Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday held discussions with a group of eminent persons on ways of boosting the state's growth rate and reviving its economy which has been badly hit by COVID-19.
These eminent persons, including veteran banker Deepak Parekh and former bureaucrat Vijay Kelkar, are members of the Pune International Centre. Thackeray held the discussions with the Centre's president Raghunath Mashelkar, vice-president Kelkar, Parekh,Shami Mehta and other members via video-conferencing.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio, also took part in the parleys.
According to an official statement, the chief minister stressed on initiating a dialogue with locals before any development work is undertaken and also underscored the need for transparency in carrying it out.
Without naming anyone, Thackeray said this did not happen earlier, but now on people will be taken into confidence and dialogue with them will be increased. "Our government will not go beyond the views of locals while bringing in any project. There is no meaning to a development which is coupled with protests and baton charges," the statement quoted the chief minister as saying.
The Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, that will connect Mumbai to Nagpur in Vidarbha, will give momentum to the states development, he added.
He reiterated that 24 townships will be developed along the 700-km expressway. A network of industrial hubs will also be weaved along the expressway, benefiting the state, Thackeray added. The chief minister emphasised on decentralisation of industries in Maharashtra, contending the state witnessed repercussions of concentration of industries in certain areas during the lockdown period.
He observed that industrial units in Mumbai, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Thane remained shut during the period, affecting production.
If industries are decentralised, production will continue in some or the other parts of the state, if such a situation (as triggered by COVID-19) is to arise in the future, the chief minister said.
Thackeray also called for changing the hire and firework culture or else, he added, employment issues will crop up.