Consumer Electronics
    *Pharma
    *Contract research - Very few other cities can boast of this new area of growth.
    *Tourism and Hospitality
    *Biotechnology
    *Agriculture Seed Industry
    We require ensuring that Marathwada becomes the ‘First Choice Destination’ of the domestic as well as foreign investors and attracts Indian as well as FDI. Prime Minister has acknowledged the significance of manufacturing sector which can provide jobs that are required to absorb the vast number of people who are unemployed at the moment, especially those who will need to move out of agriculture. He has cited key sectors where India can become a global manufacturing hub and the advocacy of ‘cluster approach’ for ensuring economy of scale and scope in development of key industries. We in Government of Maharashtra have made all efforts to make his dream a reality and Marathwada has a major role to play as far as Maharashtra is concerned. Industrial strategy must focus on all spheres of modern manufacturing by the industries with new technology and manufacturing processes that are supported by the government. The region has seen a steady growth, balanced regional growth which has coincided with increasing global competition and rapid technological changes, which pose new challenges to the present society.
    The industrial investment, infrastructure policy of Maharashtra aims to ensure sustainable industrial growth through innovations and initiatives for development of key potential sectors. To achieve higher and sustainable economic growth with emphasis on balanced regional development and employment generation through Industrial and infrastructure development requires availability of skilled and trained workforce and manpower. It is very important that the local labour requires to be trained and growth should be inclusive of all strata of population at the regional level so that it ensures industrial harmony in the area.
    Mumbai-Pune -Nashik- Aurangabad quadrilateral will provide greater infrastructure support to develop its full potential for knowledge-based manufacturing and agro-based industries.
    Over the last fifteen years, SME and component manufacturing sector has registered an impressive growth and this sector has a potential of high growth with greater employment opportunities. It is necessary that the Marathwada Industries support and complement the State Government initiatives. Quality Competitiveness, Research and Development and Technology Upgradation are areas of concern which should be kept in mind while training the existing and fresh workforce that is entering the industry.
    The State Government has set up a Labour Market Information Cell (LMIC) to provide the pivotal linkage between the employers, the education and training providers, and the prospective employees. It functions as a coordinating body to ensure greater synergies between the industry and education and training providers. I am glad that a private sector institution - Akruti Citygold Institute - has taken a great initiative in this area and CMIA and Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET) for being proactive and joining hands with them. This is a true form of Public Private Participation.
    I am sure that these day-long deliberations will provide Marathwada the right direction for future growth and am looking forward to a well-compiled report which will help us while we form a fresh policy for this region.

  • Empowering for Better Growth - Synergy and Strategy
    Date: June 18, 2010 
    Venue: Hotel Intercontinental The Lalit, Sahar Road, Andheri East, Mumbai.
    Event: Empowering for Better Growth - Synergy and Strategy.
    Organisers: Young Entrepreneurs Forum, Small and Medium Business Development Chamber of India (SME Chamber of India), India International Trade Centre (IITC-India) with the support of Government of Maharashtra.

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at Empowering for Better Growth - Synergy and Strategy event

    President of Maharashtra Industrial and Economic Development Association and Small and Medium Business Development Chamber of India (SME Chamber of India) Mr Chandrakant Salunkhe, CEO and MD, Asia Pragati Capfin Pvt Ltd. and Chairman, Northern Region, SME Chamber of India Mr A Rameshkumar, Executive Director, Bank of India, Mr M Narendra, Chairman, All India Shippers' Council Mr Ramu Deora, Managing Director, Kinetic Motor Company Ltd Ms Sulajja Firodia-Motwani, other dignitaries on and off the dais, distinguished friends from Industry, and my young entrepreneur friends.
     It gives me immense pleasure to be amongst you today and to be given a chance to speak to you from this platform. It is my honour to inaugurate this important event hosted by Young Entrepreneurs Forum, Small and Medium Business Development Chamber of India (SME Chamber of India), India International Trade Centre (IITC-India) with the support of Government of Maharashtra.
    I congratulate Mr. Chandrakant Salunke, President of Maharashtra Industrial and Economic Development Association and Small and Medium Business Development Chamber of India (SME Chamber of India) for providing a unique platform to young entrepreneurs to interact with industry leaders, investor community and with each other. This enables them to explore the new opportunities, new concepts and innovative ideas to promote their business in India and abroad.
    Friends, the success story of India is actually a success story of our millions of entrepreneurs. Today in India, there are about 13 million units of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises which provide employment to 30 million people, contribute 45% towards industrial output and 35% towards exports. Out of the 13 million units, 60% belong to young entrepreneurs in the age group of 21-45. Also in the Corporate Sector, the young CEOs play a vital role in adoption of new ideas, innovations, technology and solutions for the development of the business and the Nation.
    An entrepreneur is a leader, risk taker, visionary, daredevil, out of the box thinker and genius. An entrepreneur is author of development. He is the driver, engine, and fuel of development vehicle. In Robert Frosts' words an entrepreneur takes the path less travelled and that makes all the difference.
    But taking the path less travelled has its own challenges and obstacles. Ask any one of these entrepreneurs and they will tell you that although this path is not without obstacles the path is worth travelling for sure.
    So, what are the challenges?
    * The first is having an idea.
    * The second is having an idea worth commercialization, I mean having a sound business case around the idea.
    * The third is getting the capital and support.
    * The fourth is getting government approvals and setting up your business.
    * And the last is acceptance of your idea or product by your customers.
    Being a Minister of Industry, my prime responsibility is to ensure that the fourth step of your journey, which is getting government approvals and setting up your business, is as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
    Today, if you want to set up any manufacturing unit or business in Maharashtra, you need to get more than 62 approvals including company setting, construction permits, industrial permits and other related approvals. Government of Maharashtra is actively working towards shortening this process as much as possible. We aim to reduce the number of approvals, reduce the cost involved and the time taken. In this regard, one important initiative recently taken by Maharashtra and MIDC is Single Window Clearance Portal to industrial projects to simplify business approvals and procedures. It is an online interactive dynamic portal where an entrepreneur can get 38% approvals from various departments. It acts as a one-stop shop for consultation, obtaining and filling applications online, submitting applications online and getting approvals also online.
    Moreover, MIDC has set up a separate entrepreneur zone to guide people on how to start new businesses. Government is also planning to come up with a booklet called "Doing Business in Maharashtra", which compiles all the relevant information an entrepreneur will need in the form of a comprehensive booklet.
    Further, I am happy to inform that our Government is formulating Youth policy under leadership of Honourable Chief Minister Shri Ashok Chavan. I will suggest and recommend to the Government to also include initiatives for the development of prospective young entrepreneurs to provide proper support and guidance for their growth.
    Also, apart from hassle-free approval system, the prime need of the hour is to support, educate and create awareness amongst entrepreneurs about new opportunities so that they can put more efforts in nation building and assist India in becoming a major player in the world economy. In this regard, Mr. Salunke and his team are putting efforts for organising various activities for the development of entrepreneurs, especially SMEs.
    All these initiatives indicate that the Government of Maharashtra is committed to create a conductive and entrepreneur-friendly environment in the state.
    Maharashtra is the leader in India in terms of industrial performance for the last 40 years. What is the secret of such a performance? It is the outcome of hard work and vision of our entrepreneurs, leaders and government.
    On the strength of its proactive and enabling policies Maharashtra has been successful in attracting investments from India and abroad as well. For past many years, Maharashtra is the top destination for domestic investment as well Foreign Direct Investment.
    The growing rate of investment in Maharashtra proves the business community's confidence in the State's Governance, which is investor-friendly and reforms-driven. We would be planning more investor-friendly initiatives and implement the same to benefit every citizen.
    On a closing note, I would urge you all to dream big and government will do its utmost to ensure you fly high and achieve them because your success is your pride.
    Thank You.

