Even as the Maharashtra government dreams of making the State a first $1-trillion economy in the country, many of its three million MSMEs — which are the backbone of the State’s economy — are bearing the brunt of the slowdown.
Apart from being an automobile hub, Maharashtra is also a leader in agro- and food processing industries. However, even as the slump has paralysed MSMEs, the State government says that the slowdown is a worldwide scenario and the government has nothing to do with it.
BJP leaders are hopeful that the slowdown will not affect their winning prospects. With the automobile sector witnessing a steep slump in sales, MSMEs that manufacture components or do job work for the sector have reduced their working hours, stopped recruitment and gone in for job cuts.
MSMEs account for more than 80 per cent of the total employment, according to the State government’s latest industrial policy. The policy adds that MSMEs are best placed to utilise local resources and create local entrepreneurship and employment.
About 40 per cent of the exports originate from MSMEs.
BJP State President and Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil recently told reporters in Pune that the economic slowdown is not specific to India or Maharashtra and it was ‘worldwide’ scenario. He added that the educated knowthe government has nothing to do with the slowdown and hence the current scenario would not affect the (result of) forthcoming Assembly elections.