PM Modi to lay foundation of IFSC

This comes amid controversy around bullet train project on same land.

Mumbai: Even as the state government is waiting for the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) to be tagged a ‘special economic zone’ (SEZ), PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the project’s foundation stone in September. The state is pushing for the ambitious project even though the controversy around a bullet train-related project, which is to be built on the same land parcel as the IFSC, has not ended.

Confirming the PM’s visit, a CMO official said, “We have been promoting the IFSC since a long time. We are prepared to start construction and are only waiting for the SEZ tag from the commerce ministry. Modiji would lay the foundation stone in September.” He refused to comment when asked about the bullet train’s status.

According to norms, a SEZ-notified zone should measure around 50 hectares at least. However, in the case of BKC, it is only 20 hectares in area. The state had urged the Centre to relax the norms, citing a land crunch, and the same would be compensated in terms of vertical development. That is, by giving additional Floor Space Index (FSI) for construction.

There is a direct competition between the IFSC and the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), in Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister’s dream project in his own state. The GIFT city is, however, ahead of the IFSC in terms of infrastructure. There were allegations from Opposition parties about shifting the financial centre to Ahmedabad when Mumbai is the financial capital of the country.

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