  • Meeting of High-level Committee of State Industry Ministers
    Date: June 1, 2010
    Venue: New Delhi     
    Event: High-level committee (HIC) meeting of industries ministers from India 

    Speech by Industries, Employment and Self-employment, minister Government of Maharashtra and Convenor, HLC Rajendra Darda at HLC meeting of industries ministers 


    Hon. Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia; my colleagues from Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan; Secretary, DIPP and other Central and State officials, other dignitaries on and off the dais
    As Convenor of the High-level Committee, I welcome you all to this meeting, and look forward to very productive discussions. Rapid changes in the industrial scenario, both in India and abroad, are posing new challenges. They also present tremendous new potential for growth and employment, particularly now that we are emerging from the slowdown.
    Our 7 States represent different levels of industrialization and patterns of growth. They also have varied experiences in industrial promotion and policy initiatives. Some of these are specific to each State, but many are relevant to others also. This committee is expected to build on these different experiences and develop a common approach and framework on some key issues which would guide all States.
    The draft National Manufacturing Policy suggests that we widen the scope of earlier concepts by integrating industrial clusters and estates, industrial townships and SEZs to create a bio-environment for manufacturing on a regional scale. This is already happening in some States, but on a smaller scale. The Policy involves practical problems relating to land acquisition, management models, town planning, existing laws and Central incentives, and also conceptual issues which we need to discuss today. The first subject in the original scope of the Committee is the formulation of State-specific investment promotion strategies. This is a very broad subject, and I feel we may have to narrow it down in discussion. It covers natural and human resources, infrastructure, and administrative, legal and financial issues cutting across Central and State Ministries and Departments. Besides, every State is already trying to take advantage of its own strength and build on initiatives it has taken so far. It also requires us to balance the pressures of competition between States with the fact that India as a whole has to compete for industrial investment with other countries.
    Related to this is the design of a Single Window mechanism. Here also several models have been tried out in different States, many of whom have taken some measures to improve the ease of setting up and running an industry. Some have been more effective than others, but none have been entirely successful or comprehensive enough. Most often, the single window is really a window in front in theory, with several windows at the side in practice. Besides, a real single Window has to include Central agencies also. DIPP has made a beginning to fill this gap through the E-Biz Portal, in which Maharashtra is a partner. It is not enough, but it could bring the states and the Centre together in a more comprehensive exercise in future. The single window concept also involves difficult issues of coordination and convergence in regulations, procedures and levels of authority that we must discuss. Making things difficult is easy, but simplifying them is more difficult!
    One of the main factors responsible for Maharashtra’s position as an industrial leader has been the stress on HRD and skill development. Even so, very much more trained manpower has to be developed by us as well as other States to sustain industry and enable it to grow faster. We need to come up with models of collaboration between industry and government so that education and training are relevant to the changing needs of industry, keep up with advances in technology, make large number of people of different capabilities and backgrounds employable, and are linked to placement. This requires revamping of vocational and training institutions and linkages with research and innovation at the higher levels. Several initiatives have been taken recently by the Central Govt. And by many states. We need to discuss how these can be taken further in a planned way based on a mapping of skills and needs.
    Finally, we have been asked to frame guidelines for setting up Industrial Land Banks. This is not a new subject. Many industries obtain land privately. However, most States have also been acquiring land to meet the present and future needs of industry, and to develop estates which can be provided infrastructure and services more easily. We all know that it is becoming much more difficult to acquire land now, particularly at locations suitable or preferred by industry. Many industries need land closer to ports or other major transport connections, or to mineral resources, or to markets, or to urban areas with better social infrastructure. Such locations may also be much more costly. Industrial acquisition competes with potential residential and commercial uses which manufacturing units cannot afford. Moreover, acquisition of productive farmland has to be avoided as far as possible. The impact on landholders and other affected people has to be minimized through a mix of financial compensation, training for employment, and a longer-term stake in the industrial project.
    At the same time, large areas of acquired land are lying unutilized. Where it has not been used at all in a reasonable time, it can be withdrawn and offered to others. The problem is more difficult where an industry has been set up, but is closed and cannot be revived. To unlock such lands, we need an exit policy which simplifies the process of transfer of assets to new entities. Maharashtra is preparing a detailed paper on this subject. However, one of the main problems is the pending dues to financial institutions and government agencies, both Central and State, as well as to labour. This will need a coordinated mechanism for a one-time settlement of dues and other requirements by the Centre, the States and financial institutions.
    In the short time available for discussions today, I hope we will come to a consensus on the framework needed for each of these issues. Thereafter more detailed suggestions can be provided by each of us for discussion at the next meeting, when we can finalise our recommendations.
    I must end by thanking the Ministry for inviting Maharashtra to participate in this exercise, and for reposing trust in me as the Convenor of this committee.

  • Signing MoUs between Government of Maharashtra and 12 Mega Projects
    Date: May 31, 2010 
    Venue: Sahyadri Guest House, Mumbai 
    Event: Signing MoUs between Government of Maharashtra and 12 Mega Projects 

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at signing of MoUs for 12 Mega Projects 

    Hon'ble chief minister Ashok Chavanji, Hon'ble finance minister Sunil Tatkareji, Principal Secretary Industry Mr A M Khan, CEO MIDC Mr Dr K Shivaji, Development Commissioner Sanjay Sethi, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends from Industries.
    For all of us today is a very important day when MoUs between 12 Mega projects & GoM are being signed. Under the dynamic leadership of the Hon'ble Chief Minister with its proactive policies, Maharashtra State is spearheading economic development in the country.
          Friends, I am very proud to say that investment friendly policies, excellent infrastructure and strong and productive human resources made Maharashtra a favoured destination for the manufacturing, export, distribution and financial services sector. 
           And I am delighted to say that, state has received commitment from 160 Mega projects promising investment of Rs 1,43,233 Crs with potential to generate employment of 2.13 lakhs. 
    It is important to note that out of these 169 Mega projects, 111 Mega projects are in industrially backward regions with 70 projects in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. 72 have gone in production. Maharashtra attracts the highest FDI investment. 
    There are many important and favourable initiatives that are being taken by the industries department and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation. 
    Maharashtra will be a part of prestigious DMIC project – we hope to develop a 'global manufacturing and trading hub' supported by world-class infrastructure and enabling policy framework. 
    Recently, MIDC has taken an important initiative of developing online single window clearance system. The concept of property card in MIDC has been implemented. 
    We are planning to build a large number of flatted galas and Industrial sheds, particularly for micro and small industries, which is also one of the important recommendations of the Prime Minister's Task Force and allotment of those will be on priority basis to those running industries which are in the rented space. 
    Recently, a high-level committee has been constituted by GOI and I am happy to say that I have been appointed as a convener of this important committee, which has to work on the important issues like state-specific investment promotion strategies, single window mechanism, state-level skill development plan and creation of industrial land banks. This high-level committee's meeting is scheduled tomorrow at New Delhi. 
    Government of Maharashtra will be announcing its new agro-industrial policy shortly, for which a high-level meeting is scheduled on June 2.
    Maharashtra has the highest number of approved SEZs in the country with employment potential of over 65 lakhs. Out of these SEZs, 54 have been notified with projected investment of Rs 52,873 Crs and employment potential of over 21 Lakhs. 
    A new sector we intend to undertake further is to provide natural gas to the industrial units through gas grid and gas distribution network. For this purpose, we are in a process to form joint ventures with different companies. 
    Government of Maharashtra through our industry Department and MIDC welcomes you all and ensure our fullest support to the industries, we offer you a red carpet welcome.

    Thank you.

  • Korean Fair “G-Fair 2010”organised by Gyeonggi provincial Government of Republic of Korea
    Date: May 12, 2010 
    Venue: Hotel Lalit International, Mumbai 
    Event: Korean Fair ‘G-Fair 2010’ organised by Gyeonggi provincial Government of Republic of Korea

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at ‘G-Fair 2010’  


