Maharashtra to float multi-billion dollar fund for defence units

The policy is aimed at attracting investment in Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, and Aurangabad, while establishing Maharashtra as the preferred destination for the defence aerospace manufacturing, and defence technological capabilities.

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The state government is looking to float a multi-billion dollar fund to provide assistance to units looking to manufacture indigenously-built defence products. The government is looking to scale up the already announced corpus of ₹1,000 crore following positive response from the investors to its defence and aerospace policy, senior officials said.

Centre to help
“We are in talks with financial institutions to scale up the corpus. This will now be a multi-billion dollar fund,” said a senior official from the Chief Minister’s office. The Centre is also likely to contribute. The government is in talks with financial institutions such as IDBI Bank, SBI Caps, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) for financial assistance. “The fund is important in our endeavour to reach the investment target of $5 billions in the next five years, and, additionally create about one lakh jobs in the same period,” said the CMO official.

Maharashtra’s Space and Defence Production Policy is aimed at empowering the MSMEs and help them “create competitive international standard skilled manpower”. The policy is aimed at attracting investment in Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, and Aurangabad, while establishing Maharashtra as the preferred destination for the defence aerospace manufacturing, and defence technological capabilities.

Essential Service
Last year the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had directed the state to declare the defence industry as an essential service under the Maharashtra Essential Services and Maintenance Act. Much of the funding, officials confirmed, will be directed towards defence R&D, innovation, and testing centres.

The centres will be used to impart training and create jobs. Research and development (R&D) will also get a boost with assistance up to 50% of the project cost, excluding land and building, subject to a maximum of ₹10 crore. Additional FSI of 0.5 will be provided to eligible R&D units.

“We have already signed an MoU to construct a centre with the help of Tata Technologies Ltd,” said the official, referring to the one inked during the Magnetic Maharashtra summit earlier this year.

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