03.03.2022 : Governor addresses the joint session of the legislature
HON’BLE CHAIRMAN, HON’BLE SPEAKER AND HON’BLE MEMBERS OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the first session of the State Legislature in the year 2022.
2. My Government will continue to follow the high ideals set by exemplars such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, and other great visionaries and social reformers.
3. My Government is determined to stand up for the rights of Marathi speaking people of Maharashtra’s border areas and strongly condemns the defacing of the Statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Bengaluru on 16th December, 2021, and the throwing of ink on the president of the Madhyavarti Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti in Belgaon. The many repressive acts of the Karnataka Government against Marathi speaking people of the disputed border area are condemnable.
4. The State has been battling the Covid-19 pandemic for the last two years. I express my sincere condolences to those who have lost their loved ones and salute the bravery and selflessness of all health workers and frontline workers who have helped to combat this pandemic.
5. So far, Maharashtra has faced three waves of Covid-19 infections. The second wave in the State was comparatively more severe than first one. The State witnessed close to 40 lakh new Covid-19 cases between March and June 2021. At its peak, Maharashtra had more than 65,000 daily new infected cases. The highest active case load was about 7 lakh cases.
6. My Government was fully prepared after the first wave of infections in August and September 2020. As a result, when the next wave hits the State between March to June 2021, there were 4 lakh 50 thousand isolation beds, 40,000 ICU beds, 1 lakh 35 thousand oxygen beds and more than 15,000 ventilators made available in 6500 facilitation centers. Testing facilities are accessible in more than 600 laboratories.
7. Availability of medical oxygen was a short-term constraint. At the time, Maharashtra could produce around 1250 metric tons of oxygen per day against a peak requirement of 1700 metric tons. This shortfall of about 450 metric tons per day, which lasted for about 2 weeks was managed with co-operation of Indian Air Force and the Indian Railways.
8. My Government took various decisions to augment the State’s liquid oxygen storage capacity. It was decided to build storage capacity equivalent to three days’ peak demand during the surge in April and May 2021. Additional 5000 metric tons of storage capacity was planned, out of that, 2700 metric tons of storage capacity has already been created.
9. Under “Mission Oxygen Swavalamban”, my Government has implemented an oxygen production promotion policy. Today, 114 new oxygen production projects are being set-up in the State with a total investment of Rs. 1870 crore. This will increase our capacity of oxygen production by 1480 metric tons and make us self-reliant.
10. As per the directives of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, Maharashtra has paid a compensation of Rs. 50,000 each to the kin of those deceased due to Covid-19 in more than 1,40,000 cases.
11. When Covid-19 vaccines first became available in January 2021, Maharashtra was, for a significant period of time, the State with the largest number of fully vaccinated persons as well as a leader in terms of the total number of doses administered.
12. Till date, close to 91 per cent of adult population of Maharashtra has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 70 per cent of adult population is fully vaccinated. More than 57 per cent of children in the age group of 15 to 18 years have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Vaccination also begun with precautionary doses for health care workers, frontline workers and citizens above the age of sixty years.
13. “Majhe Kutumb, Majhi Jababdari”, an innovative health check-up mission is being implemented since last year.
My Government has taken several innovative steps to further boost vaccination coverage. In December 2021, “Har Ghar Dastak” campaign was implemented and vaccination teams visited about 35,000 villages and close to 55 Lakh households. During this campaign more than 1 crore 25 lakh first doses and more than 28 lakh second doses were administered. Mission “Yuva Swasthya” was implemented for college going young adults between 25th October to 2nd November 2021. Under this mission, more than 1 lakh 8 thousand students were administered Covid-19 vaccine doses in college premises.
14. The third wave of Covid-19 infections started around the third week of December 2021. Due to the State’s proactive role in pre-planning and vaccination drive, there has not been any noticeable stress on Maharashtra’s health infrastructure. Though the State has recorded about 10 lakh 50 thousand new Covid-19 cases during the months of December 2021 and January 2022, fatalities have been below 0.1 per cent.
