Mah has per capita higher income and indebtedness too

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Mumbai, Mar 21 (UNI) Maharashtra has piled up a whopping additional debt of Rs 1,01,659 crore ever since the Congress-led Democratic Front Government came to power in October 1999, according to the Economic Survey of Maharashtra for 2007-08.

The survey, tabled in the State Legislature this week, revealed that the per capita indebtedness has increased by 94 per cent since 2001 census, which pegged the state's population at 9.69 crore.

Maharashtra's total debt was estimated to be Rs 1,44,325 crore during the year as against Rs 42,666 crore during 1999-2000. The state's per capita indebtedness increased from Rs 5,193 in 2000-01 to Rs 14,893 in 2007-08. The indebtedness is calculated only on the basis of the burden of the State Government and not counting individual debts.

Ahead of all other states including West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar, Maharashtra is just behind Uttar Pradesh at second position on the basis of absolute indebtness.

Uttar Pradesh with an absolute debt of Rs 1,61,358 crore for the year 2006-07 has nearly double the population of Maharashtra.

Maharashtra, ironically, has distinctions of maintaining its numero uno position in terms of both per capita income and state income. At current price, the per capita income in Maharashtra for 2006-07 is estimated at Rs 41,331, as against the per capita national income of Rs 29,642.

The annual average growth rate of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) during the 10th Five Year Plan (2002-07) remained at 8.3 per cent as against the Planning Commission's target of 8 per cent, the survey said, adding that the Net State Domestic Product (State Income) for the year was estimated at Rs 4,37,035 crore.

The state's debt burden has increased steadily since the advent of the new millenium. It was Rs 42,666 crore in 1999-2000, Rs 50,319 crore in 2000-01, Rs 59,869 crore in 2001-02, Rs 82,549 crore in 2002-03, Rs 97,673 crore in 2003-04, Rs 1,09,166 crore in 2004-05, Rs 1,24,364 crore in 2005-06, Rs 1,34,493 crore in 2006-07 and Rs 1,44,325 crore in 2007-08.

The survey, however, apparently sought to downplay the state's alarming debt position, when it said that as a result of enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management Act, the revenue and fiscal deficits of the State Government as a percentage of GSDP has declined significantly. The debt burden as percentage of the GSDP is expected to decline from 26.4 per cent in 2006-07 to 24.9 per cent in 2007-08.

UNI CP RN SM1643

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