    Korean finance ambassador to India Mr Seao Hong Lee, Executive director Gyeonggi Economic Investment Division Suu Young Park, industrialist Dilip Dandekar, Chief Executive Officer of MIDC K Shivaji, other dignitaries on and off the dais, Members of the Korean delegation and friends from Gyeonggi. 
    It is a matter of immense pride for me to be speaking to you in this forum. I am extremely thrilled by the prospects of what this brotherhood between Gyeonggi and State of Maharashtra can bring in and how it will benefit the two regions.
    Firstly, I would like to extend my warm greetings to our friends from Gyeonggi and other guests and welcome them to Maharashtra, the land of opportunities. This trade fair is an excellent platform for Korean Industry to engage Indian consumer market directly and give Indian consumers a flavour of upcoming Korean technology. I am sure the experience will be beneficial for all parties including consumers, potential buyers and Korean Industrialists.
    Friends, the relation between Korea and India is not a new one. In fact the relationship goes 2000 years back when a princess from India was married to a prince from Korea. The relationship has grown over the centuries on the strength of our shared cultural values and business exchanges. And recently our technological collaborations in various fields have further strengthened those connections.
    There are many facets to Indian-Korean relation. Be it our shared cultural values of Buddhism and Hinduism or our strong business relationship or our strong diplomatic ties.
    Speaking of our business ties, the total business transaction between Korea and India has grown almost 5 times over a period of 10 years. The total volume of imports from Korea to India increased six times from 2000 to 2009, from $1.32 billion to $8.01 billion, while exports from India to Korea rose from $980 million to $4.1 billion over the same period.
    Korea’s trade surplus with India jumped 11 times from $340 million to $3.87 billion, and India was Korea’s ninth-largest export market last year, up from 25th a decade ago.
    The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that has been in effect since January is expected to further strengthen the trade relationship. Firms from both sides should aggressively utilize the trade deal and maximize the benefits
    Today more than 60 Korean companies are operating in India
    South Korea ranks 12 in terms of FDI Inflows in last ten years from 1999-2009
    Total FDI inflows from South Korea are US$ 1.0 billion. Auto, Metallurgical Industries, Electronics, Housing and Real Estate and Industrial Machinery being the top sectors receiving FDI from Korea
    With South Korea India has signed 230 technical collaborations. Major sectors are Transportation Industry, Electrical Equipments, Chemicals, Mechanical Engineering Industries and Metallurgical Industries.
    We all know about success story of India but Maharashtra is a story of success and sustained development over past many decades. In the year 2008-09, when world economy was in recession, India showed its resilience by posting a remarkable GDP growth of 6.7%. In year 2009-10 India’s GDP is expected to grow at the rate of 7.2% while GSDP of Maharashtra is expected to grow at the rate of 8.6%. Gentlemen, in the glorious journey of India’s growth Maharashtra has been the proverbial engine.
    Maharashtra and Korea also have longstanding and beneficial relationship between them.
    Major Auto and Electronics companies like Hyundai are operating in Maharashtra
    Electronic giants like LG and Samsung have their production facilities in Maharashtra
    Steel Authority of India Limited and South Korean Posco, who are in talks to jointly set up a steel plant in Jharkhand, are also exploring forming another JV to build a Rs 1,000-crore specialised steel mill in Maharashtra. I assure that every possible support will be extended to them in their endeavour.
    Both province of Gyeonggi and Maharashtra have similar focus when it comes to industry sectors.
    While Gyeonggi is focussed on Tourism, Filmmaking and Entertainment, Maharashtra houses the Bollywood, which produces the maximum number of motion films in the world.
    Gyeonggi is a large player in information technology industry and Bio-Tech and Maharashtra is also a leading state in both IT and Bio-Tech sectors. 
    Maharashtra is a major automotive hub of India which houses some of the biggest names of auto industry like Mercedes, Tata, GM and Gyeonggi is a 5th largest automotive industry of the world.
    One more area of common focus of both Maharashtra and Gyeonggi province is Renewable Energy. While Gyeonggi is focussing more on Solar and Hydrogen-based energy, Maharashtra has India’s largest wind farm in Dhule.
    Maharashtra with 9.4% of population of India, contributes 19% of the total industrial production of India, no wonder its per capita income at USD 1215 is higher than the national average of USD 833.
    Out of the total exports from India, Maharashtra contributes 27%
    Maharashtra is the most urbanized and highly literate state, with the largest pool of skilled manpower
    Maharashtra has the highest telecom density among all states in India and has the highest number of Internet users in India
    The State attracted foreign direct investment of USD 12,409.2 million, making up for 45.4% of the total FDI in India in year 2008-09
    Since August 1991 to August 2009, 15,408 industrial projects with an investment of INR. 5,58,336 crore have been registered with the Government of India for setting up industries/mega projects in the State 
    Maharashtra has the largest road network in India. It is well connected via airways and has two zonal railway offices in Mumbai.
    Maharashtra has two major ports handling 21% of all cargo traffic in India. Apart from that Maharashtra also has 48 minor ports on its 720 Km long coastline
    Maximum number of universities (19) in the country with over 5921 higher education institutions. Around 92051 primary and secondary schools
    Initiatives
    On the front of policy initiatives, it is our constant endeavor to make policies which make business environment more conducive and inclusive. The government of Maharashtra has been very proactive in taking such initiatives to boost investment in state and generate more employment.
    Recently government of Maharashtra has launched a unique initiative ‘Single Window Clearance System’, using which landholders in MIDC Industrial area can get all approvals online using a dynamic interactive portal.
    Another such initiative is property card. The card will replace the cumbersome record of rights, tenancy and the history of the plot holding pattern into a single page document.
    DMIC Corridor
    One more initiative, which has long term and far-reaching consequences, is the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).
    oUnder this initiative it is proposed that a Model Industrial Corridor of international standards with emphasis on expanding the manufacturing and services base be developed as a ‘Global Manufacturing and Trading Hub’.
    oThis corridor will be developed on either side of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor of Ministry of Railways within a band of 150-200 km.
    oThe Project aims at doubling the employment potential, tripling the industrial output and quadrupling exports from the region, in the first five years. The work of preparation of the Development Plan for the DMIC Sub-Region of Maharashtra is in progress and we are confident to float the Early Bird Projects in the near future which can showcase the type of development sought by the DMIC Project.
    SEZ Initiative
    The state is also aggressive on its SEZ initiative. It has already approved 108 SEZs and provided in-principle approval to another 36 SEZs. The government has come out with friendly policies to further encourage SEZs in state.
    Environment - The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board issues the clearances and no objection certificates to the administrative authority supervising the SEZ towards the development of SEZs. 
    Water Supply - The administrative authority of the SEZ assures the provision of abundant water supply in the special economic zone. 
    Power Supply - The administrative authority of the SEZ assures the uninterrupted power supply for the manufacturing units; provision of setting up of independent power production units; access to the MSEB grid.  
    Taxes, duties - The SEZ is exempted from all kinds of taxes levied by the State Government of Maharashtra pertaining to the supply of services and goods. 
    Gas Pipeline
    The Gas pipeline initiative to connect all industrial areas with a natural gas grid is also one ambitious project which highlights Maharashtra government’s commitment to provide world-class infrastructure to industries in state. Under this initiative, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) plans to establish a joint venture company, with selected strategic partners, for distributing gas to industrial consumers in the State. State Government had already given its nod and other details are being worked out. 

    It is on the strength of such initiatives and proactive approach that today all top 50 companies out of Fortune 500 companies are present in Maharashtra and Maharashtra has been the leading destination for FDI in India for the past many years
    Friends, the future of India is bright and Maharashtra is the place where opportunities are abundant. I invite you all to be part of this journey and benefit mutually.
    Thank You.
  • CII Investor’s meet in Amravati

    Date: May 10, 2010

    Venue:  Amravati

    Event: CII Investor’s meet 


    Speech of Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at CII Investors Meet at Amravati 


    Hon’ble Union Minister of Food Processing Industry Subodh Kant Sahay, Hon’ble animal husbandry and dairy development minister of Maharashtra Nitin Raut, Hon’ble MP Anandrao Adsul, hon’ble peoples representatives, food processing industry department secretary Ashok Sinha, other  dignitaries on and off the dais and friends from Industry and the Government,

    First of all, I am thankful to Hon. Minister of Food Processing Industry, Govt. of India for organising this investors’ meet through CII in Amravati.  

    It is indeed a pleasure for me to be here today at this august forum and to be a part of this event. The focus of the event is the food processing sector which is a very significant area of interest for our State and therefore it is an exciting opportunity for me to be speaking to you at this forum.

    To begin with, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all our friends from industry and other guests to Maharashtra, the land of opportunities.

    As we know Maharashtra is called as economic powerhouse of the country.

    -It is the most urbanized state

    -It has huge competent and multi-skilled Human Resources

    -It has also good Rail, Road, Air and Water connectivity 

    -State has developed quality infrastructure through MIDC and specialised parks for different industrial sectors. 

    -State contributes 1/5th of country’s total Industrial Production Value and net value addition and 27% share in country’s Export. 

    -State has attracted total investment of 70,000 crs. from 2005-2006 to 2010 which has generated employment of 6.75 lacks. 

    Today, the food processing industry in India is one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, export as well as future growth prospects.  Because of favourable policy environment and demand push impact of a young consuming class with growing disposable incomes, India offers significant investment opportunities in the food processing sector and is likely to become a world player in this business.

    By 2015, the Indian food industry is expected to reach USD258 billion from the current level of USD181 billion and this growth is expected to be sustained till 2020, where the industry size is expected to touch USD318 billion.