15. Covid-19 nominated Government hospitals are giving free treatment to all Covid-19 patients. Reasonable rates have been regulated for the private hospitals empaneled for “Mahatma Phule Jeevandaayi Yojana”. Apart from Government hospitals, sufficient beds in private hospitals were also reserved for Covid-19 patients. The cost of treatment, laboratory tests, CT scan, masks, etc., in private hospitals was regulated in public interest.
16. Under the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana”, families of those health workers who lost their lives while providing care to Covid-19 patients have been given compensation of Rs. 50 lakhs. Till now 195 such beneficiaries have been compensated and further 64 cases are currently under consideration.
17. My Government has provided one-time financial assistance of Rs. 5 lakhs to children who lost both parents due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
18. Mission “Vatsalya” was started to extend the benefits of existing Government schemes to those women who were widowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
19. My Government launched “the Veerbhadrakali Tararani Swaymsiddha Yojana” to provide means of livelihood and employment to the widows in rural areas, who have lost the heads of their families due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
20. Under the “Coronamukta Gaon Puraskar Yojana”, my Government has declared awards ranging from Rs. 30 lakhs to Rs. 1 crore to the Gram Panchayats who performed well to contain the pandemic.
21. My Government provided one-time financial assistance of Rs. 35 crore to 56,000 artists and 847 organizations across the State who faced financial stress due to the pandemic.
22. My Government has approved the establishment of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Super Specialty Institute of Medical Education and Research at Nagpur and this is the first institute of its kind in the country. It will run 17 post-graduate and 11 super specialty courses and will also have a hospital with 615 beds.
23. Covid-19 preventive measures of the State of Maharashtra has taken cognizance at the level of Hon’ble Supreme Court, Bombay High Court and World Health Organization and in this regard, Mumbai has become a role model for other cities.
24. My Government’s financial decision-making was made more challenging due to the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This was further compounded as a result of non-receipt of GST compensation of Rs. 29,942 crore, which was payable up to 18th February, 2022 by the Central Government to the State.
25. However, the State Government despite this financial crunch, managed to re-start economic activities, attract industrial investments and at the same time took initiatives to protect the environment. The State Government during these hard times, always strived to mitigate the sufferings of vulnerable sections of the society. Special emphasis was given to schemes providing financial benefits and food security to the people in the State.
26. Despite the slowdown in the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, my Government signed 98 investment agreements under “Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0,” involving an investment of Rs 1 lakh 89 thousand crore and creation of 3 lakh 30 thousand jobs.
27. Under “the Majhi Vasundhara Abhiyan-I”, my Government has planted 21 lakh 94 thousand trees and created 1650 new green areas resulting in 3 lakh 71 thousand tons of CO2 sequestration. “Majhi Vasundhara Abhiyan-II” has received a great response from local bodies in the State around 12,000 registrations.
28. To create awareness on climate change among school children, my Government is developing an environment curriculum from 1st to 8th standard.
29. NITI Aayog has acknowledged and appreciated the Electric Vehicle Policy of my Government. Compared to last year, there has been an increase in Electric Vehicle registrations by 157 per cent. My Government has incentivized 7000 e-vehicle owners by subsiding the cost of their vehicles. Investment proposals of Rs. 9,000 crore from prominent industries have been received under the e-vehicle policy, which are estimated to create approximately 10,000 jobs.
30. To adapt and mitigate the impact of climate change, my Government has established the Maharashtra Council on Climate Change under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister and Co-Chairmanship of Deputy Chief Minister.
31. Recognizing Maharashtra’s efforts on tackling climate change, my Government has won the “Inspiring Regional Leadership” award as a part of Under 2 Coalition Leadership Awards 2021 at COP 26 in Scotland. I am proud to say that Maharashtra is the only State in India to receive this award.
