Mumbai: Though Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ government has pushed a development agenda for the agriculture sector in the last three years, the growth rate of the sector has again turned negative. Agriculture and allied sectors in the State were expected to grow at 12.5 per cent last year, but has now reduced to minus 8.3 per cent for 2017-18.
A day ahead of the presentation of the State budget for 2018-19, the Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2017-18 was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Friday by Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. The report has in advance estimated that the State’s economy is expected to grow by 7.3 per cent during 2017-18. It has been reduced by 2.7 per cent in comparison to last year (2016-17). Talking to the mediapersons, the finance minister said that the agriculture growth has fallen due to less rainfall, which was 84.3 per cent of normal monsoon.
The report stated that the industry and services sectors are expected to grow by 6.5 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively. While the industry sector is witnessing downward growth in comparison to the previous year’s growth rate, the service sector is expected a jump by 0.1 per cent from last year.
It also noted, “As per the advance estimates, the real Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2017-18 is expected to be Rs 19,59,920 crore and nominal GSDP is expected to be Rs 24,96,505 crore.” Per Capita State income is at Rs 1,65,491 for 2016-17 as against Rs 1,47,610 for 2015-16. The debt stock on the State is estimated to have gone up to Rs 4,13,044 crore for 2017-18 in comparison to 3,56,213 crore for the year 2016-17.
The debt stock is 16.6 per cent of the GSDP. According to the debt stock of the State, each individual of the State has a debt of more than Rs 36,000. However, Mungantiwar said that though the debt stock has increased, Maharashtra is well within the debt limit as per Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines.
Former chief minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said that demonetisation and Good and Services Tax (GST) have hit the agriculture and industries sectors badly. The minus growth rate in agriculture sector and downfall in industries sector indicates the same. Chavan said, “The debt stock will increase by Rs 4.40 lakh crore.” He also criticised the government for poor performance in employment generation.