Number One Status
Maharashtra was the state that led,
In every way it was ahead.
But now its growth is rather slow.
Gujarat and Karnataka as you know
And Tamil Nadu as well now grow
Much faster. Why are we so slow?
While at the top we grew complacent,
Ignored the problems that were nascent.
Now Chandrababu raised the hype
With open arms he could swipe
Investments that we drove away.
All hesitators he could sway,
Their problems he could understand
And offer them large tracts of land.
He’s ready to go to any lengths.
Maharashtra does have some strengths.
While other states in darkness cower,
Most of the time we do have power.
Though power for all was our goal
It was set back by Dhabol.
But I’m sure that what we lacked
Will be set right by the Power Act.
And of course we have good courts
We also have the biggest ports.
And at the end of the day
Our biggest strength is Bombay.
It has its strengths as a brand
And for many things it can stand.
It doesn’t stand just for gin,
But a city that knows how to win.
It’s known for sport and for art,
A city with the biggest heart.
A meeting place for East and West,
A collection of all that is best.
We are now cleaning up the grime.
As cities go we have low crime.
And we are home to Bollywood
A serious threat to Hollywood.
Of course we are a financial centre
The city where banks like to enter.
So just because we are Bombay
Much investment comes our way.
But to take the world by storm
We must continue with reform.
Bombay’s 5 per cent Octroi
On raw materials can destroy
Industry. We can’t be lax.
Now other states help to save tax
They can attract our industry.
But now if we could be free
From Octroi we could save the day
For industry in Bombay.
Another reform that we need
With a certain degree of speed
Is to abolish the ULC.
With this we will see a spree
Of building like we’ve never seen
And this will help bring back the sheen
On Maharashtra’s reputation.
We need to focus on education.
All should know how to analyse,
Be prepared to globalise.
If Maharashtra’s to be a thing of beauty
We must abolish our Stamp Duty.
It is a damper to transactions
And leads to many crazy actions.
It has inspired a well-known scam,
Some culprits are still on the lam.
New entrepreneurs should be aided
Instead they are often raided.
The start-up cost should be low.
The environment should let them grow.
If the powers-to-be choose to lead
Listen to us and take heed
Maharashtra can take a giant leap
And be at the top of the heap,
Not just within the nation
But in the world. Then with elation
We can claim that we are shining.
So please do excuse my whining.
We have much to do before we rest.
We must strive to be the best.
Address given by Nadir B. Godrej,
Managing Director, Godrej Industries Ltd., on Maharashtra Annual Day at the
Maharashtra Economy Policy Summit, organised by the Confederation of Indian
Industry on 24 March, 2004 at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai.