Despite the economic slowdown, Maharashtra has managed to remain the most favoured investment destination in the country, having attracted 53 percent of the foreign direct investment in the last financial year, Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan said here Tuesday.

Speaking at the state official Republic Day celebrations at Shivaji Park, Sankaranarayanan said the state government is committed to “inclusive and all-round development”.

“A record 169 industrial mega projects have been approved by the state of which 41 have already started production. At least 38 new mega projects have committed investment worth Rs.28,000 crore in the first nine months of the current financial year itself,” he said.

Besides these, 146 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) spread across the state -- the highest in the country -- have been approved by the central government, Sankaranarayanan said.

With an aggregate investment of Rs.188,738 crore, these SEZs are expected to generate 6.50 million jobs and further consolidate the state’s position as the country’s leader in exports.

The state is also marching towards achieving self-sufficiency in the power sector by 2012. With new public and private generation projects coming up, rapid improvements in the distribution efficiency, the state will have adequate power for all its agriculture, industrial and domestic requirements in the next three years, Sankaranrayanan pointed.

The government is also targeting affordable housing for all and slum-free cities across the state under its housing policy.

Towards this, it has launched construction of a million homes for the poor and middle-income groups over the next two years, a novel project of half-a-million rental homes in Mumbai during the next five years to address the city’s housing problems.

“The government also intends to launch the slum free city campaign in the entire state under which slumdwellers would be provided decent houses,” the governor said.

He said Mumbai is poised to become a world class city, thanks to a slew of measures being taken up in this direction.

Besides the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link, schemes like the Metro Railway, Mono Rail, skywalks, new roads, flyovers and other projects worth Rs.50,000 crore will augment the city’s infrastructure.

“The government will construct a grand memorial to Chhtrapati Shivaji in the Arabian Sea which would symbolise the culture and history of Maharashtra,” said Sankaranaraynan.

The governor also referred to the special development packages for all-round and balanced regional development in Vidarbha, Marathwada, Konkan and north Maharashtra, the measures to counter Maoist menace and terror threats, and other social welfare measures of the state government.

Earlier, Sankaranarayanan witnessed a smart parade by officers drawn from various security forces at the historic Shivaji Park grounds and greeted the people of the state on the 60th Republic Day and the ongoing Golden Jubilee of the formation of Maharashtra.