Mumbai: The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has kicked off preparing a status paper on Maharashtra economy and sought from details with regard to subsidies, concessions, waiver given during the BJP-led government between 2014 and 2019 from all its departments.
The state departments have been directed to furnish details on stamp duty amnesty scheme, energy subsidies to power looms and agriculture consumers, revised administrative approvals for irrigation projects and the Rs2 increase in VAT per litre on auto fuel named as “drought cess”' to mop up Rs1,600 crore.
A Finance department bureaucrat told FPJ, “The status paper on the Maharashtra economy is essential as the previous BJP-led government painted a rosy picture with its repeated resolve to achieve $1 trillion economy by 2025 from the present level of $475 billion.
However, the economic slowdown has raised doubts over the state achieving the two-digit growth, which is predicted flat at 7.5% while there is a drastic fall in agriculture growth.”
He informed that the state debt has soared to Rs6.71 lakh crore; of this, Rs4.71 lakh crore is the state debt and Rs2 lakh crore is off-budget borrowings by various undertakings such as Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Maharashtra State Road Development Authority and City and Industrial Development Authority. These off budget borrowings are backed up by the assets of undertakings and the state government.
Further, the Congress and the NCP had taken a serious objection to the BJP’s move to give its nod for revised administrative approvals (RAPs) for 133 irrigation projects worth Rs20,000 crore.
After coming to power, the MVA government has stayed RAPs worth Rs6,144 crore given to five irrigation projects by the previous BJP government in the run-up to the state assembly election.
“'There are 412 irrigation projects pending for completion. So, information from the water resources department will be useful to complete them in a time-bound manner with the mobilisation of resources,” the bureaucrat said.
The BJP government on March 1, 2019 had announced an amnesty scheme regarding the penalty to be levied for insufficient payment of stamp duty made in the past. The scheme is available only for certain real estate transactions.
“However, the scheme failed to take off due to procedural hassles. The details are sought from the revenue department to decide its fate. Furthermore, slump in the real estate has impacted stamp duty and registration charges.
So, the data from the revenue department and Inspector General of Registration will give the present situation and the roadmap,” the bureaucrat said.
As far as the power sector is concerned, the state run Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company’s (Maha Vitaran) arrears from the agriculture consumers have increased to more than Rs 25,000 crore impacting its operations.
The power department is expected to give action plan to expedite recovery and financial restructuring of MahaVitaran.
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