Maharashtra budget: Govt earmarks ₹22,000 crore for farm loan waiver

Pawar in the presentation highlighted that the economic slowdown in the country has affected the state and that the budget focuses on tackling challenges that arose due to the same

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar after the budget session at Maharashtra Assembly. Photo: PTI

Maharastra Deputy Chief Minister and Finance minister Ajit Pawar on Friday (March 6) presented the maiden budget of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the Legislative Assembly.

Pawar, in the presentation, highlighted that the economic slowdown in the country had affected the state and said the budget focused on tackling challenges that arose due to the same.

The minister presented a revenue deficit budget of ₹9,511 crore and proposed the size of annual plan 2020-21 at ₹1,15,000 crore in the assembly. The budget estimates put the fiscal deficit at ₹54618.38 crore.

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The state allocated a fund of ₹22,000 crore for farm loan waivers for the current financial year. Of these funds, ₹9,000 crore had already been disbursed and rest is under process.

It also makes the farmers who regularly pay their dues entitled to an incentive of ₹ 50,000 for the current year.

Pawar also announced that petrol and diesel will be costlier by ₹1 per litre in Maharashtra due to an increase in the VAT. This measure would help the state exchequer garner an additional ₹1800 crore, the minister said.

Related news: Maharashtra govt funds to be deposited only in PSU banks: Ajit Pawar

The budget also includes a plan to install 5 lakh solar agricultural pumps over the span of the next five years. An outlay of ₹670 crore has been made for the same. Also, ₹2000 crore has been given for the Chief Minister’s Soil and Water Conservations scheme.

The MVA government has poured ₹150 crore in one of the flagship schemes – Shivbhojan Thali – a subsidized food scheme for the poor under which a person can have full meal for ₹10 at designated places between 12 noon and 2 pm.

The number of thalis provided will be increased to one lakh thalis every day.

Focusing on women safety in the state, Pawar announced an amount ₹ 2,100 crore for the Women and Children Welfare department.

“In Every district, one all-women police station will be started soon,” he added.

Education and health sectors have received funds of ₹1,300 and ₹5,000 crore, respectively. He put forth the concept of Model schools in every district. MLA funds also saw a hike of around 50 per cent in this budget raised to ₹3 crore, from previously ₹2 crore.

The state is also trying to revitalize the real estate sector by giving one per cent cut in stamp duty for the next two years. This cut is proposed for Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur only. The state will have to bear the brunt of ₹25,000 crore as a result of this cut.

The MVA also proposed to provide a generous amount of money for tourism, transport, and sports.

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