Ajit Pawar
Ajit Pawar
Twitter/@AjitPawarSpeaks

Mumbai: The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, in its maiden budget, to be presented on March 6, plans to focus on agriculture, industry and infrastructure development, employment generation and social sector.

The budget will be presented in the State assembly by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who also holds the department of Planning and Finance.

The government, which has already launched a Rs 21,210-crore crop loan waiver scheme covering 35 lakh farmers with up to Rs 2 lakh loan, will announce another scheme for loans exceeding Rs 2 lakh and for those regularly repaying loans. Pawar may propose an additional allocation for extended loan waiver scheme.

Furthermore, revival of the agriculture sector may get priority with allocation of additional funds for allied sectors. This is aimed at addressing the agrarian crisis.

The government has already stopped funding the previous government's Jalyukta Shivar scheme (water conservation). However, it may rename the scheme and earmark substantial allocation for the timely completion of such projects.

Even though the government has clarified that it will not wind up the Marathwada water grid project initiated by the Fadnavis government, Pawar may release an amended scheme to effectively tackle drought in the region.

The government is expected to announce a special stipend scheme and jobs for the educated youths in tandem with the private sector.

The Congress-NCP, in their joint assembly poll manifesto, had promised monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 for the unemployed youth and a minimum salary of Rs 21,000 a month for workers if voted to power.

The two parties had sought to tap rural voters by promising at least 200 days of job under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. The Shiv Sena-led MVA government may also propose a scheme to provide education loans at a concessional rate of interest or zero interest.

For the government's much ambitious Shiv Bhojan scheme -- a meal at Rs 10 per plate -- an allocation of Rs 6.48 crore was made up to March.

However, Pawar may announce the government's move to increase the per day plates to 1 lakh with an annual allocation of Rs 125 crore, considering an overwhelming response for the scheme from all over the state.

The government may announce a road map for the completion of pending irrigation projects and inter linking of rivers. The government, in association with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and other lenders, may raise Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore to complete about 25 long pending irrigation projects.

The government intends to commission maximum projects before the next assembly election slated for 2024.

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