Drought casts spell on Maharshtra economy, growth stagnant at 7.5% -Sandeep Ashar
-The Indian Express
The one indicator that will worry the Devendra Fadnavis-led government the most as it spells out its final budget before the state polls on Tuesday is the negative growth in the crop sector.
Mumbai: Suffering from a crippling drought and growing agrarian distress, Maharashtra’s economic growth remained stagnant at 7.5 per cent. According to the Economic Survey Report (ESR) 2018-19, which was presented to the state legislature on Monday, the real gross state domestic product (GSDP) at constant (2011-12) market prices in 2018-19 was Rs 20,88,835 crore, up 7.5 per cent over 2016-17. In 2017-18, the state’s economy had grown at the same rate.
“In the backdrop of scanty and uneven rains resulting in drought situation during 2018-19, the state economy is expected to maintain the pace of growth as registered in the earlier year,” mentioned the report. But the state was still growing at a faster pace as compared to the national economy, which only grew at 6.8 per cent in 2018-19. Maharashtra accounts for about 14.4 per cent of India’s gross domestic product.
The state is amidst the third drought in five years, with harsh climatic conditions ravaging both kharif and rabi crop production in 2017-18 and 2018-19. “The decline in agriculture output for two consecutive years has adversely affected the rural economy which is highly dependent on agriculture,” said a senior official.
Even as Maharashtra enjoys the status of being India’s most industrialised state, about 53 per cent of its population relies on agriculture and allied sectors for livelihood.
The one indicator that will worry the Devendra Fadnavis-led government the most as it spells out its final budget before the state polls on Tuesday is the negative growth in the crop sector. The erratic rainfall with long dry spells during the monsoon season hampered the crop sector plummeting the growth to minus 8 per cent over the previous year. “The share of agriculture and allied sector is declining over the period resulting in cascading impact on other sectors like agro-processing industries, trade, hotel, and restaurants,” the report stated.
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