Maharashtra has the highest Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) among the Indian States and Union Territories.
As of the year 2016-17, Maharashtra contributed 14.11% of India’s total GDP, 17% of the country’s industrial output and 16% of services output at current prices.
More importantly, it accounted for about 30% of the total FDI that came into India last year. It is also the most productive state in India with GSDP for 2019-20 estimated at well over $400 billion, with the ambitious aim of becoming a $1 trillion economy by 2025.
With PM Narendra Modi having set the target of a $5 trillion economy by 2025, India needs to have a real GDP growth rate of 8% and large states like Maharashtra need to lead from the front.
Maharashtra’s hugely popular and undoubtedly the state’s tallest leader, with no competition whatsoever–the astutely dynamic, Chief Minister- Devendra Fadnavis has been burning the midnight oil to ensure Modi’s dream is brought to fruition.
Currently, globally, there are only about eight, trillion-dollar-plus sub-national units, of which four-California, Texas, New York, and Florida, are in the United States, while three-Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shangdong, are in China and one is in Japan.
Maharashtra may well become the 9th trillion dollar sub-national unit if it sustains its current pace of growth.
Over 41 Lakh farmers have already benefitted from the Fadnavis government’s “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana”- a farm loan waiver scheme, showcasing how the BJP led government in the state has very effectively promoted the cause of all stakeholders, including the marginalised and downtrodden who crave most for development.
Over 500 crores were raised through the common man for the “Jal Yukta Shivar” scheme and over 38.95 Lakh hectares of land was brought under irrigation.
Besides passing the ‘Right to Services’ bill, the ‘Aaple Sarkar’ online portal providing a total of 403 online services that benefitted over 14 Lakh citizens, the ‘Atal Maha Aarogya’ camp that has proven beneficial to 24 Lakh patients in the state, starting work on Metro routes of which over 250km is in various stages of construction to decongest Mumbai; making Mumbai a “WiFi City” with over 1700 hotspots, installing over 5000 CCTV cameras in in Mumbai to make it safer, making 1052 police stations online, closing 11 toll nakas in the state and extending discounts to light motor vehicles on 52 toll nakas, speeding up the process for the lnternational airport at Navi Mumbai, initiating projects to set up 10 airports in the state in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to ensure better connectivity, allocating funds to the Mumbai-Delhi industrial corridor, securing clearances for the “Chhatrapati Shivaji” sea memorial and the “Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial” at lndu Mills, achieving digitisation of 66458 schools, adding 2750 MW of power capacity, sanctioning 10 smart city projects, starting work on the Bandra-Virar-CST- Panvel elevated railway corridor, kickstarting the 712 km Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi super expressway which will connect 24 districts of the state and setting up the first automatic weather station in Dongargaon in Nagpur in 2017. These are some of the sterling examples of how Devendra Fadnavis has made “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance, his abiding work ethic.
Most importantly, the rate of conviction has gone up from 9% to 52% and cyber labs have been set up in all districts of the state.
The latest Economic Survey document says-“Investment, especially private investment, is the “key driver” that drives demand, creates capacity, increases labour productivity, introduces new technology, allows creative destruction, and generates jobs.”
If the investment is indeed the criterion, then Maharashtra has played a key role.
2500 international and 8000 domestic companies participated in the week-long multi-sectoral industrial event “Make in India” event in Mumbai in 2016, apart from foreign government delegations from 68 countries and business teams from 72 nations.
The opening ceremony was attended by Prime Ministers of Sweden, Finland and Deputy Premier of Poland, besides other foreign ministers. As many as 17 states participated in the Expo and there were over 50 seminars.
Of the 15 Lakh crore worth of MoUs that were signed, 8 Lakh crore belonged to Maharashtra alone, with the rate of conversion of MoUs being a solid 65%.
In 2016, Vodafone India, committed Rs 6,000 crore of fresh investments in the state of Maharashtra for capacity augmentation while Mahindra’s expansions at its Nashik and Chakan plants, as also fresh investments by Mercedes-Benz which decided to increase its capacity four-fold to 80000 units a year, are a few examples of how the state has wooed industry assiduously.
US automobile giant General Motors also committed to investing $1 billion in new facilities.
The Maharashtra government also signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with companies like Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Ford, Honda, Tata Motors etc., which committed to bringing in over $2.5 billion to the state, including from component manufacturers, in the past five years.
