State retained 7.5% growth, but farm sector in distress

first_imgMaharashtra’s economy grew at an estimated 7.5% in 2018-19, the same pace as the year before it, but growth in the agricultural sector collapsed to a mere 0.4% and crop output shrank by a sharp 8%.With industrial growth also contracting, it was only a sharp 9.2% growth in the Services sector that helped the State retain the 7.5% growth rate, as per the Economic Survey tabled in the Assembly on Monday.The agriculture and allied activities sector is expected to grow by 0.4% compared to 3.1% in 2017-18 while industry may grow by 6.9% compared to 7.6 % in the previous fiscal. Only the services sector is predicted to grow faster than the 8.1% recorded in 2017-18. What should set off alarm bells about the State’s agrarian economy is the 8% contraction in crop production during the year gone by. “The State is facing consecutive droughts. The drop in crop production is a result of that. Despite that, we have managed to keep the overall growth rate at more than that of the Indian economy,” said Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. “We are expected to maintain the pace of the growth despite odds,” he said, adding that the real Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is estimated to be ₹20,88,835 crore with expected growth of 7.5%. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has set a target to make Maharashtra a trillion dollar economy by 2025. Maharashtra is presently a $400 billion economy.The Opposition has raised doubts about the numbers quoted in the survey, and demanded a close scrutiny. Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan flagged some doubts on the authenticity of figures and said the agricultural growth rate had been revised by almost 12%. “As per the Economic Survey of 2017-18, the estimated agriculture development rate was (-) 8.3%. In the present survey, it has been revised to 3.4%. It is impossible to have such a big change of almost 12%. The government should show proof of such drastic changes,” he said. Dhananjay Munde, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council said there was a need to set up an “all-party members’ committee” for evaluation of the Economic Survey.According to the survey, the State witnessed average rainfall (84.3% of the normal) in 2017-18, 10.7 percentage points lower than 2016-17. Production of food grain, oilseeds and cotton decreased by about 15.1%, 17.7% and 43.3% respectively while that of sugarcane, fruits and vegetables increased by 53.3%, 10.3% and 17% respectively. The survey estimates the growth rate of mining & quarrying and manufacturing sectors within the industry as 2.9% and 7.1% for 2018-19, up from 7.2% and 7.7% in 2017-18. Mr. Mungantiwar said that the State has registered growth in per capita income during 2018-19 at ₹1,91,827 from ₹1,76,102 of 2017-18. The State however, ranks at number three behind Karnataka and Telangana nationally.last_img read more

Maharashtra dams are 50% full

first_imgIncessant rains for over a week have filled Maharashtra’s dams to 50% of their capacity, bringing relief to the drought-hit regions. The water levels in Marathwada region, which had dropped to below 1% have now touched double digits. According to information from the Water Resources Department, the water storage in all dams of the State is 51.36% of their total capacity, which is almost equal to the 51.41% of 2018 on the same date. Dams in Marathwada have recorded 11.77% of their total storage capacity as compared to 17.89% last year. Vidarbha’s Amaravati and Nagpur divisions too have recorded an increase in water storage in dams, with 16.82% and 28.22% of their total capacity, respectively. The water levels in Marathwada dams had gone below 1% mark in July due to very less or no rains. An official from the department said continuous rains in western Maharashtra and Konkan region have ensured satisfactory increase in the water levels. “While these parts have benefited with rains, some regions of Marathwada, Vidarbha and central Maharashtra are yet to get rains. But according to Indian Meteorological Department, these parts will get medium to high showers from August 7 to 9,” said the official.He said that the department has predicted flood-like situation in some parts of Marathwada and central Maharashtra for August 9. “Disaster management teams have been asked to be on alert,” he said. Meanwhile, Health Minister Eknath Shinde, said, “As per the initial estimate, a total of 1.14 lakh population is affected due to floods. Diseases spread after the water recedes and medical teams have been kept ready in anticipation.”last_img read more