February 20, 2018

Speaking at Magnetic Maharashtra – Signing of MoU of Latur Factory in Mumbai

The Industries Minister Nilangekarji, other distinguished guests on and off the dais, ladies and gentlemen. Yesterday was the birth celebration of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and as the honourable Prime Minister rightly said, once we have the blessings of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, nobody can stop Maharashtra from succeeding. And I am extremely delighted to see the huge effort that Devendraji and his team have put in to make Magnetic Maharashtra a grand success. Truly, we have seen the convergence of minds, we have that programme about artificial intelligence, I believe there is a lot of engagement during the conference on 3D manufacturing, newer forms of technology, how we can bring India into the new age of technology. And along with the minds, certainly, we need money.

Of course, I wish all of us had the kind of money that Reliance has so that we can do MoUs worth 60,000 crores at one time. But the railway investment is also only for the first phase, the 600 crore rupee investment is what we are planning to do in the first phase. And, obviously, the larger idea as I will just explain to you is of a much bigger vision that has been worked out by the honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

In fact, Maharashtra’s contribution to India is truly remarkable, whether it is in the form of taxes, whether it’s in the form of human brains trust of the country, whether it’s in the form of contributing to different sectoral growth in the country – whether it’s the FDI numbers, whether it’s the GDP numbers, whether it’s the march forward towards a trillion dollar economy. But clearly, this 3-day conference is going to be the harbinger of the next phase of economic and industrial development that Maharashtra will be witnessing.

And I am sure this economic engine of growth that Maharashtra has become has come to be recognised as not only in India, but across the world, will continue to power its journey with great speed, with great alacrity. We in the Indian railways have had a small contribution to do in the economic progress here. In fact, I was just seeing the figures Devendraji, in the period of 2009 to 2014, the five year period, the central government through the railways had initiated capital expenditure projects had budgeted Capex in Maharashtra of 5,857 crores – 5-year period, 2009 to 2014.

I am happy to share with all of you that Prime Minister Modi’s focus both on railway growth, but particularly on growth of states like Maharashtra, which provide such a lot to the country has been demonstrated by an allocation in the 4 years – 2014 to 2019, the five budgets under the Modi government of 24,040 crore rupees. Never before in the history of India has this kind of quadrupling of railway investment in any state been seen in the 70 years of independence.

In the same streak, Latur, which is a part of Marathwada, has been an area which has remained relatively less developed over many-many years and decades. In fact, my friend Nilangekarji was mentioning that despite having given three Chief Ministers, and possibly a Home Minister too, we don’t have a single large project of the central government in the entire Marathwada region. And I am delighted to share with you that this project for setting up a coach factory in Latur was conceptualised by my brother and friend and the honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendraji, as recently as 31st January, 2018, barely 20 days ago.

On 31st January, 2018, I came down to Mumbai with my team. Devendraji was there with Mr Sethi and his team. The contours of the project were finalized in one meeting, and what I am given to understand is in the next four or five days, the land is going to be handed over to the railways for the first phase of the project.

This demonstrates speed. This demonstrates commitment. And this demonstrates concern – concern for a backward region, concern for the people of Marathwada, concern that how can we leave such a large area behind when the whole nation is marching forward through progress. In fact, the idea in Latur is to develop a large complex of about 2000 acres, which will not only manufacture metro coaches, and we see a lot of metros coming up not only in Mumbai, not only in Maharashtra, but in the whole country. But 50% of that demand of metro coaches is from Maharashtra.

So, the idea is to bring the best of technologies from across the world, set up a large facility which will serve the metros not only in Maharashtra, not only in India, but in the whole wide world. Maharashtra and Latur metros will then go to the whole world and serve metros across the world.

And we are not only conceptualizing a coach factory, the idea that Devendraji has articulated and I am delighted to accept is that we create a whole ecosystem of ancillaries, just like Pune has become a whole auto hub, where not only do we have automobile factories but we also have the auto ancillaries within the same region, promoting the entire latest technology, large scale manufacturing, millions of jobs for that region.

That kind of integrated and holistic thinking is I think a breath of fresh air that Maharashtra has received under Devendraji’s leadership. My congratulations to you Devendraji. Congratulations on Magnetic Maharashtra, Convergence – 2018, Congratulations on the first large project coming up in Latur. Congratulations to the people of Maharashtra for the wonderful work that we can all witness here.

The recent Deutsche Bank report which you mentioned showing us that more than 50% of infrastructure investments nationally are centred around Maharashtra. It’s a huge thumbs up for the government of Maharashtra, for the leadership of Maharashtra. And I am sure with the blessings of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, with the support and cooperation of all of you Maharashtra will continue to power its way, using a double engine, both the central government and state government working together, to make sure that this speed that Maharashtra has picked up will not be any less than the bullet train that is going to start from these very premises that we are today sitting on.

Thank you very much.

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