In a meeting with the 15th Finance Commission, the Maharashtra government Wednesday sought Rs 50,000 crore as a special support for the Mumbai city and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). "Mumbai is the backbone of our economy. We must strengthen Mumbai's infrastructure. We need to acknowledge the importance of Mumbai in the nation's GDP," Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in a memorandum to the commission. Demanding Rs 50,000 crore for Mumbai and the MMR (which includes surrounding townships), he also sought special grants of Rs 32,327 crore for various other development projects. Of these Rs 32,327 crore, Rs 25,000 crore would be needed to improve living standards in the economically backward Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, he said. The demand for special grants included Rs 1,400 crore for environmental management, Rs 200 crore for ecosystem conservation and protection and wetland conservation, Rs 1,000 crore for conservation and protection of rivers and Rs 200 crore for coastal biodiversity conservation. The chief minister demanded Rs 825 crore for preservation for culture and heritage, Rs 600 crore for conservation, repairs and development of protected monuments and museums, Rs 100 crore for conservation of forts and Rs 125 crore for upgradation of auditoriums and theatres. He demanded a special grant of Rs 1,177 crore for conservation of forests, wildlife and for increasing the green cover and mangrove development. The government also sought Rs 1,700 crore for strengthening judicial administration including renovation of court buildings. "Maharashtra is the growth engine of the nation and so we need more share (in tax revenue) for India to grow fast," Fadnavis said. The chief minister also demanded an incentive for the state which boasts of the highest tree cover in non-forested areas in the country. He suggested use of rural data from the Socio-Economic Caste Survey to measure deprivation, and factor it in the devolution formula of the Finance Commission. Apart from Fadnavis, state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, revenue minister Chandrakant Patil and other ministers Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, Ram Shinde and Deepak Kesarkar also attended the meeting with commission members here. The Finance Commission is set up every five years to decide the sharing of tax resources between the Centre and states. The 15th Finance Commission headed by N K Singh was on a three-day visit to the state from September 17.