Maharashtra Budget 2021: Don’t expect extravaganza budget, says Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar

The Maharashtra government faces a revenue shortfall of Rs 1 lakh crore. Therefore, there is a limited scope for new announcements or an extravaganza budget, announced Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar during his reply to the debate on the Governor BS Koshyari’s address in the state council. Pawar will present the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s second budget on March 8.

Pawar, at the outset, told the house that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and economic downturn the state’s revenue has been heavily impacted and it has brought severe limitations on government expenditure. He, however, said that the government is committed to overall development of the state and no injustice will be meted out in any region in the fund allocation.

Pawar’s statement is important, as the state government generated a revenue of Rs 1.88 lakh crore till January end. Pawar, in his annual budget for 2020-21, had set a revenue target of Rs 3.47 lakh crore. In 2019-20, the state had collected revenue of Rs 2.37 lakh crore by end of January 2020, which was 75% of the target.

Governor BS Koshyari, in his address to both the houses of the state legislature on Monday, had said that the state’s revenue of Rs 1.88 lakh crore was 35 per cent less than the budgetary estimate and 21 perc ent lower than the collection in the same period in the previous year. He, however, noted that despite the shortfall in revenue, the government undertook massive humanitarian programmes.

Pawar said that the central government is yet to clear the Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation dues of a whopping Rs 32,000 crore and hoped that it will be done at the earliest. Further, considering the pandemic and economic condition, the state government is urging the central government to increase its contribution in schemes.

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