    Several international players such as Nestle, Pepsi, Coke, Kellogg’s, ConAgra, Unilever, Perfetti, have entered India in the last few years. Domestic players such as ITC, Dabur, Britannia, Parle, Amul, Haldiram, Godrej, and Venky’s have also strengthened their position.


    Considering the growth witnessed by the sector in the last decade, and further improvement in growth rates in the years to come, this sector presents varied opportunities for investment across the entire agri-value chain, especially for a strong state like Maharashtra. 

    At present  the main processing industries in the State are in the sectors of Sugar, Milk, Poultry, Rice Mill, Flour Mill, Meat, Edible Oil, Vanspati, Fruit and Vegetable units, Milk processing units etc. 

    Not only from the processing of the agriculture produce in the State but also from the market point of view the State has big consumption and prosperous market across its length and breadth. 

    MIDC has 225+ industrial areas. Industries department and MIDC are taking multiple initiatives to promote food processing as one of focus sectors for development in the State. 

    State has developed food/agro products SEZs through MIDC (through PPP mode) in Additional Latur (139 hectors notified on 15.1.2007) and Akola (100 hectors notified on 17.6.2008).

    MIDC has also developed specialised food parks which will provide infrastructure support for promotion of food processing industries.

    -Grape processing park at Vinchur (Nasik) and Palus 

    (Sangli)

    -Butibori (Nagpur)-60 acres.  A joint venture of MIDC and MAIDC. This project is jointly sponsored by GOI’s Department of Food Processing Industries and Government of Maharashtra. 

    -This park provides common facilities like cold storage and warehousing, Advanced packing (including Tetra Packing), Composite Food Testing Laboratory etc.

    Maharashtra has historically been the top state in attracting FDI for food processing industries. Maharashtra has attracted maximum FDI to the tune of USD 224 million.[]

    Government of Maharashtra will be announcing new agro industry policy shortly. This proposed agro industry policy will have salient features.

    -More incentives to Food Processing Units 

    -Creation of basic infrastructure facilities 

    -Streamlining the existing tax structure.

    -Single Window System. 

    -Streamlining the existing schemes implemented by various departments of GOI and GOM. 

    - Backward and forward linkages for food processing units (mainly marketing, transportation and cold storage facilities).

    Our Government is making favourable changes in PSI 2007 to boost the small scale industries and promote Food Processing Industries.

    MIDC has appointed E & Y as a knowledge partner to brand and promote Maharashtra as an ideal investment destination which will definitely help to harvest potential of different sectors in this region.

    One of the initiatives include the launch of a unique initiative ‘Single Window Clearance  System’, using which land holders in MIDC Industrial area can get all approvals online without visiting the office physically. These initiatives have in turn helped simplify the procedures that are meant for the investors. 

    Here I must say that on the back of such Initiatives, Maharashtra is witnessing an increasing investment flow over the past few years. Our Government is committed to come out with more such initiatives to maintain this momentum. It is the result of these initiatives and investor friendly policies that Maharashtra continues to be the leading investment destination.

    Talking about Amravati, there is a vast scope for food processing industries. 

    -Existing micro and small food processing units in Amravati -303 having Investment of 37 crs. (and employment of 1800). 

    -Medium and large projects – 5 having Investment of 52 crs. (and employment of 425).

    -There is production of 4.5 lakhs MTs of Soybean, 4.00 lakh MTs of Oranges and 60000 MTs of Cotton in the District. However, there is no large-scale industrial unit based on this production.

    -In Dhamangaon Rly. Taluka there is a proposed industrial unit to be engaged in production of Soya Milk, Soya Cake, Soya Paneer with proposed investment of Rs 22 crs. and potential of 1200 employment.   

    Considering the scope for food processing sector in this region I appeal to the investors to take this opportunity. I also assure the fullest co-operation and support of the Industry department.

    Friends, in our constant endeavour to support the industrial growth and sustain an investor-friendly climate in the State, we will continue our efforts in enabling a peaceful industrial environment in this region. I welcome you all once again on this occasion. 

    Thank you and good day.

  • Launch of Single window clearance service and property card
    Date: April 26, 2010
    Venue: Sahyadri Guest House, Mumbai
    Event: Launch of Single window clearance service and property card; Signing of Bridgestone MOU

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at Single Window Clearance Service inauguration   

    Hon’ble CM Shri Ashokraoji Chavan, my colleague and Minister of State for Industries Sachin Ahir, Bridgestone India Private Limited Vice-president and Senior Officer Mr T Urano, MIDC CEO Dr Kshatrapati Shivaji, other dignitaries on and off the dais, Govt. Officials and friends from industry.
    I am thankful to Hon’ble Chief Minister for finding time to launch three important initiatives by the Industries department and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation. 
    For us, today is a historic day when schemes like Single Window Clearance Portal and property card distribution to MIDC plot holders are being launched.
    First and foremost, I would like to welcome our friends from Bridgestone India Private Limited Vice-president and senior officer Mr. T Urano, Mr Umemoto and Mr. Hiromi Tanigawa.
    That the world’s largest tyre and rubber company is setting up its base in our State is noteworthy. The products of Bridgestone have earned excellent reputation in India.
    As the tyre demand in India is expected to grow significantly due to automotive production and unit sales increase, this project, which is coming up at Chakan Industrial Area near Pune, would be important for the country. This plant will have an excellent access to major market as it is strategically located.
    Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has taken an important initiative to develop “Single Window Clearance online Portal” to ease the business climate in the State. This initiative has been a historical demand from the industry.
    The single window environment aims to expedite and simplify information flows between trade and government and bring meaningful gains to all parties involved in trade. 
    You will see the portal will provide a single window view for the approvals and clearances from MIDC required by the MIDC customers. Using the portal, the customer can avail the above services online thus significantly reducing the need for the customer to visit several offices for the same.
    I must mention that as a part of MIDC’s continuous effort of ensuring the hassle-free environment for the industries, the concept of PROPERTY CARD has been introduced.
    The property card aims to provide MIDC property owners genuine titles to their property. The MIDC land owners will move from 'presumed' to 'certified' ownership of their property. The card will facilitate to have the record of rights and the history of the plot holding pattern in a single page document. 
    I would like to congratulate my colleagues in the industries department and MIDC, who have made significant contributions to convert the above initiatives into a reality. Today, you have witnessed these solutions launched for your assistance and I urge you to make use of this system to your benefit.
    Apart from these initiatives:
    The State Government is well aware of the difficulties faced by small scale industries. A proposal for reforming the Package Scheme of Incentives i.e. PSI 2007, which will be more focused on the Small Scale Industries, is under active consideration and a decision in this regard by the State Government is expected shortly.

    Moreover, a proposal to set up a separate Department or Wing to look after the issues of Micro, Small and Medium scale industries is also being conceptualized. Such initiative would ensure a step ahead in giving boost to the MSMEs.

    Another important development which will boost the industrial development in Maharashtra is the DMIC – Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor. The work of preparation of the Development Plan for the entire Maharashtra sub-region of the DMIC is in full swing. It inter-alia includes development of Early Bird Projects in the State which would demonstrate the likely development in the DMIC Sub-region of Maharashtra.

    MIDC is also coming up with the creation of Gas Grid in the industrial estates developed so as to make available the alternative of eco-friendly and cost effective fuel.

    We are also striving hard to create a land bank which would cater to the needs of upcoming projects in the State. However, at the same time, we also expect the industrial plot holders to put the plots to genuine industrial use within the stipulated period; failing which MIDC will be constrained to take back the plots.

    While giving boost to the economy through rapid industrialisation, we also need to ensure that the industrial areas of the State are “Clean and Green”.  With this objective, we are planning to plant 100,000 trees in the 225 plus industrial areas developed by MIDC.

    Friends, it is has been our constant endeavour to support the industrial growth and sustain an investor-friendly climate in the State. We will continue our efforts in enabling a peaceful industrial environment in Maharashtra and I welcome you all once again for this occasion.

    Thank You.

