Maharashtra: State economy shrugs off Covid blues

After a year of pandemic-induced restrictions which caused a -7. 6% contraction in the economic growth, the state’s economy has bounced back and is expected to grow by a steep 12.1% in 2021-22. This is the projection in the state’s economic survey which was tabled in the state legislature on Thursday.

The state’s growth rate is expected to be the highest in over a decade and surpass that of the Indian economy which is set to grow by 8.9% in 2021-22. The state’s per capita income, which had slid to Rs 1,93,121 in 2020, is also expected to rise to Rs 2,25,073 in 2021-22.

The state’s economic revival in 2021-22 is expected to be driven by the industrial and services sectors, which are pegged to see robust growth.

While the agricultural sector had performed well in the pandemic, its growth rate is slated to decline in 2021-22 due to the impact of unseasonal rains and natural calamities that have wrecked crops. Growth is set to slide from 17.9% in 2020-21 to only 4.4% in 2021-22.

The economic survey has forecast a 11.9% growth rate for the industrial sector for 2021-22 compared to -10% in 2020-21. Within this, the construction sector is set to grow by 17.4% as compared to -11% in 2020-21.

The manufacturing sector is set to grow by 9.5% as compared to -13.3% in 2020-21.

The survey has forecast the services sector will grow 13.5% in 2021-22 from -9% in the previous financial year. Within this, services related to trade, hotels and communication are set to grow at 17.9%, from -16.8% in 2020-21. The financial and professional services sector is set to grow by 13.4% compared to -6.7% in 2020-21.

In terms of state finances, the survey shows an increase in revenue receipts from Rs 2.9 lakh crore in 2020-21 to Rs 3.7 lakh crore in 2021-22 as the state improved tax collection after the worst of the pandemic. Revenue deficit declined from Rs 46,178 crore to Rs 10,226 crore in the same period. Capital expenditure, which goes into building assets, rose from Rs 43,828 crore to 58,748 crore.

As much as 55.5% of the revenue expenditure in 2021-22, though, is expected to be on the payment of salaries, pension and interest payments, the survey showed. While salary payments are expected to amount to Rs 1.2 lakh crore, interest payments will be Rs 42,998 crore. The survey projects a debt of Rs 6.15 lakh crore for 2021-22 but says this is 19.2% of GSDP and within fiscal limits.

Maharashtra has the highest number of approved industrial projects in the country, with its 21,216 projects accounting for 18% of the total by November 2021, the survey showed. However, when it comes to investments generated, Maharashtra is behind Gujarat and Karnataka. Maharashtra received 10.9% of the total industrial investment generated by the projects as compared to Gujarat that received 14.8% and Karnataka that got 11.3%.

The survey showed although FDI inflows into Maharashtra were the highest since 2000, it fell behind Gujarat in 2020-21. While Maharashtra received Rs.1.2 lakh crore worth of FDI in 2020-21, Gujarat received Rs 1 6 lakh crore. Also, in April-September 2021-22, Maharashtra fell below Karnataka. WhileMaharashtra received FDI inflows worth Rs 48,633 crore, Karnataka received Rs 1 lakh crore.

The survey also showed the total area under irrigation in the state in 2020-21 was 41.6 lakh hectares. The number of projects up to June 30, 2021, is 3,777 and the irrigation potential created is 54.2 lakh ha

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