Why is Maharashtra's Budget important for India?

Maharashtra state has been the forerunner in many aspects. From social reform and women's education to Industrialisation and Urbanization, Maharashtra has led India's growth. While there was a nationwide interest in The Union Budget, I wonder why Maharashtra's Budget does not get discussed and debated and tweeted and  whatsapped as much! After all, the successes, the spendings and the fiscal policy of the State of Maharashtra creates a significant impact on India's success & fiscal health.

The overall outlay of the budget allocation of Maharashra is about 12% of that of India's, which is significant for one state. In fact, the total outlay of Maharashra this year exceeds the total outlay for India in the 1990s.
Further, the total allocation for the Agricultural & allied sector in Maharashtra is about 25000 crores, while in the Union Budget it is about 36000 crores. So the approach of the Central Government to boost the agricultural and allied sector sees the most support in Maharashtra's Budget, with a huge allocation. This keeps into focus the distress of the farmers at the same time supports PM Modi's approach to spur growth in rural India.

This is also in line when we understand the overall growth of Maharashtra, at 8% is despite the faltering 2.7% decline of the agricultural sector.  So while Maharashtra outperformed the national average, it's 8% growth was significantly supported by the manufacturing (growth at 5.9%) and the service sector (growth at 10.8%), both strong points for the state. So the Fadnavis government has clearly identified that reducing the decline of the agri sector with large fiscal allocation and initiatives like Jal Yukt Shivar, will directly cause a spurt in the growth. So while, I was a bit upset with low urban sector allocations, I think, a significant pro agri budget in the interim, will cause a direct growth in the rural areas, which will indirectly spur demand in the urban areas.

Maharashtra is one of the most attractive and the forerunner for the Make in India initiative of the Central government. With Maharashtra's robust industry set up, under the banner of Make in India, Maharashtra is poised to tow the lion of economic growth for the nation. The CISCO investment, amongst others, look like the beginning of this. Further, in Maharashtra, the urban areas that support services sector come in the form of attractive cities like Mumbai, Pune and Nashik - enjoying skilled manpower, academic thrust, women in the workforce amongst others, between the three of them.

Finally, a parting note on where I find the Maharashtra Budget has fallen short in terms of allocations to certain important sectors. The Jal Yukt Shivar initiative has tremendous protein tail, but the 1000 crore allocation seems low to make in impactful effect. Also, the promising Service Sector in Maharashtra is dependent on the cities. The services sector is the one that is pulling the bandwagon of 8% growth. However, there is low allocation for urban infrastructure development, including essential amenities like water resources, for the cities of Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur, Nagpur & Aurangabad.
Maharashtra has tremendous potential for sports, mainly due to international access and thriving urban services sector. There is almost no allocation for sports facilities or promotion of sports. Tourism, particularly around Archeological Sites and Monuments, can be a great revenue source. However, the Budget does not have an approach to invest for promotion of tourism in Maharashtra.
I was personally, disappointed to find no allocation for environmental conservation projects, environmental cleanup, development of eco zones etc. And lastly, I find that the allocation for internal security like police does not figure in the Budget at all.

A leader of all other States in India, India's push towards economic growth is definitely towed by Maharashtra. India's success, economically, is closely linked to Maharashtra's and hence I feel that Maharashtra's Budget should have received more attention in Media.


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