Tuesday, March 16, 2010

State facing worst economic crisis, claim activists-HITAVADA

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March 16th, 2010

State facing worst economic crisis, claim activists
Mar. 16th, 2010
by Staff Reporter

As the Democratic Front (DF) Government is set to present Economic Survey and annual budget after two weeks, activists have raised serious questions over the claim of Government about financial prosperity and industrial development. According to official records, the state is reeling under debt of mind boggling Rs 2 lakh crore and has witnessed 46 per cent drop in food production. Going by the dismal figures, Maharashtra is passing through its worst ever economic crisis during its Golden Jubilee Year.

During last economic survey the DF Government has admitted that state had lost 2 million jobs in the year 2008-2009, food grain production dropped by 25% before drought was declared, outstanding debt mounting to Rs.1,58,520 crore, interest payment on debt is Rs. 12,953 crore, 30% drop in employment provided under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), poverty ratio in the State is 30.7 per cent as against All-India average of 27.5 percent and more than 6000 farm suicides and deaths in tribal pockets due to malnutrition and starvation, the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti President Kishor Tiwari stated. The rosy picture of massive job creation and investments in infrastructure, increase in food crop production, reduction in the debt and providing basic facilities to poor like food, shelter, health, education and rural employment, industrial growth, faded into thin air. Due to drought situation in 20,000 villages, food production is likely to drop below 102 lakh MT for the first time in history of Maharashtra. Tiwari also questioned the figures of industrial investment to the tune of Rs. 5,04,689 crore with 27.54 lakh jobs and claimed in reality nothing happened. Regarding power sector growth, the VJAS pointed out neither generation was improved no transmission losses were controlled. Quoting last economic survey, VJAS pointed out its major high light was Multi-modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) with lot of growth potential, but even after a long wait, MIHAN is turning out to be a hoax and has failed to give a single job to skilled or unskilled worker of the region, Tiwari stated. The VJAS also slammed the DF for fiscal imprudence and for its failure to cub non-plan expenditure and to undertake development schemes. The food grains production for kharif and rabi season in the State is estimated to be 117.19 lakh M.T. as a preliminary forecast, less by 24 per cent compared to that of the previous year. A steep fall of 49 per cent is expected in production of oilseeds. Sugarcane production is also expected to be much lower by 43 per cent (at 508.13 lakh M.T.) mainly due to reduction of 30 percent in the harvested area. The estimated employment in the State, based on National Sample Survey, which was on rise till 2004-05 at 4.3 crore, declined to 4.1 crore in 2007-08 clearly indicating the footprints of recession. The employment provided under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) during 2008-09 was 4.2 crore person days as against 6.0 crore person days provided under Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) and NREGS during 2007-08.The poverty estimate provided by the Planning Commission of India, reveal that the poverty ratio in the State during 2004-05 is 30.7 per cent as against All-India average of 27.5 percent. Though the results at various points of time show decline in poverty ratios, the number of persons living below poverty line is gradually increasing since 1973-74 and increased by 12.2 lakh persons in 2004-05 as compared to 1993-94. Tiwari has urged Centre to review economic crisis in Maharashtra due to uncontrolled plan and unplanned expenses of state Government and warned that people of Maharashtra will have to pay cost of political misdeed in future, more hardship are in pipeline if corrective steps are not taken today.

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