Farmer-friendly Mah Budget presented

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Mar 2017 08:46:57

Our Correspondent and Agencies


Mar 18,

Mungantiwar presents Rs 4,511 crore deficit Budget

Loan burden on the State stands at Rs 4.13 lakh crore

Liquor to cost more, tax exemptions on essential items to continue

Rs 100 cr for Mihan, Nagpur.

Rs 100 cr for Israeli irrigation technology in Wardha and Yavatmal districts.

Rs 80 cr for Navegaon, Nagzira, Umred Karandla
tiger projects.

Rs 1,000 cr for industries in Vidarbha, Marathwada.
Rs 50 cr for airports in Chandrapur, Amravati
and Solapur.

Rs 325 cr for building houses for police personnel.

Rs 2,384 cr for OBC Ministry.

Rs 8,233 cr for irrigation projects undertaken by
Water Resources Department.New agriculture colleges at Yavatmal, Peth and Nashik.

Rs 7,000 cr for improving roads.

Rs 1,200 cr for Jalyukt Shivar Scheme.

Rs 141 cr for CCTV and forensic labs.

Rs 200 cr for Bal Thackeray memorial and Ambedkar memorial

Rs 559 cr for expansion of medical colleges.

Rs 126 cr for setting up cancer research centre in Aurangabad.


MAHARASHTRA Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar presented a farmer-friendly Rs 4,511 crore deficit Budget for the year 2017-2018 here on Saturday. Mungantiwar announced several sops in taxes on procurement of sugarcane, milk kit and swipe machines. While taxes on wheat, rice and gram have been removed, taxes on liquor increased.

Throughout the Minister’s Budget speech of almost two hours, the Opposition benches in both Houses of the Legislature kept protesting and demanding for the loan waiver for farmers.

However, the Budget did not carry a word on loan waiver.
In 2017-2018, the revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 243,737 crore against a revenue expenditure of Rs 248,248 crore, showing a deficit of Rs 4,511 crore.

However, Mungantiwar assured the Government would attempt to bring down the deficit by reducing avoidable expenditures and effective revenues recoveries.
Last year, in the Budget 2016-2017, revenue income was estimated at Rs 220,810 crore, but he said it was likely to touch Rs 220,011 crore, leaving a deficit of Rs 799 crore.
Mungantiwar said, with the tax proposal, the Government was expecting estimated additional revenue gain of Rs 396 crore, which has been incorporated in the Budget of 2017-18.

The Minister said that the State has Rs 4.13 lakh crore loan, with the Government opting for additional loan of Rs 38,000 crore this year also. The Minister further said that the Government has also proposed to give tax concessions including VAT exemption to Amsul (Garcinia indica also known as kokum) along with exemption to essential commodities like rice, wheat, pulses and its flour as well as turmeric, chillies, tamarind, jaggery, coconut, coriander seeds, fenugreek, parsley (suva), papad and wet dates.

Mungantiwar said the Government has focused on the agriculture sector by making a provision of Rs 8,233 crore to the Water Resources Department, micro irrigation projects for Yavatmal and Wardha districts with a Budget provision of Rs 100 crore. He said, about 50 per cent of the population was dependent on agriculture but it contributed only 10.5 per cent of the state Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), resulting in low productivity of agriculture produce. Hence, Government has laid its emphasis on increasing the investment in agriculture and initiate a number of steps to provide for irrigation, power, rural communication, processing and monitoring facilities, he told the House.

Mungantiwar added that the Government has proposed to exempt tax on purchase of sugarcane for two years, that is 2015-16 and 2016-17, to the sugar mills in order to pay fair and remunerative prices (FRP) to farmers. With this exemption, Rs 700 crore will be available with sugar millers to pay out FRP to cane farmers, he said. He also said the Government has proposed to continue with exemption of VAT on Solapuri chaddars and towels, abolition of VAT of 13.5 per cent on milk-testing kit for checking adulteration of milk as well as reduced VAT from five per cent to one per cent on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) for flights under the Regional Connectivity Scheme.

The Government has proposed VAT on manufacturers and importers of foreign liquor, Indian-made Foreign Liquor and country liquor at the notified rate of 23.08 per cent on the maximum retail price on sale of these liquors, he informed. Also, the Government has proposed to increase tax on weekly draw of online lotteries from Rs 70,000 to Rs one lakh, the Minister said. In view of the likely implementation of the new tax system the Goods & Services Tax (GST) from July one, the Government has proposed to establish three more benches of the Maharashtra Sales Tax Tribunal, the Minister said.

For sustainable and balanced development of the State, the Government has proposed to raise additional sources of income and, therefore, while implementing GST, non-tax revenue receipts would also be increased, he said and pointed out that the Government has planned to review the fees that are provided for various services, like court fees and fines under various acts, which would generate revenue through this process.

The Government has allocated Rs 2,812 crore for the project under Prime Minister’s Krishi Sinchai Yojana in 2017-18, Mungantiwar said and told the House that through this project, about 82,600 hectares will come under irrigation.
It has also been decided to take up distribution of 7 TMC water in next four years through the Krishna Marathwada Project, which is a boon for Marathwada, the Minister said.
He said under the State Government’s flagship Jalayukta Shivar Scheme, it is proposed to make 5,000 villages drought resistant every year. For this, a sum of Rs 1,200 crore has been earmarked in 2017-18, he informed.

Mungantiwar said that so far Rs 1,600 crore had been spent on various works under this scheme and noted that works of about Rs 246 crore had been implemented by public participation in drought affected districts. He told the House that under the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, 1,22,562 wells had been constructed since 2011-12, of which 59,348 wells had been completed in past two years. The Government has proposed to bring Israeli micro irrigation technology for full utilisation of the capacity of the Arvi Lift Irrigation project in Wardha district and the Bembla project in Yavatmal district and for this, a sum of Rs 100 crore has been proposed in the year 2017-18, the Minister said.

The Government has also proposed to bring sugarcane under the micro irrigation scheme, he informed.
For the youth skill development and employment under the Pramod Mahajan Kaushalya Udhyogatha Vikas Abhiyan, as 25 per cent population is in the age group of 18-30 years, about 1,970 training institutions have been listed to give training to 1.22 lakh youths, of them 57 per cent are women, he said. For the development of roads, the Government has proposed Rs 7,000 crore in the Budget for 2017-18, as compared to Rs 4,347 crore in last year, he said.

The first major corporate port will be set up in the country at Vidhvan near Dahanu, with equity participation of the State Government through Maharashtra Maritime Board in partnership with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Mungantiwar said. In order to expedite implementation of port and its connectivity, the State Government through MMB has entered into an agreement with port promoters of Jaigad and Dighi ports for construction of railway lines from Jigad to Dighe and Dighi Roha, he informed.

The Government has proposed Rs 350 crore for the welfare of minorities in the Budget, he said and added that an amount of Rs 125 crore has been provided for improvement of the settlement of minorities as well as for providing various basic facilities in rural and urban areas. Later talking to reporters, Leaders of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Jayant Patil of NCP strongly criticised the budget, saying it did not have a single word on the loan waiver for the farmers and rechristening old schemes. In Council, the Budget was presented by Minister of State for Home (Rural), Finance and Planning Deepak Kesarkar.