Mumbai: Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the MVA government's Budget only attempts to appropriate the Centre's ongoing schemes rather than introducing fresh projects.
Finance Minister Ajit Pawar presented a budget with revenue deficit of Rs 10,226 crore and revenue expenditure of Rs 3,79,213 crore in the Assembly earlier in the day. "The state government has conveniently forgotten to mention that several schemes it announced today had already been announced by the Centre," the BJP leader told reporters.
"It is a disappointing attempt to appropriate the Centre's schemes," he said. "I was surprised to find that there was no announcement of one-time-settlement for farmers with outstanding loans of upto Rs 2 lakh. Some 45 per cent of farmers who were not covered in previous crop loan waiver got nothing from today's budget," Fadnavis claimed.
He also pointed out that there was no announcement about relief to consumers from "inflated" electricity bills. The announcement of waiver on interest for crop loans of Rs 3 lakh (if principal is repaid in time) was also misleading because 80 per cent of farmers have small land holdings and their loans do not exceed Rs 1 lakh, the former chief minister said.
"The budget also gives an impression of being focused on certain areas such as Mumbai. The ongoing projects for which the civic body BMC is paying were presented before the House as if the state was spending money on them," he claimed. The Budget ignored the poor completely, the BJP leader alleged.
The scheme to develop eight important temples in the state was an ongoing scheme, introduced by previous finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, he said. "The Jalna-Nanded road is being developed by the Centre. The state government claimed it was its own project," Fadnavis said. In a swipe at the Congress, which is part of the MVA government alonwith the Shiv Sena and NCP, Fadnavis said despite its agitation over the issue, the state government has not reduced taxes on fuel.