From healthcare and railways to projects for Mumbai development  - Key takeaways from Maharashtra Budget 2021

Amid ongoing coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance and planning department, on Monday presented annual budget for 2021-22 with an estimated revenue deficit Rs 10,226 crore and fiscal deficit of Rs 66,641 crore. Pawar however, hopes to mop up Rs 1,800 crore through his tax proposals.

The state had estimated a revenue collection of Rs 3,47,457 crore in 2020-21 budget. Due to Rs 14,366 crore reduction in state share tax received from central government this year, revised target of revenue collection is fixed at Rs 2,89,428 crore. The budget estimate of total expenditure for the year 2020-21 was Rs 4,04,385 crore but the revised estimate is now Rs 3,79,504 crore for the same in 2021-22.

In the budget of 2021-22, revenue collection is estimated at Rs 3,68,987 crore and revenue expenditure at Rs 3,79,213 crore. The revenue deficit is pegged at Rs 10,226 crore and fiscal deficit at Rs 66,641 crore. The government has made a provision of Rs 58,748 crore.

Here are the highlights of the state budget

Tax Proposals

Pawar in the annual budget for 2021-22 has estimated tax revenue of Rs 2,18,263 crore. This includes revised estimates of Rs 1,84,519 crore on account of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Value Added Tax (VAT), Central Sales Tax (CST), Profession Tax (PT) and other important taxes.

‘’Considering the Current economic slowdown in the National and the State economy, it will be not easy to achieve the revised revenue estimates as above. However, the Government will make full efforts to achieve the revised target in revenue collection,’’ said Pawar.

The Global pandemic of “Covid-19” has affected the State economy unprecedentedly in the last year. As a result industry, service and other sectors of the State have been severely impacted.

However, despite slowdown in the economy, keeping women as a focal point, Pawar has proposed concession in stamp duty for property registration made in the name of women. ‘’On the International Women’s Day, I propose concession in Stamp Duty of 1 Percent over the prevailing rate exclusively to Women, provided the transfer of house property or registration of sale deed is in the name of woman or women only,’’ he said.

Due to the above tax concession, there will be revenue shortfall of around Rs 1,000 crore.

In addition, Pawar has proposed an increase in State Excise Duty on Liquor.

It is decided to classify country liquor into two separate categories as branded and non-branded country liquour, while increasing State Excise Duty to Rs 220 percent of manufacturing cost or Rs187 per proof litre whichever is high on branded country liquor only. Due to this, the State is estimated to get additional revenue of Rs 800 crore.

Further, Pawar has proposed to increase the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) on the sale of liquor as prescribed in Schedule-B of Value Added Tax Act from the existing 60 percent to 65 percent. He has also propose to increase the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) on the sale of liquor as prescribed in Section 41 (5) of Value Added Tax Act from the existing 35 percent to 40 percent. ‘’Due to this, the State is estimated to get additional revenue of Rs 1,000 crore,’’ he said.

Budget Proposals

Despite passing from a critical financial crunch, as expected Pawar has laid focus on health, woman and child welfare, infrastructure development, agriculture, irrigation among other things in his budget. His budget presentation coincided with the International Women’s Day as he has announced a slew of welfare and empowerment schemes.

Under the Rajmata Jijau Griha-Swamini Yojna, 1% concession will be given in stamp duty if the registration of the property in the name of the lady of the house.

The Krantijyoti Sawitribai Phule scheme includes free travel for girl students in rural areas, from their villages to the schools by the Maharashtra State Transport buses. The state will provide 1500 environment friendly CNG and Hybrid buses to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation on priority basis.

Additional special buses for women under the “Tejasvini Yojna” for easy and safe travel of women in metro cities. Further, for scheme to empower women and children it has been decided to reserve 3% funds from the District Plan. The government has decided to form the first women battalion of the State Reserve Police Force in the state.

He has proposed an allocation of Rs 2,247 crores to Women and Child Development Department for scheme expenditure.

