Faced with bulging deficit and a need to increase investments, the Maharashtra government has sought suggestions from finance experts, industry bodies, bureaucrats and other stakeholders for preparing the upcoming state budget for the next fiscal.
State’s finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has sent letters inviting suggestions that can be included in the state budget to spur industrial development in the state.
An official from the General Administration department said that Mungantiwar’s office has also sent letters to Chief Ministers of various states, requesting them to inform him about special schemes or ideas implemented by their respective states in the interest of citizens.
“Finance minister has written to Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and industry (FICCI), Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Agriculture (MCCAIA) and other organisations and institutes related to finance and planning. He has even sought suggestions from eminent economists,” the official said, without disclosing their names.
Views of secretaries of all departments of the state administration have also been sought to make the budget more people oriented.
“He (Mungantiwar) is keen to bring the state out from the huge debt the state is currently reeling under. He wants to introduce new schemes, ensuring at the same time that expenditure is controlled. The best way to do this is to increase revenues,” the official said.
Massive revenue deficits and an ever decreasing capital expenditure is the major challenge, finance department faces, he added.
“The state needs a budget that proposes ways to increase revenues and brings out people friendly schemes. The budget’s success depends on how well he balances the two of them,” he said.
Some of the suggestions that the minister has received already are direct cash transfer to beneficiaries, a review of outdated schemes and knitting together similar schemes to make them easier to implement.