Agriculture growth is negative; FM blames scanty rainfall.
Mumbai: The state’s economic growth rate has come down to 7.3 per cent for the year 2017-18 compared to 10 per cent in the preceding year. After boasting of 22.5 per cent agricultural growth rate in the last budget, the economic survey released by the state government on Thursday found that the growth rate has gone negative (– 8.3 per cent).
India’s agriculture growth for the year 2018-19 is 2.1 per cent. Even for industries it has gone down to 6.5 per cent from 6.9 per cent and for service sector it is up by 0.1 per cent. Finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has blamed it on the less rainfall received last year. However, the opposition leaders have recalled the BJP-led government’s announcement of doubling the agriculture income of the farmers.
“As per the advance estimates, the state economy is expected to grow by 7.3 per cent during 2017-18 against 10 per cent growth during 2016-17. India’s economy is expected to grow by 6.5 per cent. The agriculture and allied activities sector is expected to register –8.3 per cent growth during 2017-18 due to less rainfall,” the survey said.
Mr Mungantiwar said that the rainfall was 84 per cent last year. “This reduced the agriculture growth. However, due to efforts like Jalyukta Shivar, the overall agriculture production will be more,” he said.
The survey said that the gross domestic product will increase by Rs 2,39,473 crore during 2017-18 and the per capita income will be Rs 1,80,596 crore. “The per capita income in Maharashtra is leading compared to other states,” he said. In Andhra Pradesh it is Rs 1,22,376, for Karnataka (Rs 1,57,474) and Madhya Pradesh (Rs 72,599
Mr Mungantiwar said that the inflation rate in Maharashtra is better compared to the rest of the country. From April to December 2017 the inflation rate was 1.8 per cent in rural areas and 2.1 per cent in urban areas.
In the agriculture, the crop production of cereals 9,977 MT (12,646 MT last year), pulses 3,306 MT (4,584 MT last year), food grains 13,283 MT (17,230 MT last year), oil seeds 4,187 MT (5113 MT last year), cotton 6,059 MT (10,755 MT last year) and vegetables 9,044 MT (10,520 MT last year) has gone down.
Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan blamed the government’s empathy towards the agriculture sector. “The negative agriculture rate is worrisome and a reflection of the ground reality. The Prime minister and CM is talking of doubling the agriculture income but the figures tell a different story,” he said.
Mr Chavan said the industrial growth was 6.9 per cent last year and this year it is 6.5 per cent. In the service sector, the growth was 9.6 per cent last year. It has gone to 9.7 per cent only. “This has led to unemployment in the state by 2.1 per cent. In state, 3,557 industries have shut this year,” he said.