While the country's economy might be contending with a worrying slowdown, the Maharashtra government hopes to achieve a 10.5% growth in gross state domestic product (GSDP) in the next five years.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan made the confident pronouncement at the National Development Council meeting in New Delhi on Thursday, pointing out that the state grew at 8.6% during the 11th five year plan that ends this March, despite the recession and the erratic monsoon, which adversely impacted agricultural production.
Chavan told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other policy-makers that the state would achieve the steep target by boosting the agriculture (4%), industry (11%) and the service (11%) sectors and proposed an outlay of Rs2,75,000 crore.
In the past five years, Maharashtra attracted 4,630 projects with total investments worth more than Rs6,50,000 crore. This created an employment potential of more than 22 lakh. The state also received the highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country - Rs 38,000 crore, Chavan said.
The development of public transport was also high on the CM's agenda. "With a view to promote the use of public transport in cities, I request the government of India to consider funding quality air-conditioned buses and waiving excise duty on them," he said. "We have demanded several new railway lines and resolved to share 50% of the project cost for them. We request the early completion of eight such projects, approved by the railway ministry on a cost sharing basis."