Maharashtra: Opposition slams state on economy ‘slide’

Mumbai: Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde on Sunday slammed Maharashtra government over the “slide” in the state’s economy and demanded a white-paper over it. Quoting a report of the Finance Commission, Munde said the state’s tax revenue has decreased by over 9 per cent between 2009-13 and 2014-17. “There should be a white-paper published over the state’s faltering economy. Our previous demands made in the state Legislature have been ignored. The government does a jugglery of figures every time and hides the truth,” Munde said.

He said Rs 12000 crore allotted by the Centre had remained unused and thus had to be returned back. “The Finance commission’s report has laid bare all the facts now. How has revenue declined in the last 4 years when the government has levied a huge number of taxes all these years?” he questioned. Munde said he will move a breach of privilege motion against the Finance minister for “lying” on the floor of the House.

A release issued by the PIB on Saturday stated the Finance Commission will visit Maharashtra from September 17-19 and Intra state disparity and issues related to urbanisation will be focussed. It also stated that the state could not maintain the momentum of growth of revenue receipts during 2009-13 to 2014-17. The trend growth declined from 17.69 per cent during 2009-13 to 11.05 per cent in 2014-17.

The trend growth of state’s own tax revenue declined from during 19.44 per cent in 2009-13 to 8.16 per cent in 2014-17, it added. Responding to the Finance ministry’s observations, Minister of State for Finance Deepak Kesarkar said the government has taken several measures, including the farm loan waiver and infrastructure projects, which has put a toll on the state’s treasury.

“Maharashtra is one of those states which are most disadvantaged by GST as it is a manufacturing state. Yet, Maharashtra has the highest per capita income,” he said. Kesarkar said around 40-45 per cent of the state’s income is spent on education and that the government did not let infrastructure projects suffer while trying to increase the revenues and bridge revenue deficit. He further said the govt will appeal to the Centre for a special package for Vidarbha and Marathwada.

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