Socio-Economic Profile of Maharashtra

History and Location

After India attained independence from the clutches of the British rule in the year 1947, Maharashtra went through a number of political changes. Post independence period saw the western Maharashtra and present day Gujarat being united under the Bombay state, the eastern parts which were a part of the Hyderabad state were later also united with the Bombay state in the year 1956.

The modern state of Maharashtra came into existence in the year 1960, under the Bombay Reorganization Act. The states of Maharashtra and Gujarat were legally given the status of separate states on the basis of linguistic differences. The present Bombay city became the capital city of Maharashtra. The modern history of Maharashtra includes the period from attainment of independence to the final separation of the states.

In the post independence period of Maharashtra the most important development was the formation of Maharashtra as a separate state. After the princely states during the British rule came under the Indian union, separate states were created out of them keeping in mind language and regional differences. Thus the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat were formed from the Bombay presidency state. The regions where there was predominance of Marathi speaking people were taken under the Bombay Presidency, which formed Maharashtra.

Maharashtra is situated in the western part of India and covers the entire Deccan region. With an area of approximately 308,000 sq km, it has the distinction of being counted among one of the largest states of India. The state stands bounded by Chhattisgarh in the east, Madhya Pradesh in the north, Karnataka in the south, Goa in the southwest, Andhra Pradesh in the southeast and Gujarat in the northwest. Dadra and Nagar Haveli, one of the Union territories is situated in between Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is located between 20° 00′ N latitudes and 76° 00′ E longitudes.

The mighty Arabian Sea makes up the west coast of Maharashtra. Running parallel to this coast are the Sahyadri Hills, also known as the Western Ghats, which rise upto the height of 1,200 meters (4,000 feet). To the east of the ghats lies the Deccan Plateau. On the other hand, the Konkan coastal plains are situated to their west and boast of a width of 50-80 kilometers. Western Ghats are one of the three watersheds of India and it is from here that most of the rivers in South India have found their origin.

Maharashtra with a population of 96 million in 2001 emerged as the second most populous state in India. With about 9% of India’s population, Maharashtra produces country’s 19% of industrial output, 15% of service sector output, and about 13% of GDP. Its per capita income of Rs. 22,179 in 2000-01 makes it the third richest state in India after Punjab and Haryana. As per the Census 2001, literacy rate was 76.9 per cent. It was 86.0 per cent and 67.0 per cent for males and females respectively. However, as per the results of NSS 64th Round (July, 2007-June 2008), the literacy rates for males and females have increased to 86.2 per cent and 69.3 per cent respectively.

Gross State Domestic Product

As per the advance estimates, Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Maharashtra at constant (1999-2000) prices, is expected to grow at the rate of 9.0 per cent during 2007-2008 as against 9.7 per cent during 2006-07. The sectoral growth rates of GSDP are expected to be at 5.7 per cent for Primary, 10.4 per cent for Secondary and 9.1 per cent for Tertiary Sectors. For 2006-07, the GSDP at constant (1999-2000) prices for Maharashtra is estimated at Rs. 3,76,783 crore as against Rs. 3,43,501 crore in 2005-06. At current prices, GSDP for 2006-07 is estimated at Rs. 5,09,356 crore as against Rs. 4,38,058 crore in the previous year, showing an increase of 16.3 per cent.

State Income

As per the preliminary estimates, the State Income (i.e. Net State Domestic Product) of Maharashtra at current prices for the year 2006-07 is Rs. 4,37,035 crore and the per capita State Income is Rs. 41,331. At constant (1999-2000) prices, the State Income for 2006-07 is estimated at Rs. 3,25,148 crore and the per capita State Income at Rs. 30,750.

It has been seen from the above table that Growth Rate of 8.9% during the eighth plan, the target set for tenth plan is quite achievable but declaration of growth rate to 4.7% per annum during the ninth plan seems to be difficult. Most state grew slower in the ninth plan than in the eighth plan, with the exception of West Bengal and Orissa. But for a fair comparison Maharashtra can be compared with the other high-income states like Andhra Pradesh,Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana.

It is observed that Gujarat recorded a growth rate of 7.5%, Tamil Nadu 6.8%, Karnataka 6.1%, Andhra Pradesh 5.7%, Punjab 4.5%, and Haryana 4.6% during 1985-86 to 2000-01 while Maharashtra recorded a growth rate of 7.3%. That being so, it would be appropriate to state that Maharashtra is poised to go on a higher path of growth provided it modifies its goals and priorities and devises new directions in the rapidly changing economy of the country.

Maharashtra contributes 18% to the country’s industrial output. The manufacturing sector in Maharashtra made net value addition of 21.5% and deploys 17% of the fixed capital in the organised industrial sector in 2000-2001 (GOM, 2003). But the factory employment has decreased from 14.7% 1990-91 to 11.2% in 1999- 2000. The industrial activity in Maharashtra is concentrated in four districts, viz. Mumbai City, Mumbai Suburban District, Thane and Pune.