Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Maharashtra budget focuses on farmers, job creation, infrastructure

State finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and minister for state for finance Deepak Kesarkar arrive at Vidhan Bhavan Mumbai on Friday afternoon to present the state budget Maharashtra budget focuses on farmers, job creation, infrastructure
Anna Jefferson | 10 March, 2018, 15:34

However, with a burden of Rs 13,782 crore owing to the loan waiver for farmers in Maharashtra, the deficit might touch Rs 34,000 crore, aggravating the state's financial woes in the future. The work order for Shivaji memorial was issued a few days back.

Even as it managed to increase the budget outlay for development programmes by almost 23 per cent to Rs 95,000 crore in 2018-19, the Maharashtra government expects planning agencies to bear the financial burden of its various infrastructure projects.

While he made a provision of Rs 10,828 crore for road development, the finance minister said the government was evaluating a proposal to ascertain financial participation of local bodies and authorities in such projects.

Maharashtra's economic survey for 2017-18, tabled on Thursday, estimates that the farm sector's growth will contract by 8.3% in the current fiscal. The Budget document concedes that off-budget borrowings for infrastructure projects may result in a substantial increase in the contingent liabilities of the state, but defends the move.

Maharashtra finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar (left) with MoS (finance) Deepak Kesarkar at the state assembly in Mumbai on Friday before presenting the Maharashtra budget.

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It may be noted that the Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra had announced a conditional farm loan waiver of Rs. 34,000 crore in June previous year .

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"This will be achieved by increasing growth in sectors like agriculture, textiles, tourism, start-ups and by investing in industry with requisite skill development support", he added. "I shall try to minimise the deficit by reducing avoidable expenditure and effective recovery of revenue".

The Rs 46,000-crore project will be implemented by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). The Jalyukta Shivar scheme has been allocated Rs1,500 crore for 2018-19. The expenditure on the scheme was Rs 643 crore in 2016-2017 despite higher allocations. The BJP said that many works had remained incomplete during the tenure of Congress NCP government. The number of vehicles stood at 25,859 per one lakh population.

- In the magnetic Maharashtra summit, total 4,108 proposals with an investment of Rs 12.07 lakh crore and proposed employment of 36.77 lakh were signed.

The Supreme Court decision to ban bars within 500 metres from highways hit the state excise department hard. Real estate seems to be regaining buoyancy with revised estimates for revenue under "stamps and registration fees" up by Rs 2,100 crore, taking the total amount to Rs 23,100 crore.

State's fiscal managers said that as part of the new expenditure policy, the government aims at availing sizeable off-budget external commercial borrowings for infrastructure projects relating to mass urban transport systems. The project would be completed in 30 months from the start, he said.

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