Amidst rising revenue and fiscal deficits and constraints on the availability of funds for capital expenditure and spend on welfare schemes, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government will present the maiden Budget for 2020-21 on March 6 in the budget session. The Business Advisory Committees (BACs) of the state assembly and council on Monday decided the schedule for the Budget session which will begin on February 24 and conclude on March 20. BACs decided to meet again on March 9 or 10 to take a final decision.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who handles the finance and planning departments, will present the budget in the state assembly.
MVA assumed the office when the BJP-led government in the additional budget for 2019-20 presented in June last year had estimated revenue deficit of Rs 20,293 crore, fiscal deficit of Rs 61,670 crore and debt at a record Rs 6.81 lakh crore comprising Rs 2 lakh crore of off budget borrowings by the various state undertakings.
The department of finance has projected that the revenue deficit is expected to increase to Rs 43,000 crore and fiscal deficit to soar to Rs 80,000 crore. This is largely due to the supplementary demands of over Rs 16,000 crore and the crop loan waiver scheme of Rs 21,710 crore.
Moreover, the government is struggling to get tax dues of Rs 15,000 crore from the Centre. The Centre has released Rs 4,000 crore of the total Rs 8,000 crore towards GST compensation.
Pawar has held meetings with almost all departments seeking their financial needs. Further, he also made all the district guardian ministers to finalise the development plan for the respective districts. Pawar will have to strive to mobilize funds during the current economic slowdown for slew of infrastructure and irrigation projects and also for the revival of agriculture which is passing through distress due to drought, floods and untimely rains.