Power Packs a Punch
Most improved big state
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.