Power Packs a Punch

Most im­proved big state

India Today - - THE STATE OF THE STATES - by Ki­ran Tare

Ma­ha­rash­tra Fi­nance and En­ergy Min­is­ter Ajit Pawar’s de­ci­sion to pur­chase elec­tric­ity at rates higher than those con­tracted has paid off. The power has boosted the state’s in­dus­trial growth and helped it main­tain the mo­men­tum in the ser­vice sec­tor. The two sec­tors to­gether ac­count for 89 per cent of the state’s Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct ( GDP) which, in 2009-10, was Rs 9,01,330 crore and con­trib­uted around 14.7 per cent to the national GDP. Ma­ha­rash­tra’s GDP is ex­pected to grow at 10.5 per cent dur­ing 2010-11.

With the Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party, the Congress’s coali­tion part­ner in the govern­ment, han­dling the de­part­ments of fi­nance, en­ergy and water sup­ply port­fo­lios, Pawar has a ma­jor say in their work­ing which, in turn, has helped in bet­ter co­or­di­na­tion. As fi­nance min­is­ter, he al­lot­ted more funds for en­ergy and water sup­ply. The state is reap­ing the fruits of the gen­er­ous al­lo­ca­tion. In­dus­try is ex­pected to grow at 9.1 per cent and ser­vices at 10.9 per cent. Ma­ha­rash­tra’s per capita in­come at Rs 74,027 is way higher than the national av­er­age of Rs 46,492. The numbers cor­rob­o­rate the state’s strides in macro econ­omy.

Ma­ha­rash­tra has an in­stalled power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity of 19,166 MW. The state faces a daily short­fall of around 5,500 MW. With the aim of mak­ing it power sur­plus by De­cem­ber 31, 2012, the govern­ment has signed 15 Mous to pur­chase elec­tric­ity from pri­vate com­pa­nies. The in­dus­trial sec­tor is the largest consumer of elec­tric­ity at 39 per cent, fol­lowed by do­mes­tic users at 23 per cent and agri­cul­ture at18 per cent. The ad­e­quacy of elec­tric­ity and water has seen the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor grow by 8.6 per cent and con­struc­tion by 11 per cent.

The state has also reaped the ben­e­fit of a nor­mal mon­soon with agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion and al­lied ac­tiv­ity re­turn­ing to dou­ble-digit growth af­ter 2007-08. Growth in the con­struc­tion sec­tor has helped prop up both in­dus­try and the ser­vice sec­tors.

Trade, ho­tels and restau­rants have reg­is­tered a growth of 11 per cent. While the share of agri­cul­ture and al­lied ac­tiv­i­ties in the state’s GDP has de­clined from 31.1 per cent to 10.5 per cent in 50 years, the share of ser­vices has in­creased from 45.7 per cent to 60.6 per cent.

Ma­ha­rash­tra has brought down the cost of its debt from 9.1 per cent to 9 per cent in 2009-10. Manda­tory im­ple­men­ta­tion of rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing projects has helped the state main­tain its water sup­ply to con- struc­tion projects. Up to Oc­to­ber 2010, as many as 7,914 rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing struc­tures were built in the state. The qual­ity of water sup­ply to ru­ral ar­eas has im­proved with the Jal­swara­jya Yo­jna im­ple­mented in 3,008 gram pan­chay­ats.

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