Health & Medical Education

An outlay of Rs. 2,961 crore is proposed to Public health department for Scheme expenditure and Rs 5,994.28 crore for committed expenditure. An allocation of Rs 1,517 crore is proposed to Medical education department for Scheme expenditure and Rs 4,024.63 crore for committed expenditure.

A project costing about Rs 7500 crore has been prepared to provide quality health care and treatment to the people by constructing and upgrading health institutions under the Public Health Department and it will be completed in the next four years. The proposal includes construction of district hospital, psychiatric, trauma care center, primary health center and sub-center, upgrading and construction of taluka level hospital.

It has been decided to set up new Government Medical Colleges at Sinnhudurg, Osmanabad, Nashik, Raigad and Satara. Medical colleges will also be set up at Parbhani and Amravati. Due to upgradation of government medical colleges in the state and the newly established government colleges will increase the number of seats by 1,990 at the degree level, 1,000 at the post-graduate level and 200 by specialists.

Infrastructure Development

The gross state domestic product of Maharashtra has declined by 8%. To strengthen the economy, Pawar has laid emphasis is on infrastructural projects in addition to welfare schemes. Further, special focus has been given to push development of infrastructure projects in Mumbai in view of the ensuing elections to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation slated for 2022. An outlay of Rs. 12,950 crore is proposed to Public Works Department for road development and Rs 946 crore Public Works Department for building for scheme expenditure.

Jalna-Nanded Expressway Connector- The work of Hindu Heart Emperor Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samrudhi Highway has been completed 44% and out of 701 km length, 500 km length Nagpur to Shirdi route will be opened for traffic on Maharashtra Day 01 May 2021. To give benefit for development of Nanded, Hingoli, Parbhani and Jalna districts of Marathwada, New work of Nanded- Jalna Expressway Connector is being undertaken, estimated cost of Rs 7,000 crore.

Enhancement of Yashwantrao Chavan Expressway: On the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, two and a half kilometers of underpasses and two bridges of two kilometers length, are under construction and is planned to be completed by December 2022. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 6,695 crore.

Marine Highway - Rewas in Raigad district to Reddy in Sindhudurg district, a marine highway of 540 kilometer is an alternative to the Mumbai-Goa highway and known as the development route of the Konkan is taken up. Estimated cost of the project is Rs 9,573 crore.

Pune Ring Route - A large number of passengers and goods are transported from other parts of the state as well as from the Konkan, Marathwada and North Maharashtra via Pune. This puts a huge strain on the traffic in Pune city. To avoid this, it is necessary to undertake the construction of a ring road around Pune in order to save fuel and time. For this, work of Pune Ring Route will be taken on an eight-lane circular road with an estimated cost of Rs. 26,000 crore, which is about 170 km long. The land acquisition work will be undertaken this year.

Vilasrao Deshmukh Eastern Free Way-Eastern Free way is connector of South Mumbai- East Suburbs , the route is being renamed as Vilasrao Deshmukh Eastern Freeway.

Financial Development Corporation - A total length of 3 lakh 3 thousand 842 km of National Highways, State Highways, other district roads and rural roads have been developed. A Financial Development Corporation will be set up under the Public Works Department to raise funds for their timely improvement and regular maintenance.

Asian Development Bank Assisted Road Development- In the first phase, roads of estimated cost Rs. 5,689 crore have been undertaken with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank. In the year 2021-22, roads of estimated cost of Rs. 5,000 crore will be undertaken through external assistance.

Pawar has proposed an allocation of Rs 7,350 crore is proposed to Rural Development Department for scheme expenditure.

Mumbai Projects

The government aims to provide transport facilities of international standards in Mumbai. I proposes to complete the Shivdi-Nhava Sheva project till September 2022.

A four-lane flyover is under construction to connect Bandra-Worli sea link to Shivdi-Nhava Sheva Trans -harbor link which is likely to be completed in coming three years.

