Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh managed to get a promise from Microsoft chief Bill Gates of investing in the IT park at Hinjewadi on the outskirts of Pune. However quantum of investment from the Microsoft is not known yet.
Deshmukh who is on an eight-day tour of the United States to promote Maharashtra as a preferred investment destination in India, met Gates and other senior officials of Microsoft Corporation at Seattle.
Gates also promised Deshmukh to help Maharashtra develop the systems which will help the state educate farmers of the latest farming techniques, updating them on the market trends and weather reports and such others. These should help increase productivity of Indian farmers, said a release from the chief minister's office.
Deshmukh also appealed to Gates to start philanthropic initiatives by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in human development sector, says press communique.
Earlier at New York The Wall Street Journal¿s Managing Editor Marcus Brauchli, interviewed Deshmukh at seminar on Sustaining India¿s Growth: Infrastructure Demand and Urban Renewal organised by the Council on Foreign relations.
The top brass of 40 major American corporations were present at the seminar. It was also attended by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
During the interview Deshmukh stressed on making Mumbai a financial hub and stressed the advantage Mumbai offers to foreign financial institutions. He pointed out that nearly 70 per cent of stock trading of the country takes place on the BSE or NSE, 60 per cent of cheques are cleared by the banking system in India and the availability of trained manpower in the financial sector.
Replying to questions on Mumbai¿s infrastructure, Deshmukh said, recently the state government cleared Mumbai Urban Transport Project state II of Rs 2,700 crore, which will strengthen Mumbai, suburban rail and bus transport system and also expand road network. Besides this work on phase of Metro has began, Bandra-Worli sea link project is about to complete, tendering process for Mumbai Trans Harbour Link between Sewari and Nava is on and soon tenders for Worli-Nariman point sea link will be invited, he added.
Besides this work on expanding and modernising Mumbai¿s present airport has began already and second airport project will also take off soon and both these projects will be completed by 2012, Deshmukh assured.