Two IFSCs Not Feasible: Pandey
Mumbai: Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) MD Ajay Pandey has questioned the need for another international financecentreinMumbaiatatime whentheoneintheneighbouring state is still finding its feet.
Twointernationalfinancialservices centres (IFSCs) will not be feasible in a country where there is no full capital account convertibility of the currency as it would defeat the purpose of a special economiczone,AjayPandeysaid. Pandey was responding to plans by the Maharashtra governmenttosetupaninternational financial services centre in Mumbai which, if it happens, will rival the one-and-a-half year old 886-acre GIFT City.
“Globally,thereisonlyonecountry where there are two international finance centres, that is Chinaandeventhere,ithastaken morethaneightyearsforasecond centre to come up. I don’t know howasecondIFSCcanexistinthe same country,” Pandey said. The Maharashtra government constitutedataskforceunderthe then union minister of state for f i nance Jayant S i nha in December 2015 to set up an IFSC in Mumbai. The plan is to develop a designated area in Bandra Kurla Complex as an IFSC.
However, Pandey said starting another IFSC is not easy. “It is not like starting a retail store selling shampoos. It is a regulated enti- ty,” he said. GIFT City currently deals with RBI, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) as banks, brokerages and insurance companies have all started or are starting operations there.
An IFSC enjoys certain tax benefits and aims to create jobs in the financial as well as technology sectors. GIFT City aims to create one million jobs by 2025 by which time 62 million square feet of space will be operational.
“We aim to create half a million direct jobs and another half a million indirect jobs. We have madeinvestmentsof ₹ 2,000 crore with total committed investment of ₹ 10,000 crore over the next few years,” Pandey said.