The land acquisition for 126 k.m. “Virar-Alibaug Multimodal Corridor” by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, worth Rs. 40,000 Crores, is in progress for connecting the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Navi Mumbai Airport and Shivdi-Nhava Sheva Trans -harbor link. It will be helpful for the development of Virar, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Panvel, Uran, Pen and Alibaug cities.

The construction work of the “Thane Coastal Road” , 15 k.m. long and 40 meters wide, parallel to Thane Creek is in progress which is likely to cost Rs. 1,250 crores.

The construction of flyovers at Mumbra Bypass Junction, Shil Kalyan Phata, Shil Phata and Kalyan Phata Junction and widening of highway and also construction of an underpass at Kalyan Phata are in progress.

The Maharashtra Government has decided to utilize the waterways around Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai for the purpose of water transport. Vasai to Kalyan water transport service will be made available in the first phase. For this purpose, jetties will be constructed at four places namely Kolshet, Kalher, Dombivli and Mira-Bhayandar.

Internal transport services in Mumbai city You might be aware that the Bandra-Versova sea link work has already started. The project length is 17.17 kms and estimated cost is Rs. 11,333 crores. The estimated cost of Bandra-Versova-Virar sea link is Rs. 42,000 crores and the feasibility report has been prepared. The detailed project report is under preparation.

The work of 14 metro lines, which is 337 k.m. long, with estimated expenditure of 1 lac 20 thousand 814 crores is in progress. The works of these 14 metro lines at various stages of completion. The works of Metro-lines - 2A and 7 will be completed by 2021. The estimated cost of Goregaon-Mulund link road is Rs. 6600 crores and the tender work is in process. The Mumbai costal road project is progressing rapidly and it is planned to complete before 2024. At present, the tunnel work of this project in south Mumbai is in progress. The work of seven rail-over bridges in Mumbai, are in progress.

Agriculture & allied activities

The government has proposed an outlay of an outlay of Rs 3274 crore is proposed to Department of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Business and Fisheries for scheme expenditure. ‘’In the year 2020-21, despite the deficit growth in the industry and services sector, the agriculture and allied sectors grew by a 11.7 per cent. In adverse situation Agriculture has helped the state's economy to recover. We are consciously striving for a substantial increase in the productivity of farmers in the state. Transactions in the field of agricultural commodities should be done in a transparent manner and they should get fair prices. Our government is striving for this,’’ said Pawar.

Paying interest on crop loans was also often a problem for farmers. Keeping in view the objective to free the farmers from interest burden and preventing them from turning defaulter, the government has decided to provide zero percent interest loans to farmers who take crop loans up to a limit of Rs 3 lakhs and timely repayment. The amount of interest on crop loan will be paid by the government on behalf of the farmers. The required funds will be provided by the government.

Strengthening of Agricultural Produce Market Committee - Farmers in the State often bring their agricultural produce for sale in the premises of the Market Committees. Most of the premises of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee lack the necessary basic facilities for the farmers. It is imperative to provide these facilities. The government has proposed Rs 2,000 crore scheme for Strengthening of Agricultural Produce Market Committee.

Irrigation

The government has proposed an outlay of Rs 12,951 crore for the completion of ongoing and pending irrigation projects.

It has proposed Rs.1000 crore has been proposed for the Gosikhurd National Project which is planned to be completed by the end of December 2023.

In all 278 projects of the Water Resources Department are underway in the state out of which 26 lakh 88 thousand 576 hectares of irrigation capacity is expected to be created. 8 thousand 470 million cubic meters of water storage will be created.

Under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchan Yojana, 26 projects have been undertaken and the revised remaining cost of this project is 21 thousand 698 crore 21 lakhs. It is planned to complete 13 out of 26 projects in the year 2021-22.

Under Baliraja Jalsanjeevani Yojana, 91 projects have been undertaken and the revised cost of these projects is 15 thousand 325 crore 65 lakhs. Out of these, 19 projects have been completed and 1 lakh 2 thousand 779 hectares of irrigation capacity has been created. The Water Resources Department is proposing to borrow Rs 15,000 crore loan for other irrigation projects which are being completed.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in