Even as Maharashtra government approved supplementary demands of over Rs. 14,000 crore during the monsoon session of state legislature, it failed to make provisions for certain other expenses, resulting in a spending of about Rs. 145 crore from the Contingency Fund (CF).
Provisions were not made in state budget for expenses like purchasing Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s home in London and providing Rs. 77 crore to District Cooperative Banks (DCC) in lieu of transforming short-term loans to long-term.
Besides, the state government had approved Rs. 7.65 crore for a health scheme in 14 suicide-prone districts on September 11 this year, and also Rs. 28.35 crore to transform additional milk into milk powder on September 14.
According to official records, several such schemes have resulted into an expenditure of Rs. 145 crore from the CF that is primarily used to meet emergency needs.
However, state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the money has only been spent on agrarian issues.
The CF has a permanent limit of Rs. 150 crore. However, the BJP-led state government had increased the limit on a temporary basis to Rs. 962 crore on May 27 this year.
The CF has been created under the Mumbai Contingency Act 1956 and since April 11, 1990, it has permanent limit of Rs. 150 crore.
“Though the fund limit has been set at Rs. 150 crore, there are instances when it is raised in view of unforeseen events like natural disasters,” an official from the finance department said.
According to the official, since July this year, Rs. 145.59 crore was spent from the CF for various purposes.