32. My Government launched the “Shivbhojan Scheme” to provide food to needy people. During the pandemic, 2 crore 70 lakh thalis were provided free of cost and 3 crore 68 lakh thalis were provided for Rs. 5. At present 1,526 centers are operating in the State, and till February 2022, over 8 crore Shivbhojan thalis have been delivered.
33. A record purchase of 20 lakh 36 thousand metric tons of paddy and coarse grains was made under the minimum support price scheme from farmers during the season 2020-21. An incentive amount of Rs. 700 per quintal of paddy up to 50 quintal per farmer was given in Kharip season of 2020-21. A total of Rs. 1200 crore have been directly deposited into the bank accounts of these farmers.
34. My Government further procured around 1 crore 25 lakh quintals of cotton under the Minimum Support Price Scheme and paid Rs.7097 crore to around 5 lakh farmers. Similarly, 23 lakh 52 thousand quintals of chana was purchased from 1 lakh 34 thousand farmers at a cost of Rs. 1,148 crore. Overall, my Government has paid more than Rs. 9,445 crore to farmers last year.
35. My Government has provided financial assistance upto Rs. 10 lakh to women and children who are raped and acid attack victims under the “Manodhairya” Scheme.
36. My Government has provided one per cent reservation in education and employment to orphan children.
37. The State faced multiple natural disasters from Taukte cyclone to massive floods in Ratnagiri, Raigad and other areas. These claimed 461 lives and destroyed public property worth more than Rs. 7,360 crore. My Government’s response was quick and effective and made available Rs. 15,000 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund and an additional Rs. 5,500 crore from the State budget.
38. My Government has also sanctioned a package of Rs. 3,200 crore for the Konkan Region to create infrastructure to protect against future natural disasters.
39. My Government has disbursed Rs. 200 crore as top up subsidy under the “Shashwat Krishi Sinchan Yojana” to the farmers who have installed micro irrigation units.
40. My Government has established the Maharashtra Organic Certification Agency at Akola for certification of organic agricultural produce of farmers.
41. My Government has sanctioned Rs. 500 crore for celebrating “Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav”. My Government has organized the highest number of events in the country at the Gram Panchayat level under “Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav”.
42. This year, on the occasion of “Azaadi ka Amrut Mahostav”, the Central Government celebrated Good Governance Week from 20th to 25th December, 2021. It is laudatory that my Government has been ranked second in the country for the year 2019-20 and 2020-21 as per the Central Government’s Good Governance Index Report.
43. My Government has approved a project worth Rs. 5,000 crore financed through Asian Development Bank. Under this scheme, around 1,000 k.m. of roads will be upgraded and concretized. The second phase of the project has also been approved under which another 2,000 k.m. will be upgraded at the cost of Rs. 10,000 crore.
44. Hybrid Annuity Scheme is being implemented for development of 8654 k.m. of roads. Total 138 packages have been formulated under Hybrid Annuity Scheme and construction of 3675 k.m. of roads has been completed.
45. My Government has completed 77 per cent of the construction of the 701 k.m. long “Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg”. My Government has decided to extend this highway from Nagpur to Gondia and from Gadchiroli to Nagpur.
46. My Government has also undertaken the completion of the four-laning and concretisation of the Coastal Highway from Revas in Raigad District to Redi in Sindhudurg District.
47. My Government has completed 50 per cent work on coastline project in Mumbai and this ambitious project will help to speed up and streamline traffic in Mumbai.
48. My Government has undertaken land acquisition for Pune City Ring Road.
49. Despite schools being closed due to Covid-19 pandemic, my Government continued education of children under the “Majhe Vidhyarthi, Majhi Jababdari” and “Abhyasamala” initiative. Subject-wise content was circulated via the DIKSHA app for 1st to 12th standard on a daily basis. In the year 2020-21, Maharashtra State ranked first in the country in the use of the DIKSHA app.
50. Under the “Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan”, my Government has distributed free textbooks to students from 1st to 8th standard at their homes before commencement of school. Bi-lingual text books are being introduced in all schools.
