The proposed International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Mumbai will complement the already operational GiftCity in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, an official has said.
The process of making a plan and seeking approvals for the IFSC is already underway and it will take a decade to build the centre, Poonam Mahajan, the deputy chairperson of a task force appointed by the state for the purpose said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had set up a task force on IFSC in 2015 under the chairmanship of then Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, who was subsequently shifted to the Civil Aviation Ministry.
The other members include SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar and Poonam Mahajan, among others.
Asked about GiftCity chief Ajay Pandeys recent comments questioning the need for another IFSC in the same timezone, Mahajan said the Mumbai centre will play a complementary role.
“We can complement each other. GiftCity will take 10 years to come up,” she said.
“There is no conflict as such on files and discussion, the conflict is only in the newspapers,” said Mahajan, who is a BJP MP from Mumbai.
She said Mumbai and GiftCity IFSCs can work in a “hub and spoke” model.
While Mumbai has high finance activity, the proposed IFSC will be spread across only 120 acres as comapred to 886- acre GiftCity.
The financial capital of the country lost out to Gandhinagar where an IFSC is already functioning.
At an IFSC, the financial institutions presence gets treated as an international branch under a specially created regulatory architecture to compete at the global level.
The proposed IFSC is to be set up in the Bandra Kurla Complex business district which houses offices of a slew of high street banks.
Pandey had earlier said there is no precedent of a second IFSC in the same timezone except in China, and there, too, it took eight years for the second one to come up in Shanghai.
To this, Mahajan said it is the commerce ministry, and not the chief of GiftCity, who should be commenting on this.
She said a proposal to set up a financial SEZ — which she identified as a stepping stone in the process to get recognised as an IFSC — is already with the commerce ministry and will be discussed soon.
Maharashtra has also appointed a master planner to design the project, she said.
The proposed high speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will help in the easier movement of people (between Mumbais IFSC and GiftCity – Gandhinagar is located near Ahmedabad), Mahajan said.