Mumbai, February 20: Maharashtra is planning to set up a large incubation centre for startups near Mumbai- then financial capital of India, soon, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday. The setting up of an incubation centre for startups will give a boost to new-age enterprises. While speaking at the annual NTLF event of IT industry lobby Nasscom, Thackeray said that the state is also determined to make Mumbai as one of the fintech hubs in Asia. The Chief Minister added saying that in the last three years since launching the Nasscom 10,000 startups programme, which has a warehouse in nearby Navi Mumbai, over 50 new companies have benefitted and over 1,300 jobs have been created.

“Encouraged by this success, we are planning to set up a large incubation centre near Mumbai with Nasscom in the near future,” Thackeray said. After the success with the 2015 IT Policy, Thackeray said the state is now creating an IT/ITes (IT enabled services) promotion policy for 2021 which will have a focus on creating the right ecosystem for technology companies, incentives for innovation and research and development, and a close working relationship with the state. Maharashtra is already using tech inputs for governance and extending services to the public, including blockchain, internet of things and artificial intelligence-based solutions, he said.

The Chief Minister added saying that besides the traditional hubs of Mumbai and Pune, Thane, Raigad, Nashik and Nagpur are also getting traction and tech investments lately. He said in the last five years, the state has received Rs 65,000 crore in investments from IT companies which have helped create 8.5 lakh jobs in the state. Reiterating his predecessor Devendra Fadnavis'' target, Thackeray said the state is on its way to becoming a USD 1 trillion GSDP state by 2025.

At present, its GSDP is close to USD 500 billion or 16 per cent of the national GDP, he said, adding that a third of the foreign direct investment received by the country comes to the state. Thackeray said the pandemic period was a testing time for all and the tech industry helped in ensuring that people stay connected through audio and visual modes and said COVID-19 helped hasten the pace of technology adoption. He also noted the sacrifices of emergency services rendering personnel including those from the police and medical fraternity to ensure the city keeps moving.