51. 488 local authorities’ schools are being developed as model schools in the State.
52. My Government has set up centers for technology development and technology transfer in six universities of the State to improve research capacity. Three Cluster Universities, two new model degree colleges and a new Government Engineering College are being set up in the State.
53. My Government has successfully implemented the Forest Rights Act, 2006. So far, 1,92,845 individual forest rights claims covering 1,82,483 hectares of land as well as 8,220 community forest rights claims covering 12,73,797 hectares of land have been approved.
54. My Government has raised the annual income limit for families of minority community students pursuing higher education from Rs. 2 lakh 50 thousand to Rs. 8 lakh for free hostel facilities. My Government has also started a pre-recruitment residential training scheme for candidates belonging to minority communities for recruitment to the police constabulary.
55. My Government has decided to distribute hard copies of digitally signed saat bara extracts free of cost.
56. My Government has launched the ePeekPahani project in the State from August 15 and so far more than 95 lakh farmers have registered online for crop inspection through mobile app.
57. My Government has completed around 1 lakh 50 thousand farm ponds under the “Farm Ponds on Demand” Scheme as per the EGS related Orchard Scheme. Rs. 50 crore for the rejuvenation of flora damaged due to Nisarg Cyclone was provided.
58. My Government sanctioned 13 schemes for the development of the Dhangar community. This year, 5,300 Dhangar community students have been given admission in reputed English residential schools.
59. My Government has decided to celebrate a “Shourya Din” at Koregaon-Bhima on 1st January every year.
60. My Government has undertaken redevelopment of B.D.D. Chawls at Worli, N.M. Joshi Marg and Naigaon in Mumbai. Tenements of 500 square feet area will be allotted to approximately 15,500 tenants who are residing in the B.D.D. Chawl.
61. My Government has implemented “the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)” in 391 cities and towns in the State. Under the scheme 15 lakh 38 thousand dwelling units have been sanctioned. So far my Government has released Rs. 1,739 crore as the State’s share for the Scheme.
62. My Government has decided to exempt property tax on residential flats having carpet area up to 500 Square Feet in Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation Area.
63. My Government has implemented the Integrated Development Control and Promotion Regulation in the State and this will make easier for the citizen in the State to obtain housing permission.
64. It is a great pleasure to announce that, Maharashtra ranked second in the Urban Clean Survey Campaign in 2021.
65. My Government has completed 9 projects under “the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana” and 2 lakh 64 thousand hectare of irrigation capacity has been created. Under “the Baliraja Jalsanjivani Yojana”, 19 projects have been completed, creating 3 lakh 77 thousand hectare of irrigation capacity.
66. My Government has commissioned 34 hydropower projects with a total installed capacity of 2636 MW and 39 small hydropower projects through privatization with a total installed capacity of 160 MW.
67. Under “the Jal Jeevan Mission”, my Government has provided 97 lakh 58 thousand house hold tap connections in rural areas.
68. My Government approved financial participation for the Pune-Nashik Semi High-Speed Railway Project.
69. Financial assistance of Rs. 1500 to each auto rickshaw driver was given during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
70. In the last Session, the State Legislature has passed the SHAKTI Bill providing stringent punishment to prevent offences against women and children and speedy investigation and speedy trial of such cases.
71. My Government has established a District and Additional Sessions Court and Civil Court (Senior Division) at Vadgaon-Maval and a Family Court at Alibaug.
72. My Government has made amendments to the Maharashtra Official Languages Act, making the use of Marathi in all Government Departments compulsory. A State Level Committee and several District Level Committees have been established to monitor work related to Marathi language.
Hon’ble Members, in this session, budget proposals for the new financial year, Appropriation Bills and other legislations will be put forth for your consideration. I am confident that, Hon’ble Members will participate and give their well-considered inputs on those proposals to propel Maharashtra towards greater prosperity.
Once again, I extend my warm greetings.
JAI HIND! JAI MAHARASHTRA!