Making rapid strides in industrialisation, Maharashtra has attracted Rs 19, 632 crore (Rs 196.32 billion) Foreign Direct Investment during the last three years.
"This is the highest FDI in the country amounting to Rs 70,750 crore (Rs 707.5 billion) since 1991," Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said.
The state has drawn 79 mega projects with proposed investment of Rs 1.10 lakh crore (Rs 110 trillion) by companies like Boeing, General Motors, Bajaj Auto, L G Electronics, Mahindra and Mahindra, Daimler Chrysler, Volkswagen, Renault, Cummins and Gulf Housing Finance, he told Delhi-based journalists in Latur.
Deshmukh said the state has secured approval to highest number of 119 SEZs in the country and pointed out that the new industrial policy was aimed at providing conducive environment for investment.
"We are determined to provide world class infrastructure to boost investment in the state," he said. 245 IT parks and 33 public IT parks were being developed and there was a proposal for having an integrated Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Deshmukh added.
With agriculture being the main prop for the state's economy, the state's production of cotton and soya has registered an all-time high, he said. Asked about the huge outstanding loan of Rs 7,500 crore (Rs 75 billion) of farmers in various cooperative banks, the chief minister said he would favour full waiver.
Deshmukh said he would discuss the state's plan size with the Planning Commission soon and seek a ten per cent increase so that his government could lay more emphasis on irrigation, power and the social sector.
Referring to the initiatives in the social sector, Deshmukh said the plan size of scheduled caste sub-plan has been raised from Rs 577 crore (Rs 5.77 billion) in 2004-05 to Rs 2,060 crore (Rs 20.6 billion) in 2007-08.
He said seven divisional Industrial Training Institutes centres had been opened for SC and Navbuddha students. A decision has also been taken to build 100 new government hostels for them.
The chief minister said that agriculture credit has been raised from Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) in 2004-05 to over Rs 12,000 crore (Rs 120 billion) in 2006-07.
In the backdrop of suicides by cotton growers, the state government has extended relief to the farmers by purchasing all cotton at Rs 2,500 per quintal in 2004-05 season and made direct payment to farmers. He said the "high incidence" of farmers' suicide in west Vidarbha districts was a matter of concern for the government.