The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has started looking for a joint-venture (JV) partner to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the proposed International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, told FE: “The SPV has to be set up so it can construct the IFSC and look after its operations and maintenance, thereafter. The master plan for the IFSC will be ready in just seven-eight months’ time. We would like to have the SPV in place much before the master plan is ready.”
He added that MMRDA would hold a stake in the SPV while the JV partner could either be a state government agency or even a private partner. “We are open to all options,” Madan said. The master plan is being prepared by a consortium comprising Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE) and Hong Kong-based Townland Consultants who were awarded the project just over a month ago. They have been given a total of nine months to prepare the plan.
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Meanwhile, the state government has applied to the commerce ministry, asking that the IFSC be given the special economic zone (SEZ) status like the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), at Ahmedabad. The proposed Mumbai IFSC fulfils the criteria of occupying a minimum of 50 hectares of land that is required for such initiatives to be declared an SEZ. Once the approval for SEZ status is granted, the Mumbai IFSC will be entitled to the regulatory and legal framework, concessions and exemptions that have been allowed for GIFT.
The Union government and Maharashtra have formed a task force to pilot the IFSC plan. Jayant Sinha, Union minister of state for civil aviation, is the chairman of the task force and BJP MP from Mumbai Poonam Mahajan is its vice-chairperson. The task force has representatives from the public and private sector banks, financial institutions, arbitration experts, bureaucrats, creative, and entertainment sectors.