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Maharashtra presents farm-friendly budget for 2017-2018

IANS  |  Mumbai 

Minister presented a farmer-friendly Rs 4,511 crore deficit budget for the year 2017-2018, sparing the masses of any major fresh levies, here on Saturday.

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 expenditure and effective revenues recoveries.

Last year, in the budget 2016-2017, revenue income was estimated at Rs 220,810 crore, but he said it is likely to touch Rs 220,011 crore, leaving a deficit of Rs 799 crore.

Contrary to expectations by the opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, as well as ruling ally Shiv Sena, there was no mention of a waiver of farm loans, though many schemes for farmers and agriculture sector have been announced.

The budget was tabled on Saturday amidst noisy scenes by the opposition parties which vociferously raised the demand for a complete farm loan waiver package by the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government.

Terming the budget as "directionless, which would push the state into a financial crisis," the opposition made a bonfire of budget copies outside the legislature.

Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (Congress) led the opposition charge by terming the budget as "a fraud on the farmers with mere carrots on the issue of farm loans waiver, which has shattered the dreams of the land tillers in the state."

"2016-2017 was declared as the Year of Farmer's Dignity, but in 2016 more than 3,000 farmers ended their lives in the state and in 2017 over 400 lives have been lost. The government failed to fulfil it own commitment of a farm loan waiver," Vikhe Patil said in a sharp critique of this year's budget.

He said the people must know why Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not meet a delegation led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to discuss the issue of farm loans waiver.

On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh has assured of writing off all farm debts even without asking, but farmers have been let down again, he said.

While preparing the state for the GST rollout from July 1, Mungantiwar has largely exempted the 12 crore people of from additional burdens, barring minor hikes in VAT on all types of liquor and lottery tickets.

He announced a VAT of 25.93 per cent against the existing 23.08 per cent of MRP on imported, Indian made foreign liquor and country liquor and hiking the on the weekly online and lottery tickets on basis of draw from Rs 70,000 to Rs 100,000.

With a view to encouraging regional connectivity through 10 small airports in Amravati, Gondia, Nashik, Jalgaon, Shirdi, Nanded, Solapur, Kolhapur and Sindhudurg, the VAT on aviation fuel for aircraft operating here has been slashed from five per cent to one per cent for a period of ten years, he said.

These and other measures would generate an additional revenue of Rs 396 crore, Mungantiwar informed.



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 18 2017. 19:10 IST