Maharashtra presents Rs 153 billion revenue deficit budget

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Friday presented the budget for 2018-19 which has an estimated revenue deficit of Rs 153.74 billion and focuses on improving infrastructure, boosting agriculture and irrigation facilities and generating employment.

The budget, presented by Mungantiwar in the Assembly, has an estimated revenue deficit of Rs 153.74 billion for the next financial year in Maharashtra which aims to become a $1 trillion economy by 2025 by stepping up growth in sectors like agriculture, textiles, tourism and start-ups.

The budget, having a projected revenue mobilisation of Rs 2.86 trillion against a revenue expenditure of Rs 3.01 trillion, has earmarked Rs 108.28 billion for road development and Rs 72.35 billion on setting up power infrastructure.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that the Indian economy should expand to $5 trillion by 2025. We envision the share of Maharashtra in the national economy to be $1 trillion (by 2025),” Mungantiwar said, delivering his fourth budget speech.

“This will be achieved by increasing growth in sectors like agriculture, textiles, tourism, start-ups and by investing in industry with requisite skill development support,” he added.

He said the planned expenditure for 2018-19 has increased by 23.08 per cent, or Rs 178 billion, to Rs 950 billion from Rs 771.84 billion in 2017-18.

“I shall try to minimise the deficit by reducing avoidable expenditure and effective recovery of revenue.”

The government has made a provision of Rs 108.28 billion for road development and planned to spend Rs 72.35 billion on setting up power infrastructure. It has also allocated Rs 99.49 billion for the social justice department.

The minister said the state has made continuous efforts to increase its investment in the agricultural sector and announced allocation of Rs 82.33 billion for the water resources department.

Mungantiwar announced that the state plans to complete at least 50 irrigation projects in the next fiscal.

The budget has further allocated Rs 15 billion for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ flagship scheme for water conservation ‘Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan’.

The scheme seeks to make Maharashtra a drought-free state by improving irrigation facilities and rejuvenating old water bodies.

The state has allocated Rs 10 billion for incentives to industries in electricity rates in backward regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha.

The finance minister announced Rs 9.26 billion as power subsidies to D and D+ category industries in northern Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha.

He announced an outlay of Rs 2,650 for incentives for industrial development.
Mungantiwar said the number of taxpayers, post the implementation of Goods and Services

Tax (GST) from July 1, 2017, has increased significantly by 532,000 to 1.36 million.

At the end of February, the revenue collected under GSTstood at Rs 458 billion.

He said post GST implementation, the government had to bear a financial burden of nearly Rs 118 billion in the form of compensation disbursed to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other civic bodies, which lost revenues due to scrapping of octroi and local body taxes collected by them.

While Rs 58.26 billion was provided as compensation to the BMC, India’s largest civic body, the rest was disbursed to other local municipal bodies. .