Slew of Sops in Cong-NCP’s Last Budget for Maharashtra

He made financial provisions to please the farmers, women as well as the Dalits and announced plans to generate employment and industrialisation in the state.

Published: 06th June 2014 08:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2014 08:41 AM   |  A+A-


MUMBAI: With an eye on the Assembly elections, Maharashtra Finance Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday presented the last Budget of the ruling Congress-NCP Government with a generous dose of sops to keep rural as well as urban population in good humour.

He made financial provisions to please the farmers, women as well as the Dalits and announced plans to generate employment and industrialisation in the state.

In his speech, Ajit mentioned that the state government spent `2,350 crore to help the hailstorm affected farmers.

He announced that the financial assistance to them will be doubled in the immediate future. He also proposed a new deadline of December to clear the dues.

A new scheme has been introduced for women’s safety, under which specially designed light-weight vehicles will be deployed for patrolling to ensure safety.

He also proposed to establish six new courts to deal with cases of atrocities against the Dalits. The state has witnessed 16 such cases against them in the past three months.

He also announced a programme to train 2,035 people from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe for self-employment.

Ajit has tried to please the voters in Mumbai and Konkan by announcing a scheme to generate 21,000 employment opportunities in the region.

He also evoked an emotional issue of erecting a grand statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in the Arabian Sea with a provision of `100 crore.

In order to attract the small scale workers the Budget has raised the income limit to charge profession tax from `5,000 to `7,500.

In an attempt to please the small traders who are demanding to abolish the Local Body Tax (LBT), Ajit has proposed to raise the turnover limit of the traders from `60 lakh to `1 crore for the mandatory audit of their business. An announcement of 10 new mega industrial projects and 400 small industrial projects is a highlight of the Budget.

Ajit claimed that the state has retained its numero uno position in the field of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

“Almost 18 per cent of the FDI in the country is in Maharashtra,” he said. The Budget has predicted that the state’s revenue deficit would be `4,000 crore in the next financial year.

While, state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis made a criticism that Ajit has ignored the financial discipline and the challenges before the state’s economy while presenting the “populist” Budget.


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