Thank the Thackerays: Mumbai pushing investments to Gujarat

Vivek (CA ) (2368 Points)

04 February 2010  

Thank the Thackerays: Mumbai pushing investments to Gujarat
4 Feb 2010, 0545 hrs IST, TNN

AHMEDABAD: Hardik Shah, who deals in real estate in Vapi town of south Gujarat, is a busy man these days. Vapi has been a favourite location for 

industrialists from Mumbai who want to set up plants in Gujarat because they find the state more investor friendly. 

On Wednesday, he was with a client near Sanjan trying to identify land for a medium-sized petrochemical unit. “Of late, inquiries from Mumbai have increased substantially for suitable land near Maharashtra’s border with Gujarat. These people are upset with parochialism in and around Mumbai,” says Shah. 

Obviously, Amitabh Bachchan is not the only Mumbaikar who is rooting for Gujarat. The shrill tone of ‘Amchi Mumbai’ is driving investments towards Gujarat. S Sukeja, director of a firm which makes cranes, says, “Though we are based in Mumbai and we had planned some expansion in Thane, we have now decided to relocate the new unit to Gujarat.” 

This, according to government officials, has pushed up realty prices by at least 10 to 15 per cent in just the last two weeks. “Normally, realty deals in Gujarat take place only after Uttarayan. But the trouble in Mumbai has only spurred interest here,” a collector of a south Gujarat district told TOI. 

“Of late, investors from Mumbai and Hyderabad have come here due to political disturbances there,” said Jaxay Shah, president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), Gujarat chapter. 

That this should happen in a year when both states are celebrating their golden jubilee is also significant. The hype around Swarnim Gujarat is creating an air of positivity around the state at a time when its neighbour is trying to slam the doors on ‘outsiders’. 

So, be it a large infrastructure firm, which is planning to shift a substantial part of their operations from Mumbai to south Gujarat, or a leading company that is close to setting up a steel plant in the state instead of Maharashtra, the list is growing long. 

“The number of inquiries from companies in Maharashtra has certainly gone up in the past one year ever since the Marathi ‘manoos’ thing started,” say senior state government officials. “Some of these investors are of course Gujaratis who are feeling increasingly uncomfortable in the neighbouring state,” he said.