Maharashtra is set to become a one trillion dollar economy and will be the first State in the country to achieve this target, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari said on Sunday.
Speaking during an event at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park area on the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the formation of Maharashtra State, Mr. Koshyari, who has had bitter run-ins with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, nonetheless lauded the example set by it in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Though we were facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the State did not allow any impediment to affect its progress and development. It has set an example before the nation while combating the three waves of COVID-19 in a well-planned manner. More than 92% of the State’s adult population has been administered at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine… Maharashtra is all set to become a one trillion-dollar economy and it will be the first State in the country to do so,” the Governor said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who was present on the occasion along with his wife Rashmi and son, Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, was seen exchanging pleasantries with Mr. Koshyari.
The Governor further said he felt happy to note that Maharashtra had stood second in the country in the export preparedness index released by the Niti Aayog as well as ranking second in the Centre’s ‘Good Governance Index Report - 2021’.
“The policy regarding the electric vehicles (EV) made by my government is comprehensive and its implementation has also started in the State. As compared to the previous year, the registration of EVs in Maharashtra has increased by 157%. The VAT (value added tax) on CNG (compressed natural gas) has been reduced from 13.5% to 3% in order to give a boost to the use of environment-friendly natural gas. This will provide relief to the citizens,” the Governor said.
Mr. Koshyari further lauded the government’s decisions on promoting air services in the State; fast-tracking the construction of Metro projects in order to strengthen Mumbai city’s public transportation system; and ensuring that key projects like the re-development of the BDD Chawls, and the coastal road in Mumbai, and capacity building of the Mumbai-Pune express highway, had gained momentum.
“The construction of Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg is near completion and will soon be partially opened for transportation,” he said.
Mr. Koshyari also noted that the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company would be setting up 187 and 390 MW solar power projects to boost non-conventional power generation.
Since the inception of the tripartite MVA of the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress in late 2019, the ruling coalition has been engaged in a veritable cold war with Mr. Koshyari, whom the State government has accused of being “a puppet” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Today’s ‘Maharashtra Day’ speech, full of encomiums for the MVA, is in stark contrast to Mr. Koshyari’s address to the State legislature during the Assembly session in March this year, when he wrapped up his address in less than a minute and walked out amid chaos in the House.
The drawn-out conflict between Mr. Koshyari and the three MVA parties over the nomination of 12 MLCs to the Legislative Council, and the issue of the election of the Assembly Speaker is still ongoing, and is emblematic of the distrust with which the MVA parties view Mr. Koshyari, a hardcore Rashtriya Swayasevak Sangh (RSS) man.