Maharashtra Budget 2018-19: The Maharashtra Budget 2018-19 seems to be inspired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’ with allocations spanning across all sections. The penultimate budget of the BJP-led Maharashtra government makes a conscious effort to cheer the farmers and the youths and ensure the welfare of each section of the society though with limited allocations. The fourth budget of the current Devendra Fadnavis government presented by the state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar can be categorised as a populist budget, as is evident with the allocations to different sections.
Along with big announcements, Mungantiwar also stated the current state of the economy. He informed the House that 5.32 lakh new taxpayers have been registered in Maharashtra under GST. He added that 10 lakh bogus ration cards have also been cancelled. Coming to the revenue deficit, he said it is estimated around Rs15,375 crore for fiscal 2018-19.
Maharashtra Budget 2018-19: Top announcements
RURAL ECONOMY: A subsidy of Rs 922 crore to provide wheat and rice at Rs 2 per kg and Rs 3 per kg, respectively, to farmers in the 14 suicide-hit districts. An Agricultural Produce Mortgage Scheme will be implemented across the state. Under this, warehouses will be constructed in villages. A generous allocation of Rs 750 crore has been made for the construction of agriculture pumps. Rs 100 crore have been set aside to promote organic farming and Rs 8,233 crore allotted to irrigation projects. A toll-free helpline, Mahasamadhan, will be set up for farmers to avail information on seeds, fertilisers, policies.
INFRASTRUCTURE: A provision of Rs 2,215.85 crore for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, which will be implemented with some changes. There will be rebates on interest rates. Rs175 crore set aside for construction of 1.59 lakh houses in urban areas. Rs 7,502 crore has been approved for the Bandra-Versova sea link. Besides, 6.33 lakh public toilet blocks will be constructed in urban areas and 21.03 lakh blocks in rural areas, under the Swachh Maharashtra initiative. Rs 100 crore provision has been made for upgradation of Nagpur airport. An amount of Rs 10,828 crore allocated for construction and repairs of roads; Rs 2,255 crore budgeted for state roads under the public works department.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP: A policy to promote start-ups announced. It envisages Rs 5,000 crore seed money investment that will be budgeted over next five years until 2022. The state will provide 80 per cent grant to those seeking international patents, up to Rs 10 lakh, and national patents up to Rs 2 lakh, as part of its start-up policy. To encourage entrepreneurship, financial assistance to Annasaheb Patil Arthik Vikas Mahamandal increased from Rs 50 crore to Rs 400 crore. Special policy to increase women entrepreneurs in state from 9 per cent to 20 per cent.
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: Maharashtra has around 1.9 million state government posts, but nearly 2 lakh of these positions are vacant and won’t be factored in when the pay scales are revised upwards. The state also has to account for revised pensions to 6.5 lakh retired employees. Mungantiwar said the seventh pay panel’s recommendations would increase the state’s overall wage bill by Rs21,530 crore per annum. In addition, the state will also have to make budgetary provisions for the arrears of around Rs50,000 crore since the pay panel’s award is to be implemented from 1 January 2016. Maharashtra’s 2017-18 budget showed a revenue deficit of Rs4,511 crore. The state’s overall borrowing has crossed Rs4 trillion, though Fadnavis and Mungantiwar insist it is well within the limits prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India and that the funds raised are being deployed into the creation of long-term capital assets for the state.
SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Skill development training to be imparted to 10.31 lakh youngsters over five years. Rs 50 crore allotted for competitive training centres, which will be set up in all districts so as to train students for competitive exams. Six new skill universities to be set up in state. Grant doubled to Rs50 lakh for Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan and Natya Sammelan.
Skill development centre to be set up for students aspiring to go abroad for education & employment.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) March 9, 2018
TOURISM: Rs 120 crore budgeted for forest tourism. Rs 20 crore allocated for upgradation of Gorewada zoo in Nagpur.
SECURITY: A new system will be established to manage complaints made at police stations. Rs 25 crore earmarked for Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), for better tracking of crimes and criminals.
MINORITIES: Rs 350 crore allocated for the welfare of minority communities.
MARGINALISED: Mobile stalls to be given to physically challenged people for free so they can earn their livelihood. Rs 8,900 crore allocated for tribal development schemes.