Mumbai

MIDC to get permit to supply power

Will be distributed to industries at competitive rates: Desai

Industries Minister Subhash Desai told the Council on Friday that the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) will acquire its own licence to distribute power to industries at competitive rates as the tariff is high in the State. Mr. Desai also criticised the Centre for repeatedly changing its industrial policy, which has led to large industries opting against making investments.

The Council had earlier held a special session to discuss dwindling employment opportunities for the youth in the State. Several MLCs, including Leader of Opposition Pravin Darekar and Bhai Jagtap (Congress), raised concerns over the welfare of families of mill workers, low investment in new industries, poor health of existing industries, and changes in the Industrial Disputes Act.

Mr. Desai said, “The Centre changed its industrial policies several times, which is why large industries chose not to invest. But we have decided to focus on small industries through our employment generation scheme. The government will help them raise capital through banks. Since the government is involved, banks will not harass them.”

Mr. Desai was referring to the Chief Minister’s Employment Generation Scheme under which entrepreneurs will only have to raise 10% capital. The State will raise 30%, while banks will lend the remaining 60%. He said, “Banks need to change their outlook towards small industries. They put small industries under the microscope while big fish like Nirav Modi take away thousands of crores of rupees.”

Mr. Desai said a Bill will be brought in the next Assembly session to reserve 80% jobs for locals and ensure that employers disclose the number of contractual employees. He said, “When industries ask us why our electricity is so costly, we are at a loss to explain it. It is true that in neighbouring States like Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, the tariff is much lower. In fact, some people set up a unit in the neighbouring State but continue to live here. That is why, we want MIDC to procure a distribution licence which will help us reduce the tariff for industries.”

Mr. Desai said the State gives farmers power at ₹1 per unit. To offset the burden of ₹10,000 crore, power is given to industries at ₹9 or ₹10 per unit, while other States give it at ₹6 or ₹7 per unit.

Mr. Desai said it is a myth that the larger the industry, the more employment it generates. “Statistics from my department show in big-ticket projects, an average investment of ₹1 crore creates only one job as they may be highly mechanised. But in small-scale industries, a ₹1 lakh investment can create one job. In micro industries, this amount is as low as ₹25,000.”

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 2:38:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/midc-to-get-permit-to-supply-power/article31064983.ece

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