Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Maharashtra sliding into BIMARU lot says TOI

dec 1, 2010

does that mean we have to talk about MIMARU? i guess not, fortunately bengal will be replacing bihar, and maharashtra may be replacing madhya pradesh.

the wonders of ideology never cease to amaze. so clear: keep the 'aam aurat' barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen and the 'aam admi' jobless and hopeless. then they will vote for you. if they prosper, they won't.

[disclaimer: of course there's the base effect -- maharashtra has a big base to measure growth from. but then bengal has managed to go from equal to maharashtra in 1950 to about 50% below it now in state GDP per capita, so miracles are possible.]

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From: sanjeevnayyar

What was said in hushed tones earlier is now the open. The Congress NCP regime is taking the State back in years. They are always trying to be one up on each other and keen to promote the Real Estate industry. Sadly the BJP Sena regime has not capitalised on their incompetences. There is no leader of stature to assure voters that there is an alternate CM. Sooner than later Nitin Gadkari needs to focus on Maharashtra. Gopinath Munde is good for Delhi. BJP needs fresh blood in a post Balasaheb era.
With Bihar on the upsurge Biharis will prefer to work in Bihar than in Mumbai. I hope that comes sooner than later.
MUMBAI: Maybe, it's time to stop cracking all those bhaiyya jokes. A new study by a University of Mumbai economics professor shows that Maharashtra, once seen as an epitome of growth, development and progress, fares quite poorly when compared to the country's four BIMARU states — Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

In the all-important factor of economic growth rate — a category in which the state reigned in the late 1990s in the country's top five — Maharashtra fell to 11th for growth from 2005-06 to 2007-08. Both Bihar (rank 4) and Rajasthan (10) ranked higher. ''Ten states outperformed us. We have some catching up to do,'' said Mala Lalvani, the professor who did the research.

While backward states like Bihar and MP appear to have woken up from their slumber and taken giant strides towards progress, Maharashtra is facing a reversal of fortunes. Despite having a large base of its own tax collection, the state has got mired in inefficiency, poor governance and an apathetic attitude towards its own people, say experts. Government spending in various areas that indicate a state's overall health has been poor.

Lalvani raises a very disturbing question with the title of her research: 'Maharashtra at 50: A new entrant to the BIMARU group?' Though the question might seem extreme, data put out by Malvani shows the need for concern. For example, the rich-poor divide in Maharashtra's rural areas is worse than in any BIMARU state. Meanwhile, only one state, MP, has a worse rich-poor divide in urban areas than Maharashtra.

Lalvani said, ''Maharashtra's developmental expenditure (on social and economic services) as opposed to its total expenditure is now only marginally above that of Bihar. In fact, its expenditure on health in proportion to its total expenditure falls short of all BIMARU states. Maharashtra's expenditure on education in proportion to its total expenditure is lower than that of Bihar.''

Lalvani sees a pattern in the decay: during the high growth-rate period of the golden years — 1970s and '80s — the government did not invest in strengthening public services or improving the quality of life. Beyond the bright lights and sparkle of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, power cuts, dry taps, a crumbling public health system and an apology for a public schooling system were the norm in the rest of the state.

Lalvani's conclusion is echoed by many senior economists. ''Maharashtra is really two states. Mumbai and its environs make up one and then there is the rest of Maharashtra, which is in extremely bad shape. There has been a certain neglect there. One needs to critically look at Maharashtra from the district and the sub-district level and see that there is a stark reality of terrible deprivation,'' said Indira Rajaraman, member of the 13th Finance Commission of India.

Senior economists, like Abhay Pethe, blame the complete breakdown of governance. ''Whatever indicators one looks at, if you take the Mumbai Metropolitan Region out of Maharashtra, the situation is pretty bad. The number of electoral representatives from the backward districts is falling because of delimitation and the fast urbanization of the state is causing an imbalance in growth,'' added Pethe.

Another economist, Tapas Sen, of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, while validating Lalvani's findings, said the state's average social priority ratio — money spent by government in the social sector — has been below the rule of thumb in recent times. Planners pointed out that the government is imposing spending cuts in development and economic services because it is dealing with a large debt.

Read more: Maharashtra sliding into BIMARU lot? - The Times of India
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