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State Economic Survey predicts a dip in agricultural output

Friday, March 09, 2018
By Prashant Hamine and Suyash Padate

The Economic Survey of Maharashtra for 2017-18 paints a grim picture for the states’ economy given the poor rainfall, fiscal stress on the states economy due to burden of loan waiver, burden of Seventh Pay Commission and decline in foodgrains production, on the other hand sugarcane production is expected to rise.

Incidents of crime against women and children have seen a rise. The debt stock compared to Gross State Domestic Produce (GSDP) is expected to slightly rise to 16.6 per cent in 2017-18 from 16.4 per cent in 2016-17. The stress in the agricultural sector is likely to reduce growth rate of economy from 10 per cent in 2016-17 to 7.3 per cent in 2017-18.

The progress of the governments flagship Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyaan too has slowed down with number of villages, works completed and created water storage showing a decrease. The survey was tabled in the legislative assembly by Minister for Finance Sudhir Mungantiwar and Minister of State for Finance Deepak Kesarkar tabled it in the council.

Speaking to newspersons later the minister for finance argued that the growth rate of the states economy will remain constant at 7.3 per cent as compared to the nations growth rate of 6.5 per cent. Commenting upon the debt stock at 16.6 per cent as compared to GSDP, Mungantiwar stated that the stock limit is well within the 22.2 per cent debt limit set by the Reserve Bank of India. However, leader of opposition in legislative assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil stated that the survey underlines the fact that the states growth is on the decline. Although the debt burden on the state exchequer has crossed the Rs 4,00,000 crore mark, Mungantiwar argued that the debt burden was under control.

On whether the farm loan waiver scheme worth Rs 32,020 crore coupled with additional burden of Rs 21,500 crore due to the proposed implementation of Seventh Pay Commission would affect the states economy, Mungantiwar disagreed and pointed out that the revenue receipts has shown an increase of 17.8 per cent as compared to 2016-17. Mungantiwar allayed fears of a economic slowdown arguing that even in developed countries like USA, Japan, France, Germany and China the growth rate was between 1.7 to 2.2 per cent.

With respect to Investments in the states economy, the survey states that 24 per cent of the investments promised since August 1991 have actually been commissioned until December 2017. The survey further states that in the Magnetic Maharashtra investment summit, 4108 proposals were signed worth investment of Rs 12.07 lakh crore and proposed employment of 36.77 lakh.

As per the survey, incidents of crime against women and children have seen a rise in 2017, as compared to 2016. The report states that while 4,189 rape offences were reported in 2016, that number rose to 4,356 in 2017. Also, cases of kidnapping and abduction increased from 6,169 in 2016 to 7,113 in 2017.  and 2018 respectively. Cases of molestation have risen from 11,396 in 2016 to 12,238 in 2017. Cases of sexual harassment, however, have shown a decline from 924 in 2016 to 864 in 2017.

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