Apart from Chakan in Pune, the state is developing the Shendra region in Aurangabad as an automotive cluster to invite more players, with Chinese truck maker Foton already having committed big money in Maharashtra.
In the last five years, the Fadnavis government has aggressively pushed for infrastructure development, especially in the city of Mumbai which accounts for more than 25% of the annual output of the entire state.
The underdeveloped Vidarbha region also bagged major investment in infrastructure projects. The government aims to connect satellite towns of Greater Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Navi Mumbai, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi-Nizamapur, Vasai-Virar and Mira-Bhayandar with world-class infrastructure.
The most promising project aimed at changing the face of Mumbai is the Mumbai Metro.
The Congress-NCP government had started the project back in 2004 and planned to build 146 km metro network in the city by 2021. However, after the inefficient execution of Line 1 of Mumbai Metro, which suffered inordinate delays, the whole project was put on hold.
The dynamic Fadnavis government not only restarted the project but also expanded the size of the network to well over 276 Km. Two lines of the Mumbai Metro network are expected to be completed by July 2020, third by 2021 and the fourth by 2022.
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), a 21.8 km Freeway Bridge to connect Mumbai and Navi Mumbai costing Rs 3000 crore and the Rs 2250 crore, Virar-Alibaug Multi-Modal Corridor, are the other big-ticket infrastructure projects which can change the face of the island city of Mumbai.
The Fadnavis government this year approved the 2019-20 Budget for Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) at Rs 16909.10 crore, which is Rs 4752 crore more or a whopping 35% increase from last year’s Rs 12157 crore. This is MMRDA’s highest Budget so far.
The ambitious 10 metro projects have received Rs 7,486.50 crore including Rs 100 crore for the Metro Bhavan. The 10 metro lines include Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 (Rs 98 crore), Dahisar to DN Nagar Metro-2A (Rs 1895 crore), DN Nagar to Mandale Metro-2B (Rs 519.60 crore), Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 (Rs 650 crore), Wadala to Kasarvadavali Metro-4 (Rs 1337 crore), Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan Metro-5 (Rs 150 crore), Samarth Nagar to Vikhroli Metro-6 (Rs 800 crore), Andheri (East) to Dahisar (East) Metro-7 (Rs 1921 crore), Gaimukh to Shivaji Chowk Metro-10 (Rs 5 crore), Wadala to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Metro-11 (Rs 5 crore) and Kalyan to Taloja Metro-12 (Rs 5 crore).
The Budget for the current financial year has also spared Rs 704.20 crore for the Surya Regional Water Supply scheme which will help provide ample water to the 20 Lakh residents of the Mira-Bhayandar and Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporations through 88-km long pipeline starting from Suryanagar.
The Authorities have allocated Rs 150 crore for the 11.28-km long second phase of the monorail from Wadala to Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk.
Besides these, the other projects are Extended Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project (Rs 800 crore including land acquisition), Mumbai Urban Transport Project (Rs 500.10 crore), development of road network outside the metropolitan region (Rs 143 crore), extension of Santacruz-Chembur Link Road up to Vakola and construction of elevated road from BKC to Western Express Highway (Rs 100 crore), elevated road at Chheda Nagar (Rs 75 crore) and infrastructure development inside the Kalina University Campus (Rs 54 crore).
The pro-farmer Fadnavis government which announced a farm loan write off package of Rs 34022 crore in June 2017 for all farmers with a Rs 1.5 Lakh debt has spent Rs 50000 crore for farmer welfare in the last five years compared to less than Rs 20000 crore in 15 years of the corrupt Congress-NCP rule.
After 151 talukas were found affected by drought, earlier this year, Fadnavis assured that a financial provision of over Rs 20000 crore will be made for the Marathwada water grid, under which water from dams and other reservoirs will be supplied through pipelines to all villages in the scarcity-hit region.
More than 52 Lakh farmers have received compensation of Rs 2700 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme.
Likewise, more than 1 Lakh farmers have received compensation of Rs 565 crore under the Restructured Weather Based Fruit Crop Insurance Scheme.
To provide weather-related information and digital kiosks in all gram panchayats to farmers in real-time, project “Mahavedh” has been made operational in all 2060 revenue circles in the state.
For speedy development of Maharashtra, a provision of Rs 22122 crore has been made under the “Special Measures Programme- 2018”, of which Rs 13422 crore will be spent on 89 irrigation projects.
Under the ‘Jalyukta Shivar Yojana’, one of the biggest water rejuvenation initiatives in recent times, more than 16000 villages across the state have become water neutral.
