The Union government’s decision to set up the headquarters of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gandhinagar instead of Mumbai led to a verbal spat between ruling Congress and Shiv Sena and the opposition BJP in Maharashtra on Saturday (May 2).
While the two ruling alliance partners alleged that it was an attempt to lessen Mumbai’s stature, the state BJP claimed that Congress-led governments did nothing to get IFSC in Mumbai when they ruled in Maharashtra earlier.
The Central govt's decision to locate the #IFSC to Gujarat is disappointing & is being done to reduce Mumbai's stature. The Centre should re-consider their decision, after all Mumbai is the financial hub of the country.
Why @BJP4Maharashtra leadership silent on this issue?
— Balasaheb Thorat (@bb_thorat) May 2, 2020
“The central government’s decision to locate the IFSC to Gujarat is disappointing and is being done to reduce Mumbai’s stature. The Centre should reconsider its decision,” tweeted state Congress chief and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat.
Mumbai was the financial capital of the country, he said, questioning the “silence” of Maharashtra BJP leaders on the issue.
Shiv Sena leader and Industries Minister Subhash Desai said it would be natural to have the IFSC in Mumbai, which is known globally for its “financial might”.
मुंबई शेअर बाजार, राष्ट्रीय शेअर बाजार,
रिझर्व बॅंक, सेबी यांसह अनेक राष्ट्रीय आणि
आंतरराष्ट्रीय वित्तीय संस्था मुंबईतच आहेत. महाराष्ट्र आणि मुंबईकर आणि ही ताकद यापुढेही उत्तुंग शिखरावर नेतील.@CMOMaharashtra@OfficeofUT @AjitPawarSpeaks @AUThackeray @iAditiTatkare
— Subhash Desai (@Subhash_Desai) May 1, 2020
“Mumbai has BSE, NSE, RBI, SEBI, headquarters of banks and financial companies, offices of top international companies and Mumbai is an International Financial Centre,” he said.
On 6 May 2015 as @Shivsena MP I had raised concern in #Loksabha about govt's decisions dismantling the status of Mumbai as #FinancialCapital & requested very clearly to make Mumbai as the International Financial Centre. #IFSC @PMOIndia @CMOMaharashtra @OfficeofUT @AUThackeray pic.twitter.com/dOx9fyNkij
— Arvind Sawant (@AGSawant) May 2, 2020
Mumbai South MP and Sena leader Arvind Sawant claimed that he had appealed to the Centre against setting up the IFSC in Gujarat, but his plea was ignored.
"Rest In Peace" IFSC (International financial services centre) dream of Mumbai.Mumbai is again robbed of its opportunity to become an IFSC destination due to special biased love of our Prime minister for Gujrat.
P.M is for the country or just for one state?REFLECT.@INCIndia pic.twitter.com/m22qqChozd
— Varsha Gaikwad (@VarshaEGaikwad) May 2, 2020
School Education Minister and Congress leader Varsha Gaikwad tweeted: “Mumbai is again robbed of its opportunity to become an IFSC destination due to special biased love of our Prime minister for Gujarat. PM is for the country or just for one state?”
But BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis defended the Centre’s decision.
Mumbai has a natural IFSC ecosystem and it can still become IFSC if Maharashtra Government desires.
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) May 2, 2020
“Some people have selective memory when they want to blame everything on the Narendra Modi government,” he tweeted.
When IFSC was first mooted, Modi, then Gujarat chief minister, began work to bring it to his state while Congress-led government in Maharashtra made no move, he alleged.
“The headquarters is announced at Gandhinagar because it is the only functional IFSC. Those who are beating the chest now were in power from 2007 to 2014 and did nothing for Mumbai IFSC,” he said.
Fadnavis, however, added that “Mumbai had a natural IFSC eco-system and it can still become an IFSC if Maharashtra govt desires.”
Then Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had said the government was mulling if there could be two IFSCs, he said. The Maharashtra government (led by him) then sent a report on how they can coexist and it is still under consideration, Fadnavis claimed.