In the last one and a half years, the tri-party alliance of Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP, also known as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra has seemingly destroyed the economy of the state. In FY 21, the economy of the state is expected to decline (as per the very conservative estimate of MVA government) by 8 per cent. The Economic Survey 2021, tabled by Maharashtra Finance Minister Ajit Pawar, estimated that the per capita income during 2020-21 is expected to be Rs 1,88,784 as compared to Rs 2,02,130 in 2019-20.
Although the COVID-19 induced lockdown cost heavily nationwide and the overall economy is expected to decline by around 7 per cent, Maharashtra was among the worst performers among the states. What seems surprising is that states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh which were miles behind Maharashtra in terms of economic growth are now racing ahead.
A few weeks ago it was reported that Uttar Pradesh overtook Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Gujarat to become the second-largest economy of the country, just behind Maharashtra. The economic decline of Uttar Pradesh has been very little as compared to other states in the pandemic year, and this is the reason why the state is leading the economic recovery of the country.
Now Uttar Pradesh is aiming to become the largest economy in the country, leaving Maharashtra behind. “If it has increased more than twice in four years, then when we come to power after 2022, UP will become the largest economy. The team is working towards that goal,” said UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
On the other hand, Maharashtra has imposed another lockdown, thanks to rising COVID cases due to the inefficient leadership of Uddhav Thackeray. According to a research by Care Rating, the new “radical” lockdown imposed by the MVA government would cost around 40,000 rupees to the state and slow down the economic growth of the country.
“…with FY22 starting on a sombre note with the lockdown fully in place for Maharashtra and to a lesser extent in other states, overall production and consumption would be affected,” reads the research by Care Ratings.
The inefficient leadership of Uddhav Thackeray is costing the state as well as the nation heavily because Maharashtra accounts for around 14 per cent of the country’s GDP because it houses two of the most productive cities of the country – Mumbai, and Pune. The opportunistic alliance that was crafted one and a half years ago thus, seems to have not only destroyed the economy of Maharashtra but is costing heavily to India’s economy, too.
The Uddhav government has not been able to control the virus despite having the best medical professionals (Mumbai has many of the top hospitals in the country) and spending billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money (of the state treasury as well as the money given by union government).
Despite the oft-repeated advice from the top medical professionals that the lockdowns do not help to prevent the virus from spreading, the Uddhav government allegedly resorted to its own ways and as a result, the cases of COVID have surged in Maharashtra. The initial lockdown was imposed to buy time to ramp up medical infrastructure and most of the states like Odisha, UP and Bihar built hospitals and augmented the capacity. Maharashtra, on the other hand, did not take steps to ramp up medical infrastructure under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray. And, the citizens of Maharashtra as well as the people of the entire nation are paying because of the opportunistic alliance that was formed one and half years ago.