Maharashtra government to move Finance Commission for higher central devolution of funds
Maharashtra government to move Finance Commission for higher central devolution of funds

Mumbai: With the severe liquidity crunch due to 40% dip in revenue receipts during the coronavirus lockdown, Maharashtra government will approach the 15th Finance Commission to reconsider its recommendations with regard to central devolution of funds after taking into account the revenue and expenditure sides.

Already there has been a revenue outfall of Rs 1,40,000 crore due to lockdown. A senior bureaucrat told FPJ, "The government had estimated total revenue receipts of Rs 3,47,457 crore in 2020-21, an increase of 12.1% over the revised estimate of 2019-20.

The Revenue expenditure for 2020-21 was estimated at Rs 3,56,968 crore, which is 4.6% higher than the revised estimate of 2019- 20. Revenue expenditure includes subsidies, and payment of salaries, pension, and interest. Because of lockdown, these estimates have no meaning and, therefore, the government will seek the Finance Commission’s intervention for more devolution of funds from the Centre.’’

He informed that the 15th FC had recommended a 2.52% share for Maharashtra in the Centre’s tax revenue for 2020-21 (9% higher than the share recommended by the 14th FC for 2015-20).

This implies that out of every Rs 100 of Centre’s tax revenue in 2020-21, Maharashtra will receive Rs 2.52. The devolution to the state from the Centre comes to Rs 48,109 crore in 2020-21. Further, the state government will appeal to the Centre to give moratorium on interest payment and debt repayment.

"The government may seek liquidity of Rs 50,000 crore in the form of loan from the Centre and go in for borrowing of Rs 60,000 crore to make up the revenue shortfall,’’ the officer said. Moreover, the government may announce health insurance cover for workers ranging between Rs 25,000 to 50,000 crore amid coronavirus pandemic.

These are some of the key initiatives the government proposes to take based on the recommendations made by the 11-member committee on the revival of the economy. The committee submitted its report on May 1, and it is under government’s active consideration. This is crucial when the government on Monday imposed a 67% cut in the planned expenditure.

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Free Press Journal