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HomeEditorialA Five-Day budget session of the Maharashtra ended with awkward fight

A Five-Day budget session of the Maharashtra ended with awkward fight

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The last day of the State Legislature budget session for the year 2024-25 began with wrestling between the minister Dada Bhuse and MLA Mahendra Thorve, they both got into an argument, allegedly after the latter went and asked Bhuse about his pending work. Bhuse got upset and turned violent. Both leaders shouted at each other, minister Shambhuraj Desai and MLA Bharat Gogawale rushed to pacify Bhuse and Thorve. The incident prompted the Opposition to slam the Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the media too had a good laugh. They both are Shiv Sena leaders from the Eknath Shinde faction got into a heated argument inside the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly premises. The incident took place in the lobby of the Vidhan Bhavan on Friday afternoon

Rest of them went calm, and the newly elected government presented the full budget. The state government has decided to present an additional full-fledged budget in its next session in July. With the Lok Sabha elections slated for April-May, and the state assembly elections slated for October, populist pre-poll sops are expected to be announced in the budget. In a bid to bait state government employees demanding the old pension scheme’s (OPS) reinstatement, CM Shinde, announced the revised National Pension Scheme (NPS), where market linked risks in the NPS will be borne by the government.

As per the new scheme, employees will have the option to get a pension of 50 per cent based on their last drawn salary and Dearness Allowance (DA). In addition, employees can get a family pension of 60 per cent of their pension and DA. This will be applicable to state government employees who joined service after November 1, 2005. This will be a one time option and employees have to opt within the next six months if they choose to remain under the old NPS or the revised one. In February, the state government had issued an order awarding OPS to 26,000 government employees who were chosen before November 2005.

Currently, the government has 13.45 lakh employees, of which 8.27 lakh come under the NPS. The state government spends up to Rs 52,689 crore annually under the OPS, while its expenditure under the NPS for the same time period is Rs 7,686 crore. Its total annual expenditure on salary is Rs 1.27 lakh crore. In Maharashtra NPS was implemented from April 1, 2015.Retired government employees were to get benefits equal to 50 per cent of their last drawn salaries which was given as a pension in the OPS. However, after the OPS was scrapped, retired government employees under the NPS got a 60 per cent lump sum after retirement and a separate 40 per cent invested in annuities as pension. Under the OPS, government employees did not contribute any amount, but under the NPS, they contributed 10 per cent of their salary (a summation of their basic salary and DA), while the government’s contribution was 14 per cent.

In October last year, employee unions had organised a strike across Maharashtra demanding restoration of the OPS. In the budget session held last year in March, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that the state government was not entirely negative about the OPS adding that the government will have to take a decision in this regard only after taking the state finances into consideration. He further added that even if the state government restarted the OPS, it will not be affected as its real liability will come in 2030. Incidentally, Fadnavis, during the winter session held in December 2022, had told the state assembly that the government would need Rs 1.10 lakh crore to implement the OPS, potentially running the state into bankruptcy. his is an interim budget to provide for the first four months. A proposal has been sent to UNESCO for 11 forts at Shivneri to go to the world level. Swatantrya Veer Savarkar Versova – Bandra Sea Bridge will be extended to Palghar. Vilasrao Deshmukh Eastern Freeway will be extended to Thane city. Rs. 22 thousand 225 crores for land acquisition for the Virar-Alibag multi-modal corridor; Rs.10 thousand 519 crores for land acquisition for Pune Ring Road; Rs. 2 thousand 886 crores for land acquisition of Jalna-Nanded Expressway

Rs 10 thousand 629 crores to Urban Development Department, Rs19 thousand 936 crores to Public Works (Roads) Department, 7 thousand 500 km road works under Annuity Scheme Part-2 through Maharashtra State Infrastructure Development Corporation; upgradation of 7 thousand km long roads at a cost of Rs.7 thousand 600 crores is approved.

Land acquisition for new railway lines Kalyan-Murbad, Pune-Nashik and Solapur-Tuljapur-Dharashiv started; 50 percent financial participation approved for new railway lines Phaltan-Pandharpur, Kampa-Chimur-Varora, Jalna-Jalgaon and Nanded-Bidar; 50 percent financial participation for Jalna-Khamgaon, Adilabad-Mahur-Washim, Nanded-Hingoli, Murtijapur-Yavatmal Shakuntala railway and Pune-Lonavala route 3 and 4; 26 percent participation of Maharashtra Maritime Board in Vadhvan Development Project – Total cost Rs 76 thousand 220 crores are sanctioned.

Construction of well-equipped jetty radio club near Gateway of India in Mumbai under Sagarmala scheme at a cost of Rs.229 crores 27 lakhs; port development works to be undertaken- Bhagwati Port, Ratnagiri-Rs 300 crores, Marine Fort Janjira, Raigad-Rs 111 crores, Elephanta, Mumbai-Rs 88 crores; Modernization of Mirkarwada Port, Ratnagiri, for benefit of 2 thousand 700 fishermen. Fund of Rs.578 crore 45 lakh for land acquisition for expansion of airport at Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar allotted.

Rs 9,280 crore agreed to the Rural Development Department for program expenditure for the year 2024-25 and Rs 4,094 crore to the Home (Transport, Ports) Department. Revised industrial, electronics, space and defence manufacturing policy and new micro, small and medium enterprise policy for industrial development. Creation of about 36,000 employment opportunities by setting up 18 small-scale garment industry complexes. “Integrated and Sustainable Textile Policy 2023-28” announced- Free distribution of one saree per family on Antyodaya ration card.

Rs 450 crores in infrastructure development program to promote exports; Rs.400 crores to provide special incentives to exportable components; five Industrial Parks to promote exports. Incentive fund of about Rs 7,000 crores in the coming year from package scheme of incentive. Chief Minister’s Employment Creation Program -25 thousand industry units to be established, out these 30 percent to be women entrepreneurs – 50 thousand new jobs will be created. with 7 thousand km of road works, Versova will take Bandra Sea Bridge to Palghar. Rs 15,554 crores have been allocated for railway lines and projects in Maharashtra by the Union government.

Work is in progress to give 1 saree to a woman while distributing rations under the textile policy. 5 Industrial Parks are being created to increase exports. Rs 196 crore tender process has been implemented under the Make in India policy. A mall will be made at this place.Employment for 1 lakh women, solar energy for 37 thousand Anganwadis. 40 per cent non-conventional energy will be implemented. 44 lakh farmers who have suffered losses have been assisted with Rs 3 thousand crores. One lakh women will be given employment; 5,000 pink rickshaws will be provided for women.

New Micro and Small Enterprise Policies to be implemented. 18 small-scale industries will be established in the state, and more than 3 lakh industries will come to the state as per the agreement in Davos. Provision of Rs 10 thousand crores for urban development. 19 thousand crores have been reserved for public works. The Solar Agriculture Pump scheme will be launched for the farmers. 8 lakh 50 thousand new solar agricultural pumps will be installed in this.

In the last day question answer session CM Shinde warned those people who are the reason for unrest in the state, he expressed no tolerance. He also spoke about the law and order situation in the state and assured women’s safety.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Tamanhttps://authorvaidehi.com
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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