Source: Smart City

The population of Maharashtra is nearly 12cr. Right now when I am writing this blog, the infected cases crossed the milestone of 657k and if you look at the stats, almost 90% of cases are from Mumbai and Pune. The rest of Maharashtra is under control.

At the time of the Monarchical system, all the districts in Maharashtra had it’s a unique existence. In a true sense, there is even prosperity in every region. As the British era started to spread out their legs, for the sake of their convenience Britishers started to develop some of the cities which could provide additional benefits for them. Later, Maharashtrian prominent freedom fighters such as Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Phule developed cities which are currently residing in Western Maharashtra and Konkan regions.

But today, when we are facing this pandemic in these two cities, the situation is telling us to rethink on it. Don’t you think, even though after 74 years of independence, we are facing the same disparity issue in each district?

Of Course, political self-interest is driving this disparity. Most of the political leaders own their lands in these bigger cities. They have their own malls, cinema halls, auditorium, parks, real estate which they are using for their self-income. In one way this is causing centralization of industry. There is a relation between industrialization and political power. One-fourth of political power has centralized in developed industrial districts. Industrialization is divided into four types namely advanced, moderately developed, less developed, and backward. The chart is given below which listed out this classification district wise. 

Source: Industrialization development districts

Due to the centralization of industry, we can see more crowds in these two cities. In Today’s scenario, migrant labourers left these cities and went to their respective homes due to this pandemic situation. Now they are in the dark shadows of unemployment. But only worrying about the situation won’t solve the problem. With a wide sense of analysis, they can again start their work and make money without going back to these cities. Almost more than 50% of people were running their street food shops, bhaji market, barber shops etc. in these two cities. They have acquired skills like how to deal with the market situation in order to make money. But they are thinking, until and unless we can’t go back, we can’t start our income. But this is absolutely wrong. The only thing is, they need to understand their regions capabilities and work on it. Ultimately income will start flowing. Now the time has come, we have to decentralize the State by identifying resources in respective regions.

Geographically, historically and according to culture sentiments, Maharashtra has 5 regions:

  • Konkan
  • Western Maharashtra
  • Marathwada
  • Vidharbha
  • Khandesh

No one has realized the capability of their region. Some regions like Konkan and western Maharashtra are showing good results. I have listed out a few growth strategies in backward regions.

Growth Strategy of Marathwada:

The districts in these regions have the capability to start small scale business as Marathwada is famous for textile and clothing industry. Mashru, Himbroo fabric made in some districts. Paithani Silk is famous. There is an opportunity to make it global. Some districts like Latur, Beed have sugar-based industries. Rather than starting for the sugar industry, one can create ethanol from sugarcane, and it acts as an alternative to crude oil. Soyabean is a vastly taken crop in these regions. The oil industry can offer employment to labourers too.

The pharmaceutical environment is also suitable in Marathwada regions. The raw materials which are required to make tablets i.e. API’s we are importing from China, we can also start to think about it. One can directly buy milk from farmers and make sweets, export those sweets to urban areas.

Growth strategy of Vidharbha:

Vidharbha region is famous for coal, minerals and mining, fruits, agro products, bamboo. With the help of bamboo sticks, one can make many products like furniture, straws, food packaging products etc. Even those who want to act like distributors they can sell rural products to urban areas. It comprises 11 districts. These districts differ from each other in terms of cropping patterns with little variations. Amravati is famous for cotton & soybean. The use of technology is widespread in the district. Bhandara district is famous for rice. Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts have a forest area where they can start wildcraft business. They can sell these products to urban areas in order to make extra profitable margins.

Growth strategy of Khandesh:

Dhule and Nandurbar have experienced significant changes in cropping patterns. Traders procure cotton from them for the textile industry across borders like Parbhani and Hingoli. Development of textile parks and improving their connectivity by roads and railways will promote industrialization and trade. Jalgaon, Dhule and Nandurbar have dryland farming. Water conservation and micro-irrigation should be given a priority in these districts. Shirpur Pattern of Dhule district is a reputed model of irrigation development. Water conservation strategies including recharging of groundwater should be promoted.

This is how you can find opportunity in the primary sector. Apart from this, everybody has a unique hidden skill. By identifying and implementing that skill you can also make money. Someone who is fond of photography. They can make money from it. I can tell you one example, my brother knows about the stock market and now his friends are giving him the money for investment at the deal of 70-30% of dividend segregation. After all, you must have balls of steel to acquire that knowledge and jump into any field, like this, you can become self-employed. Another thing nowadays barbershops are closed. What you can do? You can create a Mobile app and start an online service for those who want to cut their hair. Because of this both you and the barber get an opportunity to make money. Online coaching classes can also come up with an alternative in today’s world. Framers are not getting appropriate costs for their own products so to avoid the monopoly of the Mandi market you can create an E-commerce platform as well. 

Recently on 12th May, PM Modi had announced a Rs 20 Lakh cr relief package as a stimulus to boost the economy in order to make it a self-reliant country. Out of this 20 Lakh cr, 3 lakh cr would be allotted as collateral-free automatic loans for MSMEs. The Ministry of MSMEs has also changed the criteria for categorization of MSMEs. With newly born criteria, one can take advantage of it and easily avail loans required to start your business. Government is planning to include some high rated MSMEs to the stock market and is willing to take shares of it. It will be beneficial from one perspective. Indian MSMEs have vast potential. I can provide one example that we have imported 1cr PPE kits from China. Most of them were faulty ones. In Nagpur, one MSMEs textile cluster is making shirts for Peter England Company and now they are making the PPE kits with affordable cost.

Like that textile cluster, one can easily see the opportunity in the crisis and emerge as a ray of hope for society. Maharashtra has enough resources, adaptable technologies, improved quality of products. It has a wide range of scope to make it global.

This pandemic we need to convert into blessings and disguise. Fishing, agro, Biofuel, rural, tribal MSMEs have also opportunities in the international market.

Hence we can conclude that we have not lost everything. The crisis comes with opportunity. Someone has a brain but not money and someone has money but not a brain. We can help to collaborate with it. By identifying, analysing and implementing the idea, Maharashtra can cope up with any situation, if Maharashtrians follow this sutra’s then they could be trendsetters not only for India but also in front of the world. This can also reduce the disparity among the regions. Decentralization of the industry also takes place and everyone gets the job of its own without worrying about the recession.

Source: Directorate of Economics and Statistics