  • Aluminium India 2010: International Trade Show and Conference
    Date: February 25, 2010
    Venue: Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai 
    Event: Aluminium India 2010: International Trade Show and Conference 

    Speech of Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at Aluminium India 2010: International Trade Show and Conference

    Managing Director of NCS Associates and convener of this exhibition Dr Madhukar Nilmani, chairman and managing director of the National Aluminium Corporation A K Srivastav, Dr S K Tamotia, Dr S K Baneerji, Reed Exhibitions MD Dan Londero, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends. 
    It indeed gives me great pleasure to be amongst you as a Chief Guest for the inaugural function of ALCASPEK/ Aluminium India 2010.
    I am delighted to observe participation from over 80 companies spread across 24 countries. With rapid growth being witnessed by the Indian Aluminium industry, I feel this is the most appropriate time to hold this conference.
    Aluminium has now emerged as the second largest metal to be consumed after steel. Indian Aluminium market has growth rate of 7% per annum which is one of the highest in the world.
    The Automotive, Power, Packaging and Infrastructure sectors in Maharashtra have seen phenomenal growth in the past few years. Maharashtra is actually turning into the one of the most important Auto hubs in Asia. These are the sectors of manufacturing that are closely linked to the Aluminium sector. In fact, the world over Power sector alone consumes 44% of the Aluminium produced followed by infrastructure which consumes 17% and transport sector 10%. This growth has translated into a 7% annual growth in the Indian Aluminium market.
    While India’s per capita consumption of Aluminium is currently low by world standards; this is indicative of the potential for Aluminium industry in India in general, and Maharashtra in particular. With the 5th largest bauxite reserves (3 billion tonnes) of the world, coupled with massive growth in demand of Aluminium, the country is in the right position to attract massive investments in this sector.
    The Indian companies are moving overseas to acquire the latest technology and capturing share of the world markets.
    The State of Maharashtra has many pockets of potentially rich mineral area. In India, we found Bauxite in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Karnataka, while in Maharashtra we found Bauxite in Kolhapur, Raigad, Satara, Sangli, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Thane.
    Total estimated reserves of Bauxite in Maharashtra are 98.726 million tonnes.
    The challenge before this sector lies in access to the latest technology and optimum use of power. Against this background, I would like to bring to your attention the immense advantage that Maharashtra has as your investment destination. Maharashtra has attracted investment commitments of over USD 126 billion in 6155 projects.
    Over the last 4 years, the Mega projects policy of Maharashtra has attracted 168 projects with investment exceeding USD 33 billion. I am happy to inform the gathering that 50 projects have already commenced production while 41 are under construction. Of these major investments are in Auto, steel and Engineering sectors. The state is in the process of adding 14,000 MW in power capacity by 2012. Maharashtra is the country’s leader in terms of investment, employment, FDI, exports, GDP, and is Country’s largest economy. It boasts of excellent infrastructure in roads, ports, airports, rail and industrial estates.
    The state has several policies in place to attract investors in various sectors of the economy. All this coupled with skilled and disciplined workforce makes Maharashtra the most-favoured investment destination.
    I would like to invite the investors and industries to partner with the State in their future plans. Our State Government has strong will to offer the red carpet to the investors.
    I would like to invite the investors and the industrialists present here to come forward for the investment in Maharashtra.
    I am very much impressed by the well-organised exhibition and the modern technology displayed by the exhibitors from India and abroad.
    This conference and exhibition “Aluminium India” will give the participants access to modern technology for Global Competitiveness.
    I wish the conference and exhibition every success once again.
    Thank You. 

  • MEDC Roundtable discussions on ‘’Emerging Industrial Scenario in Maharashtra’’
    Date: February 24, 2010
    Venue: Mumbai
    Event: Maharashtra Economic Development Council (MEDC) Roundtable discussions

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at MEDC Roundtable discussions on ‘Emerging Industrial Scenario in Maharashtra’ 

    MEDC president Vithal Kamatji, vice-president Deepak Nayakji, former president Nandkishor Kagaliwalji, principal secretary industry Mr A M Khan, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friends. 
    I am very much delighted to be here with the members of Governing Board of Maharashtra Economic Development Council (MEDC) for an Interactive Roundtable discussion. Let me first convey my thanks to MEDC for organising the programme and inviting me for the participation.
    As I correctly know MEDC is working as a symbol of social responsibility of business and industry under eminent personalities and experts in business and industry, economic and administrative fields, and provides useful information and statistical data on Maharashtra's industry, infra and other economic indicators to the prospective investors in Maharashtra.
    As you all know, Maharashtra has emerged as the most prosperous and industrialized State in the country. As Maharashtra has retained its premier and number one position in the industrial sector, the State is a preferred investment destination for all in this sector from automobiles to chemicals manufacturing, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronic, food processing, IT, BT and Business process outsourcing and this premier position has been possible due to: 
    Well-developed infrastructure
    Ports and air connectivity
    Abundant natural resources
    Quality education system and skilled manpower
    Favourable industrial policy along with other Government policies such as revised IT policy, BT policy, Grape Processing Industry policy, SEZ and Mega Projects policy and many others. 
    Maharashtra has looked at advances in Science and technology as great opportunities for bringing about economic transformation and social change.
    As you know Maharashtra is India's second largest State.
    It is the most urbanized State having 42% urban area against India's 28%.
    It’s a comparatively young State in the country as 67% people are below 34 years of age.
    Literacy rate is 77%.
    It is the number 1 State in terms of State Domestic Product
    Number 1 State in terms of domestic investment - 20% of India's total investment.
    Number 1 State in terms of FDI - 21% of India's total.
    Maharashtra's per capita income is 44% higher than national average.
    Contributes over 40% of National Fiscal Receipts.
    20% of India's software exports are made from Maharashtra.
    Regarding the Industrial Scenario, the Government has sanctioned 169 Mega projects throughout the state with 1,42,728 crore assured investment and 2.10 lakh new jobs expected.

    IT Parks
    By announcing the Revised IT and ITES policy 2009, the State Government has geared up the development work in IT area. In IT sector the export rate has increased 8 times than earlier and accordingly
    sanction has been given to 401 private IT parks.
    72 registered private IT parks started.
    In the remaining 329 private IT parks nearly 8.72 lakh job creation is expected.
    36 public IT parks are sanctioned in which Rs 18,000 crore investment has been made and 2.68 lakh employment is generated.
    Apart from cities like Mumbai and Pune, the investment for IT in Nagpur, Nasik and Aurangabad is also being made.
    SEZs
    The Central Government has given sanction to 146 SEZs in Maharashtra, out of which 58 SEZs are notified by the Government and Rs 8142.31 crore investment and 21 lakh employment generation is expected. The work in 10 SEZs is in progress.

  • India International Watch and Clock Fair
    Date: February 3, 2010
    Venue: Mumbai 
    Event: India International Watch and Clock Fair 

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at India International Watch and Clock Fair  

    Director of Trade Post magazine and chief organiser of this fair Mihir Kharod, president of Watch Trade Federation Vinod Agrawal, managing director Geetanjali Lifestyle Mehul Choksi, managing director of Titan Industries Bhaskar Bhatt, other dignitaries on and off the dais and my friends from industry.  
    It indeed gives me great pleasure to be amongst you as a 'Guest of honour' at the 15th India International Watch and Clock Fair-Samaya Bharati 2010.
    At the outset, let me appreciate the efforts taken by the Trade Post, Asia's leading monthly exclusively devoted to the watch and clock industry, for organizing the event of this magnitude.
    Friends, we politicians are generally not governed by clock. I have observed that people are sometimes skeptical to invite 'netas' to their function for fear of lagging behind in the race against the clock. That is why I was conscious about the value of punctuality while coming amongst you people - the keepers of nation's time.
    Friends, the watch market in India is in an exciting phase of growth. With the arrival of foreign brands on the shelves in Indian malls, the watch strapped around one's wrist in no time evolved into a fashion statement, a definition of individuality, a proclamation of style.
    Naturally, the potential and size of the watch market in India is increasing by leaps and bounds. We are seeing rapid growth in some Indian brands and the entry of a number of international brands catering to different consumer segments.
    As we all know, when a product or any brand comes out in the market, it faces stiff competition globally. Brands try to outsmart and outwit the others. Through innovative advertisements they impress upon people how their products are 'different' and latest.
    The world has become so competitive that the factors like how the new product has been promoted and presented in the market become important.
    In the watch industry, Swiss brands have proved their excellence. Of course, other brands have also caught up. As we all know, competition is healthy for growth of any industry. It ultimately leads to superior products which win hearts of the target buyers.
    Here, I would specifically like to mention that the state of Maharashtra has been the epicentre of the watch and clock related ancillaries and components industry, ever since the 60s and the 70s. At that time, some of the very firstly privately owned Indian companies founded their factories and workshops in and around Mumbai. They established the Horological business across India, all the way from Mumbai. It is therefore a fact that Maharashtra has made an immense contribution to the progress and advancement of this industry and helped it attaining the status it is having today.
    It is also a matter of great pride for Maharashtra that the very first Indian watch - Zehphyr Time Star- made by private sector company Indo-French Times industries, was launched at the Greens Hotel, Mumbai by the first chief minister of Maharashtra Hon Late Shri Yashwantrao Chavan. This example itself shows how Maharashtra is closely related to this industry.
    I am sure today's event will showcase the time industry to the world and will be successful in representing the changing face of the industry. Over the years, this industry has grown from strength to strength embracing new technologies, upgrading design and quality. By generating prosperity for entrepreneurs and creating employments for lakhs of people, Samaya Bharati has played a vital role in this transformation and will continue to do so in future.
    I am sure that this buzzing Horological fair, like all its predecessors, will once again see the active cooperation of the entire Horological trade and industry in India. After all, we all believe in the maxim - Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going. I wish fair every success.