Over 6 Lakh work has been completed, which has created a water storage capacity of over 26.90 Lakh TCM.
Also, under the ‘Galmukt Dharan Ani Galyukt Shivar’ (silt-free dams and fertile farms) scheme, 3.23 crore cubic metres of silt has been removed from 5270 reservoirs, which benefitted as many as 31150 farmers.
The ‘Farm Pond on Demand’ scheme has received the Prime Minister’s award as one of the 10 best innovative initiatives with over 1.37 Lakh farm ponds having been created under the scheme.
Maharashtra government, in July this year, decided to implement a programme to provide assured and protected irrigation in 251 rain-fed talukas hit by chronic drought, farmers’ suicides and left-wing extremism.
The “Mukhyamantri Shashwat Krushi Sinchan Yojana” (Chief Minister’s Assured Agriculture Irrigation Scheme), with a budget of Rs 450 crore for the 2019-20 financial year, received the state cabinet’s approval and follows the Narendra Modi government’s emphasis on solving India’s water crisis and doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
The scheme would cover all the eight districts of Marathwada and six districts of Vidarbha region, including places like Gadchiroli, Chandrapur and Gondia districts, which face Naxal insurgency and where the twin problems of dense forests and left-wing extremism have stalled irrigation projects.
Under the scheme, farmers will be given a direct subsidy equal to 50% of the actual cost, up to a maximum Rs 75,000 to install plastic lining in their farm ponds; a matching grant from the state government equal to the subsidy provided by the Centre under the Prime Minister’s ‘More crop per drop’ programme; and a subsidy of Rs 1 Lakh per beneficiary to build a 1000 square metre greenhouse or shade-net up.
Significant changes have also been observed within the agriculture sector, which is the backbone of the State’s economy.
A fund of Rs 53700 crore has been utilised to help the farmers and roughly 2.70 crore farmers applied and benefitted from the crop insurance scheme, which has secured Rs 32216 per hectare.
Another fund of Rs 150000 crore has been invested in agricultural fields throughout the state and a profit of Rs 22170 crores has been gained through the export of agricultural produce.
Apart from the economic progress, one of the high points of the Fadnavis government is undoubtedly the sheer efficacy with which it passed the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) bill to live up to the promises made to the Maratha community.
The SEBC Act which provides for reservations to Marathas in July this year was amended to provide for a 12% and 13% reservation in education and government jobs, respectively, following a Bombay High Court order to that effect.
The ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Amrut Ahaar Yojana’ is being implemented in tribal areas to tackle the problem of malnutrition and anaemia and has already benefitted over 1.59 lakh pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Maharashtra bagged the 3rd rank in ‘health index’ throughout the country.
As part of ‘Bharat Net’, ‘Maha Net’, which has already reached out to over 60% of Maharashtra’s targetted villages is a classic example of how robust connectivity will empower every single citizen to leverage on digital governance and the digital economy.
The Employment Guarantee Scheme too has been a huge success. Around 36.54 Lakh families have benefitted through Women’s saving groups.
Again, 33.23 Lakh acres of land has been secured through forest rights by the tribal communities.
The State Government also granted a fund of Rs 3442 crore to the tourism sector that covers the historical, cultural and religious tourism development in the State.
To achieve the goal of ‘Affordable Housing for All by 2022’, more than 10.5 Lakh beneficiaries have been registered under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural) and 7.65 Lakh houses have already been completed or nearing completion.
Renewal of 10500 km of roads under the annuity model has been approved and work on 8000 km has commenced.
Further, nearly 30000 km of rural roads are being upgraded in rural areas under the “Chief Minister Gram Sadak Yojana”.
Nearly 8900 km of rural roads have already been upgraded and completed.
To sum up,the spectacular “Maha Janadesh Yatra”, by CM Devendra Fadnavis, which covered a distance of 4232 km, spread over 104 rallies and almost all the 36 districts in the state, was not merely a show of strength or a measure of the BJP led government’s outstanding “performance report card”, in the last five years. The “Yatra” has signalled in more ways than one, the unbridled popularity and excellent mass connect that Chief Minister Fadnavis enjoys cutting across caste, creed, social, gender and demographic barriers if any.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” — John C. Maxwell. Devendra Fadnavis fits the bill perfectly and completely.
Ms Sanju Verma is an Economist & Chief Spokesperson for BJP, Mumbai. She tweets @Sanju_Verma_