In what the Maharashtra govt. calls a first from any state govt., it has planned to initiate industries policy exclusively for women entrepreneurs. The industries department is all set with the final draft to show it to the state cabinet.

According to the draft:

  • The state will incur 15% to 35% of the investment cost in a project.
  • The state will continue to invest at a low-interest rate of up to 5% for a five-year tenure after the production begins.
  • Finally, the state will fund anywhere between Rs.15 lakh to 1 crore on each project.

However, the finance department has raised a few concerns. One of which is regarding raising the proposed annual amount of Rs.300 crores for funding women-owned projects. But the industries minister, Subhash Desai says that they will sort the issue soon and launch the policy.

“The policy aims to strengthen participation of women in mainstream industries and empower them in the state,” Desai told TOI on Friday.

The policy defines a women entrepreneur as one who starts a business with their own investments (100%) and appoints 50% women employees.

The final draft of policy will go through a set of recommended inclusions to benefit a larger number of women. The policy defines a women entrepreneur as one who starts a business with their own investments (100%) and appoints  50% women employees.

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“We have made the definition clear to restrict unscrupulous persons from taking advantage of it,” said a senior industries department official.

Other clauses in the policy suggest that women-owned start-ups will have electricity at a subsidized rate of Rs 1-2 per unit compared with Rs 7-8 for industries in general. Women industrialists will have mandatory reservations of some stalls and zones in malls, commercial complexes and market yards. It also calls for reservation of land for women industrialists in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) areas across the state.

For marketing their products, they will have spaces reserved at various public places. This includes malls, railway stations, bus stops, airports, movie theatres, foot over-bridges, subways and commercial complexes.

The WCD ministry also promised to invest Rs 50 crore annually for the policy valid for at least five years.

Picture credit- NDTV

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