“ Budget proposes Rs 12,000 crore for irrigation sector, Rs 350 crore for micro-irrigation, Rs 1,000 cr for development of Dhangar community, Rs 200 cr for OBC Corporations, Rs 600 crore for research by four agricultural universities and Rs 100 crore for construction of houses for Divyang ”
MAHARASHTRA Government on Tuesday presented an additional Budget for 2019-20 with a revenue deficit of Rs 20,292.94 crore, higher than last year’s deficit of Rs 14,960.04 crore. The Government has estimated revenue expenditure of Rs 3,34,933.06 crore against revenue receipts of Rs 3,14,640.12 crore, said Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who tabled the Budget proposals in the Legislative Assembly. The Budget, which comes three months before State elections, envisions development of agriculture, irrigation and infrastructure and on welfare of women, backward and other backward classes and tribals. It proposes Rs 12,000 crore for irrigation sector, Rs 350 crore for micro-irrigation, Rs 1,000 crore for development of Dhangar community, Rs 200 crore for OBC Corporations, Rs 600 crore for research by four agricultural universities and Rs 100 crore for construction of houses for Divyang. Insurance cover will be made available to 5.5 crore people under the Gopinath Munde Shetkari Apghat Vima Yojana. The scheme will be expanded with an outlay of Rs 210 crore. Benefits of amnesty scheme would be available in respect of outstanding tax in the ratio of undisputed tax and disputed tax proportionately, the minister said.
The interim Budget presented in February was of Rs 4,03,207 crore and due to new items of expenditure, there was an increase of Rs 1,586 crore, Mungantiwar said. Under the Maharashtra Settlement of Arrears of Tax, Interest, Penalty or Late Fee Ordinance, benefit of amnesty would be available in respect of outstanding tax in the ratio of undisputed tax and disputed tax, proportionately, he said. Regarding the Professional Tax Act, the Minister said the provision for penalty for enrollment holder for late registration has been done away with. Instead, a levy of fixed interest of 1.25 per cent is proposed, he added. Under the Maharashtra Value Added Tax Act, now there is no need to file audit report for dealers having turnover of more than Rs one crore and tax liability of Rs 25,000 or less in a year, he said. The Budget provides for Rs 12,597 crore for water resources department and Rs 600 crore for setting up four agriculture universities.
It proposes to build a memorial for former Prime Minister late Atal Behari Vajpayee in Mumbai while announcing a grant of Rs 150 crore for facilities at the Sir J J School of Art, Architecture and Applied Arts here. An additional Rs 10 crore fund has been provided for Darpankar Balshastri Jambhekar Senior Journalists Pension Scheme. Mungantiwar also proposed Rs 200 crore for OBC corporations in the State. The aid under the social assistance scheme has been raised from Rs 600 to Rs 1,000 for the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana and Shravan Bal Yojana.
Drought-hit Mah farmers given Rs 4,461 crore: Govt
THE Maharashtra Government on Tuesday expressed solidarity with farmers reeling under the impact of severe drought in large parts of the State and said a sum of Rs 4,461 crore has been credited in bank accounts of more than 66 lakh cultivators as part of relief measures. Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, while tabling the additional Budget for 2019-20 in the Assembly, said the sum of Rs 4,461 crore has been credited as a grant in bank accounts of 66,88,422 farmers in 17,985 villages spread over 26 drought -affected districts. He outlined drought mitigation steps undertaken by the Government. The minister said a control room has been set up in each of the Collectorate to tackle the issue of drinking water scarcity. Powers for approval of tankers have been delegated to sub-divisional officers to cut down on delays. Piped water supply schemes in the drought-affected areas, which were closed due to electricity arrears, have been restarted by paying 5 per cent of the pending dues from the scarcity fund, the minister said.
He said as of June 10, 5,243 villages 11,293 huts and settlements are being supplied drinking water through 6,597 tankers. As many as 9,925 wells and borewells have been acquired to augment drinking water supply and an approval has been given to 2,438 temporary water supply schemes, Mungantiwar said. To overcome fodder scarcity, 29.4 lakh metric ton fodder has been produced on 30,000 hectares of galper lands (tracts created by deposition of sediment by rivers).
Due to this, the level of fodder scarcity has come down, the minister told the House, Mungantiwar said. Up to June 10, 1,635 fodder camps have been started, benefitting 11,04,979 animals, he said. For the first time, a decision has been taken to start fodder camps for goats and sheep in the drought-affected district, he said.
Budget will take Mah forward in difficult times: CM
MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday hailed the Budget of his Government as “inclusive” and one that will take the State forward in “difficult times”. The BJP-led Government has been able to retain the growth rate to a great extent despite a drought this year, he said. The Chief Minister also dismissed Opposition legislators’ claim that the budget provisions were “leaked” on Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s Twitter handle before he read out the Budget in the Assembly. “I congratulate Finance Minister for presenting a very balanced budget. This is truly a budget that will take all the sections of Maharashtra forward,” Fadnavis told reporters. “This is a Budget which will take the state forward even during difficult times,” he added. The State’s fiscal situation was better compared to other States, the Chief Minister said. The allocation for irrigation is the highest among the budgets presented to date, he claimed. The Government has carried out impressive work regarding rural roads, water supply and infrastructure development in cities such as Mumbai, Fadnavis said.