  • INAUGURAL FUNCTION OF NEW MANUFACTURING PLANT OF ZF GROUP IN PUNE
    Date: January 14, 2010
    Venue: Pune
    Event: Inaugural programme of new manufacturing plant Of ZF Group 

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at inauguration of ZF Group’s new manufacturing plant in Nanekarwadi, Pune.

    Mr. Hans Georg Harter, Chairman and CEO
    Mr. Klaus Sicker, Vice-president and Head, Off Road Division, ZF India
    Mr. Piyush Munot, Head of ZF India, other dignitaries on and off the dais, Employees and Friends,
    First of all let me congratulate the management of the ZF Group on this auspicious occasion of formal inauguration of its new manufacturing plant in Nanekarwadi, Pune.
    Today, I'm here to witness the bonding between one of the leading automotive supplier groups of the world and the Maharashtra State.
    We are very delighted and proud to welcome this plant of ZF Group in our State which is Group's first wholly-owned manufacturing facility in India.
    I am very happy to hear that there is a strong focus on localization of parts with vendors to give the cost advantage to the customers.
    I am delighted to see this modern manufacturing plant with the state of the art facility, and happy to see that ZF Group has started its production in our state.
    I would like to say that Maharashtra is having exiting times ahead. There are tremendous activities going on in various areas including economy. In Maharashtra, the Industry and services sector account for 84% of its income and the state contributes over 13% to national GDP and also its per capita income is 44% higher than the country's per capita income.
    Maharashtra is spearheading economic development in the country and is rightly called the economic powerhouse of the country. With its proactive policies, the state continues to occupy the dominant position amongst the industrially advanced states in India.
    Maharashtra is having country's 1/5th industrial production.
    My state is having average growth rate of 9%.
    State also has 27% share of country's export.
    Largest employment provider in the country.
    14% share in employment generation of the country.
    Out of 25 industrial sectors, state is No. 1 in 15 sectors particularly in Automobiles, Chemicals, Food Processing, Basic metals, Engineering and Petroleum sectors.
    Maharashtra has 20% share in the new project investment in the country.
    In Maharashtra, 4133 FDI projects have been approved by the Government of India having investment of Rs. 81,763 crore, out of which 1659 projects have started their production with investment of Rs. 39,291 crore, upto  February 2009.
    Maharashtra has the highest i.e. 146 approved SEZs in the country with employment potential of over 65 lakhs. Out of these, 54 SEZs have been notified with projected investment of Rs. 52,873 crore and employment potential of over 21 lakhs.
    Investment-friendly policies, excellent infrastructure and a strong and productive human base have made Maharashtra a favoured destination for the manufacturing, export, distribution and financial service sectors.
    Let me wish a great success to the ZF Group for the future.
    Have a great day

    Thank you, Jai Hind.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, New Delhi
    Date: January 9, 2010
    Venue: New Delhi 
    Event: Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas,

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas celebration programme   

    Hon’ble chief minister Ashokrao Chavan, other dignitaries on and off the dais, representatives of Non-resident Indian community present here in large numbers and friends.  
    I am very glad to be here amongst you for the celebration of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. I welcome you all for this glorious celebration.
    Today, I am here for future bonding between you people (NRIs) and Maharashtra on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas.
    Here, I would like to present you my Maharashtra as the most favorite and ideal destination for investment. Maharashtra being more progressive, economically and socially stable, educationally and culturally far ahead from other states of India, has set new standards of development in the last 50 years.
    At the outset, I must say that Maharashtra is India's most urbanized State having 22 Municipal Corporations, 222 Municipal Councils and 42% of its population lives in urban areas as against national average of 28%. Maharashtra's population below 35 years is 67%. In short my state is young and urbanized.
    You go to any corner of Maharashtra, you will find all cities and towns are beaming with activities, the spurt in the number of multiplexes, crowded mega stores, malls and residential apartments is heralding the arrival of the rapidly growing and economically empowered middle-class consumers.
    I would like to say that Maharashtra is having exiting times ahead. There are tremendous activities going on in various areas including economy. In Maharashtra, the industry and services sector account for 84% of its income and the state contributes over 13% to national GDP and also its per capita income is 44% higher than the country's per capita income.
    When we talk about the infrastructure and connectivity, Maharashtra has a better network of roads. Maharashtra's 2,35,000 kms of roads constitute 11% of National roads. We have equally excellent rail connectivity. State has four International Airports - Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad - and 21 Domestic Airports handling 34% of India's international passengers and cargo. JNPT and MPT, which are India's largest ports, are situated in Maharashtra which handles 57% of country's export.
    As far as power is concerned, Maharashtra state has 11% of country's power generation which is the highest compared to any state. At present state has nearly 17,800 MW installed power generation capacity. Moreover, new power projects, with total capacity of 10,000 MW power generation, are in various stages of implementation.
    Maharashtra has advanced computerization system and online services. We have made online filing of VAT returns mandatory for everyone. All communication with the sales tax department is made online and every dealer has been provided personalized e-mail boxes.
    The availability of skilled human resources is essential for overall development of the society. The State has most competent and multi-skill human resources centres. Right now the State has 13% of Engineering, 14%% Management and 17% Medical educational institutions of India. Apart from this state also has premier institutions like IIT Povai, NEERI and Maharashtra is the only state to have at least one Government ITI in each Taluka place. Through these vocational, professional and management institutions appropriately skilled manpower is available in the state.
    Maharashtra, spearheading economic development in the country, is rightly called the economic power house of the country. With its proactive policies, the state continues to occupy the dominant position amongst the industrially advanced states in India.
    Maharashtra is having country's 1/5th industrial production.
    My state is having average growth rate of 9%
    State also has 27% share of country's export.
    Largest employment provider in the country.
    14% share in employment generation of the country.
    Out of 25 industrial sectors, state is No. 1 in 15 sectors particularly in Automobiles, Chemicals, Food Processing, Basic metals, Engineering and Petroleum sectors.
    I must mention here that Maharashtra attracts the highest FDI intention and foreign equity inflows in the country. It is also a leading destination for industrial investment, both foreign and domestic. The Reserve Bank of India has confirmed that Maharashtra's share in institution-financed corporate sector for last year was over 20%, which is the highest in the country. Maharashtra has 20% share in the new project investments in the country (April-June 2009) and having 51% implementation rate. It comes to Rs. 5,54,394 crore investment through 6743 projects proposed or under implementation (as per Projects Today November. 2009).
    In Maharashtra, 4133 FDI projects have been approved by the Government of India having investment of Rs. 81763 crore. Out of this, 1659 projects have started their production with investment of Rs. 39291 crore upto February 2009.
    Maharashtra has the highest, i.e. 146 approved SEZs in the country with employment potential of over 65 lakhs. Out or these, 54 SEZs have been notified with projected investment of Rs. 52,873 crore and employment potential of over 21 lakhs.
    Government of Maharashtra has different attractive investment policies like Mega Project Policy 2005, Industrial Investment and Infrastructure Policy 2006, Package Scheme of Incentives 2007, IT and ITES policy 2009 and Mega Project policy for tourism.
    Due to different attractive and policies of Government of Maharashtra, 6182 large-scale projects have been registered with the Government of India for investment in the state with projected investment of Rs 5,58,336 crore and having employment potential of over 28.16 lakhs. Out of these, 2670 projects have gone in  production with investment of Rs. 1,47,443 crore, providing employment to 8.30 lakhs.
    I am proud to say that MIDC is India's largest infrastructure provider having 225 industrial estates, land bank of 1,30,000 acres and huge water supply network of 2241 MLD capacity.
    MIDC has developed specialized parks for different industrial sectors including IT, BT, Wine (Grape processing) Park, Silver zone, Gems and Jewellry, Textiles, Leather, Chemical Industry, Electronics, Food processing and Floriculture.
      MIDC is also a Special Planning Authority in these estates, which is authorized for zoning, master planning, layout, land conversion, transfer, building permission etc. This has led to strong industrial clusters in the state.
    In short, investment-friendly policies, excellent infrastructure and a strong productive human resource base have made Maharashtra a favored destination for the manufacturing, export, distribution, financial services and infrastructural development.
    I am also proud to state that Maharashtra is the only state from India which is evaluated by IMD. The world competitiveness ranking shows how Maharashtra’s environment creates and sustains the competitiveness of enterprises. 
    Our Government is always encouraging the entrepreneurs for setting up their business in the Maharashtra.
    Maharashtra has attained number one position because of its progressive policies, excellent communication and urge to achieve new heights in every field without compromising quality, past performance and glory. As our state entered into Golden Jubilee year of its formation, we have committed ourselves to make Maharashtra as a Global State with your co-operation and wishes.
    I request all of you to come to Maharashtra, we are there to support you.

