Maharashtra: Ajit Pawar announces sops for farmers, women and youth in election year budget

Ajit Pawar announced that electricity bill dues of 44 lakh farmers will be waived.
Maharashtra Dy CM Ajit Pawar along with Cabinet Minister for Ministry of Education and Ministry of Marathi Deepak Kesarkar arrives to present the State Budget 2024-25 in the Assembly, at Vidhan Bhavan, in Mumbai.
Maharashtra Dy CM Ajit Pawar along with Cabinet Minister for Ministry of Education and Ministry of Marathi Deepak Kesarkar arrives to present the State Budget 2024-25 in the Assembly, at Vidhan Bhavan, in Mumbai.Photo | PTI

MUMBAI: Deputy Chief Minster Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio, on Friday announced several sops in the election year budget presented by him during the ongoing Monsoon Session.

Given the setback suffered by the BJP-led Mahayuti in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, Pawar announced sops for farmers, women and youth.

Taking a cue from Madhya Pradesh, he announced the Maji Ladki Bahin Yojana under which eligible women 21 to 60 years would get Rs 1,500 per month.

He also announced 'Pink E-Rickshaw' scheme for women which envisages provision of e-rickshaw for women.

The ‘Mukhyamantri Annapurna’ scheme envisages 3 free gas cylinders annually to a family of 5.

The 'Mukhyamantri Majhi Ladaki Bahin Yojana’ would provide Rs 1,500 to women between the age group of 21 to 60 years.

Further, the finance minister announced that over two lakh female students belonging to other backward classes and economically weaker sections will get financial assistance from the state government. The scheme will be implemented from the academic year 2024-25.

Funds for women SHGs have been raised from Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000.

Ajit Pawar said that a bonus of Rs 5,000 per hectare would be provided to all farmers for their cotton and soybean crops.

He said electricity bill dues of 44 lakh farmers will be waived.

The government has proposed to reduce the current tax on diesel from 24% to 21% in the areas coming under municipal corporation of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. Besides, the current tax rate on petrol and diesel will be reduced so that petrol would get cheaper by 65 paise and diesel by Rs 2.07 paise in Mumbai metropolitan region.

The 2024-25 budget included a total provision of Rs 6,12,293 crore. Revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 4,99,463 crore, while revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs 5,19,514 crore. An annual plan program expenditure of Rs 1,92,000 crore is proposed, with allocations of Rs 15,893 crore for Scheduled Caste sub-plans, Rs 15,360 crore for tribal development sub-plans, and Rs 18,165 crore for district annual plans. The revenue deficit is Rs 20,051 crore, and the fiscal deficit is Rs 1,10,355 crore.

The oppositions equated this election year budget with the one presented before the Lok Sabha polls.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray said that people of Maharashtra would reject this budget just as they did Modi's guarantee.

"People of Maharashtra rejected Modi's guarantee, so there is no question that they will trust in this government, which is unconstitutional, and its budget, " he said.


Some Highlights

*'Mukhyamantri Varkari Sampradaya Mahamandal' declared for Warkari folk to celebrate the glorious spiritual and cultural tradition of Maharashtra.

*Financial allocation of Rs 20,000 per march (dindi) for the main palanquins of Wari.

*'Mukhyamantri Majhi Ladki Bahin Yojana' to provide Rs 1500 per month to eligible women aged 21 to 60.

*'Punyashlok Ahilya Devi Startup Scheme' for Small Women entrepreneurs.

*Up to Rs 15 lakh loans and interest repayment scheme for small women entrepreneurs.

*Full reimbursement of educational and examination fees for all vocational courses in engineering, materials science, pharmacy, medicine, and agriculture to OBC and economically backward section girls from the current year.

*Announcement of 'Mukhya Mantri Yuva Karyaprashikesh Yojana' to provide on-the-job training and education stipend up to Rs.10,000 per month to 1 lakh youths of Maharashtra.

*Scholarships for Minority Students for Foreign Study.

*Organising Annual Coronation Ceremony in Raigad to celebrate Shivaji Rajyabhishek.

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