Uddhav Thackeray and Ajit Pawar
Uddhav Thackeray and Ajit Pawar

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds department of planning and finance, on Friday presented annual budget for 2020-21 with revenue deficit of Rs 9,511 crore against Rs 20,293 crore estimated in 2019-20. The government has estimated revenue receipts of Rs 3,47,457 crore and revenue expenditure of Rs 3,56,968 crore leaving a revenue deficit of Rs 9,511 crore. However, the state government, despite present economic slowdown and constraints in the availability of funds, has provided funds on a priority basis for employment generation, infrastructure development in urban and rural areas including roads and highways, irrigation development including statewide drip irrigation.

''In current economic slowdown it is inevitable to provide for expenditure on schemes related to people welfare and stimulus to the state economy hence ensuing revenue deficit may be viewed favourably,'' said Pawar.

The government, in a bid to give a much-needed push to the ailing housing sector, has proposed one per cent cut for the next two years in the stamp duty and other related charges applicable for registration of documents in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and also in the areas of Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur municipal corporations.

Further, the government, in a bid to attract industrial investments and help the present industrial units to stay afloat in the crushing slowdown, has proposed reduction in the Electricity Duty on industrial use to 7.5% from 9.3% of the consumption charges.

In the wake of rising danger of global warming and climate change, the government has proposed to levy additional VAT of Re 1 per litre on the sale of petrol and diesel. The government hopes to mop up an additional Rs 1,800 crore in 2020-21. The additional mobilisation of funds would be transferred in the Green Fund which will be used for environment conservation.

The government has announced additional crop loan waiver scheme. In respect of farmers who have an outstanding amount of principal and interest of crop loan taken during April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2019 up to Rs 2 lakh, the government will pay them Rs 2 lakh after the outstanding amount above Rs 2 lakh is deposited in the bank.

In respect of crop loan taken into 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20, Rs 50,000 will be given as an incentive to those farmers who have taken crop loan during 2018-19 and made regular repayment up to June 30, 2020. However, if the amount of crop loan and completed fully repaid crop loan is less than Rs 50,000, incentive benefit will be given equivalent to the amount of loan.

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