  • 'SOP' of 'POLO' ,Pune
    Date: December 12, 2009 
    Venue: Chakan, Pune
    Event: Start of Production of Polo car 

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at start of production of Volkswagen’s Polo car 

    Hon chief minister Shri Ashokraoji Chavan, His Excellency Mr Thomas Majussek, Prof  Dr Heizmann,
    Mr Joerg Mueller, Mr M K Swamy, Dr Chacko, other dignitaries on and off the dais, employees of the Volkswagen group, friends, ladies and gentlemen.
    First of all let me congratulate the management of the Volkswagen group on this auspicious occasion of  'SOP' of 'POLO'. Today, I'm here to witness the bonding between a committed foreign direct investor and Maharashtra State through MIDC. I am happy to see that Chakan plant of Volkswagen group is one of the most modern plants in India. We are delighted to see this manufacturing plant with a press shop, body shop, paint shop and assembly lines with the state of art facility. 
    I must say that Maharashtra is having exciting times ahead. There is tremendous activity going on, in various areas including economy.   Now, Maharashtra is spearheading economic development in the country and is rightly called the economic powerhouse of the country. With its proactive policies, the State continues to occupy the dominant position amongst the industrially advanced States in India. 
    Investment-friendly policies, excellent infrastructure and a strong and productive human resource base have made Maharashtra a favoured destination for the manufacturing, exports, distribution and financial service sectors. 
      I am also proud to state that Maharashtra is the only state from India which is evaluated by IMD. The world competitiveness ranking shows how Maharashtra's environment creates and sustains the competitiveness of enterprises. 
    I am happy to see that Volkswagen has started its production in our MIDC which is India’s largest industrial development corporation having 233 Industrial Parks spread over 55,000 hectares in Maharashtra. 
     Under the dynamic leadership of our Chief Minister Mr Ashokrao Chavan, our Government is always encouraging the entrepreneurs for setting up their business here in Maharashtra. Now, we are moving towards a 'Single Window' concept and hopefully soon we will activate it. 
    Let me wish a great success to the Volkswagen group for the future. Have a great day. 
    Thank you

  • MINISTER (INDUSTRIES), MAHARASHTRA AT CONFERENCE OF STATE INDUSTRY MINISTERS,New Delhi
    Date: November 17, 2009
    Venue: New Delhi
    Event: Conference of State Industries Ministers  

    Speech by Industries Minister Rajendra Darda at State Industries Ministers’ meeting  

