Maharashtra’s economy grew at 8.6 per cent in 2009-10, more than twice the pace of the year before. But if you are wondering why you did not feel the economy turnaround, it’s because 2009-2010 was one of the worst years for food prices. Food inflation rose to 13.3 per cent from 7.6 per cent, said the state’s Economic Survey tabled in the legislature on Tuesday. This figure was between 11 and 14 per cent across the country.
You ended up spending up to 25 per cent more on rice, milk, chicken and fish, at least 50 per cent more on onions, ghee and urad dal and even more on tur dal, moong dal and sugar.
And at least 3.5 lakh workers lost their jobs after more than 45,000 small, medium and large-scale industries shut down.
The state’s sex ratio is getting skewed too — by 2011 there will be only 915 women per 1,000 men. The national average is 933. Primary and upper primary education is poor — Maharashtra is 15th among 28 states on the Education Development Index.
Maharashtra wants to be free of power cuts by 2012, but electricity generation rose by a mere 1.6 per cent. The daily shortfall is 4,000 to 5,000 MW.
But the state hopes you will focus on the “big picture”.
The Gross Domestic State Product — the state’s total economic output — got a push in 2009-2010. “Overall, the state economy is doing well. We have posted growth in all sectors including agriculture, where the turnaround is from negative,” said a senior bureaucrat.
Agriculture saw a 1.8 per cent growth. Industry grew at 7 per cent, up from 6.4 per cent. The service sector grew at 10.4 per cent and provided the most jobs.
On paper, Maharashtra tops in the number of investment proposals with a potential to create 28.17 lakh jobs.
(Inputs from Dharmendra Jore, Sayli Udas Mankikar)