Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, in his speech at the joint session of the state legislature, announced that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government will frame a new energy policy.
The emphasis of the policy will be on augmenting power supply by improving plant load factor of thermal plants and through proper coordination between the state and central governments to rationalise coal linkage to increase availability of domestic coal and bring down overall cost of generation. The state’s current thermal power capacity is about 7,600 Mw.
Besides, the government will make efforts to reduce cost of distribution and make investments to improve reliability. The government will also encourage power generation using non-conventional energy sources such as solar, wind and bio-mass. As announced earlier by CM Devendra Fadnavis, the state government will bring a White Paper on present financial position, accepted liabilities, future plans and necessary measures for more transparent and effective expenditure. This is important when state’s public debt is estimated at Rs 3.15 lakh-crore.
Although the Governor’s speech was silent over announcing probe into the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam, he said the government would devise a special strategy to control unnecessary expenditure, plug financial leakages, improve investment climate and reduce corruption in the irrigation sector. This is necessary to complete huge investments for completion of ongoing projects in the areas of not only irrigation but also in transportation and infrastructure. The government will launch a time-bound plan for speedy implementation of various pending projects, with special emphasis on addressing the regional disparity in the state.
The government will launch new policies to attract investment in electronics, manufacturing, special economic zones, export-oriented units and information technology sectors. Besides, the government will launch a new policy for agro and food processing industries. A special policy for Naxal-affected areas to develop industries and to provide new opportunities for the livelihood of local people will be formulated.
The Governor also announced that the water policy will be reviewed keeping in mind the developments in agriculture, industries and the need of drinking water. Thee government's priorities include efficient fiscal planning based on completing 75% completed projects particularly in districts with backlog, and all out effort to complete 50% of incomplete projects including distribution systems by 2019.
Earlier, Governor's speech to both the houses of legislature was marred by slogan shouting by Congress legislators and their walk out. However,Governor while entering into the legislature was literally gheraoed by the members of Congress and Shiv Sena who were quite agitated against the manner in which the confidence motion was passed in the state assembly.
They shouted slogans expressing their displeasure. Despite repeated requests from the members of the treasury bench, some of the security personnel were roughed up. It was difficult time for the security personnel to guard Governor and take him up to the elevator amidt agitated members.