    Hon’ble Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Hon’ble Union Minister of State Jyotiraditya Scindia, my industry minister colleagues from difference states, other dignitaries on and off the dais and friend. 
    The Vision Statement that has been proposed today is most welcome and long overdue. Manufacturing deserves a special focus, considering its contribution and potential for employment, exports and the growth of other sectors. Last year, the Group set up by the Prime Minister had also recommended a target growth rate of 12% to 14%.
     At around 20%, the share of Manufacturing in Maharashtra's GSDP is higher than that for the country as a whole. While targeting 12% manufacturing growth, we need not aim for ensuring 25% growth in any particular sector but concentrate on overall target. Heavy focus on any particular sector would not be meaningful because it is also necessary to enhance the growth rates of other industrial segments such as power and mining, and of other sectors of the economy such as agriculture and services which have obvious inter-linkages with manufacturing.
     In present circumstances, some manufacturing industries (such as textiles) are more labour-intensive than others. It is also true that manufacturing in India generally is becoming more capital-intensive. In this background, policies for increasing productive employment in manufacturing must take into account several aspects.
    1) Firstly it must take into account both the direct as well as indirect employment potential; some manufacturing industries directly employ many workers, but many capital-intensive industries also create large employment in other manufacturing industries, and generate jobs in other sectors. The policy focus will, therefore, have to be extended to such industries also.
    2) Secondly, it must take into account the factors which influence labour-intensity: The choice of technology and the labour-intensity of production depend on relative costs and other factors. Thus, aspects of taxation, labour flexibility and matching of employment also have to be added.
     As trade becomes more open, a policy framework for manufacturing must also consider comparative advantage and competitiveness (except to the extent that some types of industry are critical for economic, social or security considerations or for long-term development). This has two aspects:
    1) Firstly, we should promote manufacturing industries which require less rather than more water, power and other scarce resources.
    2) Secondly, we should particularly promote industries in which India has a comparative advantage rather than those which require special facilities, benefits or concessions to compete with industries abroad whose products are cheaper to local industrial or other consumers.
     This is not happening because line Ministries and industry groups tend to emphasise their own sectors. Competition between States for investment also overrides such considerations. It will need a consensus between different Central Ministries as the States, in which DIPP can take the lead.
     I believe these issues should be mentioned and addressed in the Vision Statement and Action Plan for the manufacturing sector. Further, the 'Thrust Areas' identified to realise the Vision should include convergence of policies, schemes as well as regulations and procedures which impact the manufacturing sector. This can be included by broadening the scope of 'Investment Promotion' envisaged in the Agenda Note.
    Maharashtra attracts the highest FDI and foreign equity inflows in the country. It is also a leading destination for industrial investment, both foreign and domestic. The Reserve Bank of India has confirmed that Maharashtra's share in institution-financed corporate capex last year was over 20% and the highest in the country. However, very much more is possible, and I congratulate you for the excellent 'Invest India' and 'E-Biz' initiatives.
    Maharashtra will partner the Invest India company as a shareholder. While Maharashtra, like other States, will continue with individual promotion efforts, the new company will enhance investment by both foreign and domestic players.
    I am happy that Maharashtra is one of the 5 States partnering the first phase of the E-Biz project. For sales tax and document registration, Maharashtra already has advanced computerization systems or online services which only need to be brought onto the E-Bix portal. For instance, we have made online filing of VAT returns mandatory for everyone. All communications with the Sales Tax Department are made online, and every dealer has been personalized e-mail boxes. The E-Biz portal and the Invest India company will add value to each other.
    In Maharashtra, Mumbai was selected for 'Doing Business' study. Compared to other Indian cities, it ranks high in the ease of starting business and registering property, but low in the process for construction permits. We have expressed our doubts regarding some of the analysis and findings. However, the points made in the study are well taken, and it has thrown up many things which can easily be improved. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation is already introducing new systems which will make construction permissions quicker and easier.
    The exchange of best practices started by you will also be very useful to all States. I would add the VAT and document registration systems in Maharashtra, details of which I will send to you. Another area is the transparency and efficiency introduced in electricity distribution which has benefited both the power utility as well as honest consumers. It involves extensive computerization, and includes innovations like the issue of bills with photographs of meter readings. A beginning was made a few years ago by Maharashtra's electricity regulator through a pioneering supply code, standards of performance and consumer grievance redressal system. These were developed through a consultative process involving the utilities, consumer groups, experts and the State Government, and were put to the public before being finalized.
    Nearly 160 cooperative industrial estates have been set up in Maharashtra, with share capital assistance from the State Government. Around 250 industrial estates have also been set up by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, which has acquired over 55,000 hectares of land across the State. Many of the estates are for specific sectors such chemicals, textiles, wine, food processing, IT, biotechnology and even floriculture, with specialized infrastructure. Even in some general-purpose estates, areas have been carved out for particular industries and developed by MIDC itself or through private players.
    MIDC is a major water provider for its estates, and also for many industries outside and several cities and towns. Zoning, master planning and layouts, land conversions, transfers and building permissions are all within MIDC's purview since it is also the Special Planning Authority in these estates. This has led to strong industrial clusters in Maharashtra. With the Science and Technology Parks Missions, MIDC is also launching a 'Clean, Green and Eco-Friendly' Policy for its estates now. I should mention that MIDC cross-subsidises land and water rates in favour of backward locations, and does not take any financial support from Government.
     These key elements of planned industrialization were given a legal framework as far as back in 1961 through The Maharashtra Industrial Development Act that established the MIDC. It also included fast-track land acquisition powers and procedures which emphasise negotiated compensation. In many cases, the compensation is settled with land-holders at the preliminary stage itself.
     Another 60,000 hectares of land is being acquired or planned for acquisition by MIDC to add to the land bank. However, it is not always possible for the land bank to meet the location preferences of unanticipated major projects. Such cases require special efforts at speedy acquisition.
    Avoiding the acquisition of fertile land is an important criterion for site selection. This also reduces resistance as well as compensation costs. However, productive land cannot always be avoided because other factors such as the location needs of particular industries, the proximity of water sources, the power infrastructure and connectivity also have to be taken into account.
    Another important factor affecting land acquisition is that nearly half of Maharashtra lives in urban areas. Around these areas, land values are high, and the market rates offered by commercial and residential users are far higher than manufacturing industry affords. Along with incentive schemes, this has helped to disperse industry elsewhere. At the same time, these areas are prime areas for industry, with ready social and other infrastructure, and markets.
    Even with negotiated compensation and far from urban centres, resistance to land acquisition is increasing, and land-holders have to be given a stake in industrializaton. Higher land rates are now being paid by MIDC. In some cases, MIDC has engaged local chartered accountants to assist land-holders in tax planning and investment. MIDC also returns 15% of the land at a concessional rate to those from whom it has been acquired, with the provision of off-site infrastructure. With the help of NGOs, some companies of PAPs have been promoted to enable them to make use of it. These lands can be transferred after 5 years, and a portion used for commercial and residential purposes.
    A more wide-ranging package has recently been initiated for those who agree to negotiated rates. The package includes
    1) Housing plots and a shifting allowance for those whose houses have been acquired
    2) Financial assistance equivalent to 750 days minimum agricultural wages to those whose entire holding has been acquired, and 500 days for those who have become marginal farmers or are tribals.
    3) Technical training to members of the affected families, provided they contribute 10% of the fees, or entrepreneurship guidance.
    4) Drinking water to project-affected villages at concessional rates; and
    5) a mechanism for grievance redressal, which is being worked out.
    Planned industrialisation can be promoted outside the industrial estates also. Many of these estates have catalysed activities in surrounding areas. Elsewhere, appropriate land planning has led to the growth of industry at suitable locations. Many industries find private purchase of land convenient. As a safeguard, such purchase of agricultural land above 10 hectares requires the approval of the Industries Commissioner. Thus, there can be several models for land for industry, depending on local circumstances. DIPP would be an excellent platform for exchange of experiences so that appropriate models can be further developed.
    It is true that large areas of land and other productive assets are locked up in industries which are closed or unviable. Their use by others would generate fresh economic activity and employment. In its estates, MIDC has made the process of transfer simpler and less expensive. However, one of the main hurdles to such revival is the past liabilities of the existing units which are due to financial institutions, the State and Central Governments or their agencies. For such cases, a one-time settlement scheme for all State Government dues has been put in place in Maharashtra, which requires payment of only the principal due. We are considering extending the scheme to other Government agencies also. However, this will have only a limited impact. A suitable dispensation has to be provided by the financial institutions and Central agencies also. I would urge your Ministry to take the lead.
    I recommend the Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme to my colleagues. The three projects at Pune, Nashik and Ichalkaranji in Maharashtra will benefit more than 16,000 units. The Pune Auto Cluster, promoted by Maratha Chamber of Commerce and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, has been cited by the Ministry as a case study. Even global giants like Volkswagen are using its services, which speaks for its standards. I am happy that a fourth project is being approved at Aurangabad, which is becoming a major industrial centre. Two more projects have been proposed, and I hope that they will also come up. Support to 19 clusters in Maharashtra has also been given by MSME Ministry under its excellent Cluster Development Programme. We should now look at possible synergies between these schemes and clusters.
    The spread of vocational, technical and professional education across the State through public as well as private initiative has been an important factor in the growth and dispersal of industry in Maharashtra. Our 752 ITIs have an annual intake of 1.30 lakh students, and Maharashtra is the only State to have at least one Government ITI in each taluka. Under the Central Government scheme, 117 ITIs have been adopted by industry, including manufacturing leaders like Bharat Forge, Videocon and many others. 54 more institutions will be taken up this year. This process started only 2 years ago, and the impact on appropriate skill development and inclusive employment has started being felt.
     The modular Employable Scheme is another skill development initiative targeting school dropouts and workers with little formal education. Today, nearly 700 vocational training providers have an annual intake of more than 41,000 throughout the State. In the next 5 years, we intend to achieve coverage of 43,000 trainees per year in each District of Maharashtra.
    This expansion and refinement of training will become more effective once comprehensive skill-mapping is done and planning undertaken on that basis. We are consulting different segments of industry associations like CII, and NASSCOM, and other stakeholders and experts on this important exercise. These consultations will also result in a Skill Development Mission under the Chief Minister. This will give a further thrust to the generation of appropriate manpower.
     Technological innovation and development are obviously significant for economic and industrial growth. The State Governments have an important role in some aspects of promotion of knowledge-intensive industries. This has been shown by Maharashtra and some others in the case of IT and biotechnology. However, when access to information and ideas through the internet and through professional networks is so extensive, I do not think the States will be very effective in enabling research or disseminating knowledge, or to provide consultancy services. These can be catalysed better through different Central Government agencies including CSIR, the Ministries dealing with science and technology, as well as those - like DIPP - which can promote platforms that bring together industry with research institutions nation-wide. The Government - whether at the Centre or the States - may not be the best repository for any effective system of date banks. Moreover, the issues involved are not limited to industrial innovation, and need to be looked at across several sectors.
     Maharashtra has been actively promoting improvements in quality and productivity. For small and medium enterprises, intensive efforts have been made to promote programmes under the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme. The Programme allows for customerized projects that enhance competitiveness through quality certification, lean manufacturing practices and energy efficiency, among others. The first such proposal is likely to be approved shortly. The main thrust of the State Government has been spreading awareness of the Programme and to coordinate with the field organization of MSME Ministry and technical institutions. We will take up the services offered by the Quality Council of India and NID in the same way. We will also continue to interact with National Productivity Council.
    Only 3 products from Maharashtra have obtained Geographical Indications registration so far. Many others fulfil the requirements and would benefit from it, and we are encouraging them. However, GI registration entails continuous documentation and costs. Monitoring and protection against infringements involve legal procedures that are beyond the capacity of small entrepreneurs and artisans. Specialized legal and other advisory support for at least some time after GI registration would encourage many more applications to be filed.
    The Action Plan proposes that a model Manufacturing Policy be drawn up. We believe that any policy for the manufacturing sector must be set in the broader context of issues which are also of critical importance to other sectors and take into account the linkage between them. That is why Maharashtra announced a comprehensive Industrial, Investment and Infrastructure Policy in 2006 in which manufacturing has a special focus. That Policy provides a framework for incentives and support relating to employment, environment and inclusive growth. Most other States also have formal policies. However, there can be a consensus on the appropriate approach to some of these issues, while others will have to be tailored to different circumstances and multiple objectives. We can also learn from each other on the way forward. I have doubts about whether we should call it a model industrial policy, as suggested by your Ministry, but it would be a very useful exercise.
    Several States have initiated single-window systems which differ in their effectiveness and coverage. Maharashtra has extended and broadened its District-level Udyog Setu' recently to several new areas. We are also working with CII towards a more comprehensives and flexible dispensation which takes into account the difficulties such systems often face. At the behest of DIPP, officers from Maharashtra along with some other States are meeting to take these initiatives forward. Indeed, it is essential to develop a basic common design for such systems considering the experiences gained in different States. As far as rationalization of procedures and clearances with regard to labour, environment, etc. are concerned, both the State and Centre have an important role to play, and it would certainly be useful to work on improvements which are possible and relevant to all of us. While a comprehensive exercise to recast the Factories Rules is underway and an optional system of joint inspections and self-certification under 13 labour laws has been put in place in Maharashtra, environmental clearances require review at the Central level.
    At the end, let me thank you all for giving me an opportunity to share my vision for the uniform industrial development of the nation. 

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