Maharashtra presents Rs 15374cr revenue deficit budget; focus

Maharashtra Economic Survey: Over 48000 children out of school

Maharashtra Economic Survey: Over 48000 children out of school

Similarly, the Gross State Value Added (GSVA) has dipped sharply to 6.6 per cent from 9.9 per cent in the same period. Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Friday presented the state budget for 2018-19 which has an estimated revenue deficit of Rs 15,374 crore and claims to be increasing focus on improving infrastructure, boosting agriculture and irrigation facilities and generating employment.

The increase in the debt stock is primarily due to the crop loan waiver scheme worth Rs 34,000 crore announced by the state government previous year, the finance minister pointed out. No new taxes were announced in the budget. The budget allocates almost Rs15,000 crore to heads related to agriculture including irrigation, energization of agricultural pumps, and the state government's flagship programme Jalyukta Shivar, which is an amalgamation of decentralized irrigation and water conservation schemes specifically meant for drought-prone regions. The work order for Shivaji memorial was issued a few days back.

Under MUTP 3A, the Centre has proposed projects worth Rs 54,776 crore.

The finance minister has made no allocation for these projects in the budget. On the Mumbai-Nagpur super communications highway, the FM said that the project will start in April this year. The minister said the MSRDC has also agreed to undertake capacity enhancement of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway at a cost of Rs 4,797 crore apart from executing the Rs 7,502 crore Versova-Bandra Sea Link project. We envision the share of Maharashtra in the national economy to be $1trillion (by 2025).

He said the planned expenditure for 2018-19 has increased by 23.08 per cent, or Rs 17,816 crore, to Rs 95,000 crore from Rs 77,184 crore in 2017-18.

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The budget has allocated Rs 1,500 crore for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' flagship scheme for water conservation Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan.

The Rs 46,000-crore project will be implemented by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). The expenditure on the scheme was Rs 643 crore in 2016-2017 despite higher allocations.

He also pointed out that the state expenditure under 37 heads related to agriculture has increased from Rs 24,712 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 83,184 crore in 2017-18 and said that the trust would remain so in the year to come. The state plans to energize 93,322 agricultural pumps next fiscal at an outlay of Rs750 crore.

The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have pinned the massive deficit on the government's "financial indiscipline". One of the major tasks the finance minister has before him is to increase state income as fiscal space to raise tax revenues has virtually ended after the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST).

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