The Devendra Fadnavis-led governmet in Maharashtra has completed its first 100 days of governance. The government, it seems, has put the ball rolling in the right direction in the first 100 days of its government. From Make in Maharashtra initiative to Mumbai Next and the drought free state scheme, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis' first 100 days in government have been promising.
After 15 year Congress-NCP rule, this is also the first time that coalition politics is not adversely affecting administration and governance. HT takes a look at the big hits and misses of the Maharashtra government in the first 100 days:
Thumbs up for Fadnavis government:
* Push to Mumbai makeover: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has taken the initiative to give the much-needed push to the makeover of Mumbai and making the Mumbai Metropolitan Region a commercial hub—something that his Congress predecessors failed to do effectively. The Mumbai Next initiative launched by him on Friday is aimed at attracting more corporate houses, financial sector and service sector companies to set shops here
Industry-friendly approach: The government has taken steps to bring down the number of approvals required for setting up industrial units to about 20 from 67. It aims to give the approvals in a time-bound manner. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation and sales tax department have dropped the number of the approvals and permissions by clubbing two or more forms required for permissions. The BMC, too, has proposed to allot permissions for building constructions, water and electricity supply in a time-bound manner
Mission drought-free Maharashtra: Jalyukta Shivar, a watershed management programme, has been launched with an aim of making 25,000 villages drought-free in the next five years. A flagship project of the Fadnavis government, it has received a budgetary allocation of Rs1,000 crore and the government expects it to succeed in a big way
Eco norms relaxation: The Central government has proposed to relax the Coastal Regulatory Zone norms for key state government projects including the Shivaji statue and coastal road between Nariman Point and Kandivli. In a recent notification, the ministry of environment and forest (MOEF) has proposed to tweak the norms by allowing the construction of the projects, with exceptional importance in CRZ-IV. This will pave the way for construction of the statue in the Arabian Sea
DPs for urban areas: Soon after taking charge, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis put clearances of development plans of towns and semi-urban areas on fast track. The development plans for more than 25 such towns were cleared in the first few weeks of the government. This will facilitate the development of areas surrounding cities
Aaple Sarkar: The state government launched a web portal, Aaple Sarkar, on January 26. Citizens have been assured reddressal of their grievances and complaints within three weeks. Each department has deputed a nodal officer for monitoring of complaints and to give suggestions. The complaints and the suggestions are being monitored by the chief minister’s office. The portal will get a legal framework through the Right to Services Act, which will result in its effective implementation
Online introduction of RTI: Maharashtra has proved to be the first state to introduce the online RTI facility. Even four weeks after the launch, the service is yet to become flawless. Around 40 departments have received more than 1,600 applications online
Decentralization of power centre: The government has begun delegating powers of transfers of employees in the state administration and police force. The intention is to reduce corruption in the transfer procedure and inculcate confidence in the bureaucracy. The powers of transferring the low-rung police officers at district level, came as per the Supreme Court directives in the Prakash Singh case.
Misses of the Fadnavis government:
Inability to contain farmer suicides: Despite its assurances before the elections, the BJP-led government has failed to stop suicides of debt-ridden farmers. Although 90 lakh farmers in the state are hit by drought and farmers are committing suicide every day, the state government has failed to get much financial help from the Centre. CM Fadnavis has announced the state will initiate long-term measures, including overhaul of infrastructure such as storage facilities, weather prediction stations and alert mechanisms. However, no short-term measures seem to be working.
Abolition of toll tax and LBT still remains a promise: While contesting elections, both the BJP and the Shiv Sena had promised removal of toll tax and local body tax (LBT), but no decision has come forth even after 100 days. The MSRDC set up a panel of engineers and officials to determine how they can shut down a majority of the 121 toll booths in the state. The traders who had supported the BJP are still waiting for a decision on LBT. Fadnavis has said an alternative to the LBT and toll tax was being worked out and would be announced soon
Concerns over environment: The ministry of environment and forest has proposed to shrink the buffer zone around sanctuaries and national parks. About 25 proposals are on the verge of nod for notification. The state and Central government have been relaxing several environment laws for industries. The state government recently scrapped the river basin protection policy. This has worried environment experts who say the state will have to pay a heavy price for the damage that would be caused to the ecology
An enemy within -- the Shiv Sena: There have been constant fireworks between the Shiv Sena and the BJP from the time the former joined the government. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has been very vocal in his criticism towards the government for not being able to contain farmer suicides. He also took potshots at BJP for initiating the Marine Drive LED lights project, by keeping them in the dark. There have also been turf wars between ministers where ministers of state of Sena are being sidelined, the latest being housing minister Prakash Mehta keeping files related to Mumbai redevelopment projects away from Sena’s minister of state Ravindra Waikar
Fadnavis-Khadse row: It all began with the seniormost BJP leader Eknath Khadse being given the second-most important post in the Cabinet, while Fadnavis who is almost 2 decades his junior being made the chief minister. Khadse, who was given the revenue portfolio along with 10 other departments, asserted he was at an equal footing with Fadnavis. A cold war is on between Fadnavis and Khadse, who is unhappy that the former interferes in his departments
Motor-mouth ministers: On several occasions, Fadnavis was forced to clarify and go back on statements made by his ministers. Minister of state for home Ram Shinde goofed up twice -- the first time he called for an inquiry into the controversial scenes in the movie PK and later he batted for actor Sanjay Dutt’s furlough. In both instances, Fadnavis ignored his orders. Tribal development minister Vishnu Savra had said he was against the idea of getting the Dhangar community under reservation for schedule tribes (ST), which Fadnavis had to clarify. Similarly, Khadse’s statement on ‘farmers can pay electricity bills if they have money to pay for their mobile bills’ came at a time when the government had announced a relief package
Unresolved issue of sugarcane farmers: Sugarcane farmers have been agitating for better purchase price. The state government has initiated action against cooperative sugar factories that are not giving the farmers the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) fixed by the Centre. Recently NCP Chief Sharad Pawar asked the government why it was waiving of thousands of crores for Vodafone, but not helping sugar factories in distress. The state has now sought Centre’s help.