Maharashtra budget focuses on farmers, job creation, infrastructure

Maharashtra Economic Survey Over 48,000 children out of school

The Maharashtra government, tabling its fourth budget a year before state polls, has continued its focus on the distressed farm and social sector. The industry's share is 33.6%, with an annual growth rate of 6.1%, while the services sector, with an average share of 54.5% in total GSVA, will continue to grow annually at 8.8%.

According to the latest report of CAG, the capital expenditure up to January end in 2017-18 fiscal is '17,805.79 crore as against the capital expenditure of '17,276.93 crore for the same period up to January in 2016-17 Budget.

The revenue deficit of the State budget should be seriously looked into, especially when the State is expected to present a huge Budget of around '1.8 lakh crore to '2 lakh crore for 2018-19.

In the state's plan expenditure, the highest allocation of Rs 35,373 crore is to social and community services, followed by the agriculture and allied services sector, which gets Rs 18,112 crore.

The production of cereals, pulses and oilseeds is expected to decrease by 39 per cent, 4 per cent and 73 per cent, respectively, in 2017-18 as compared to previous year, it stated.

The revenue deficit is the the excess of revenue expenditure over revenue receipts.

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The state is banking GST collections to shore up its revenues, with Maharashtra reporting the highest collections in the country.

- Till February 7, 2018, about 2.2 crore bank accounts were opened in the state under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana with deposits of about Rs 4,304 crore. In 2017-18, the state also received Rs 2,100 crore more than expected from stamp and registration fees, and Rs 1,012 crore more than estimated as grant-in-aid from the Centre.

The state has also made a provision of Rs 220 crore as subsidiary loan for the metro projects undertaken by the MMRDA (in Mumbai) and Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) in Pune and Nagpur.

- The survey said the debt stock is 16.6 percent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP), which is well within the limit of 22.2 percent laid down by the 14th Finance Commission. This includes Rs 8,233 crore for the water resources department and Rs 1,500 crore for its flagship water conservation project, Jalyukta Shivar.

Contradictory to the state's trillion-dollar- economy-by-2025 dream, the state government's debt stock (all debt, national and international) is going to touch Rs 4.61 lakh crore. Revenue receipts are projected at Rs 2.85 lakh crore, higher than Rs 2.57 lakh crore a year ago.

During Kharif season of 2017, the sowing was completed on 150.45 lakh hectares with a minor increase over the previous year.

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