Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Wednesday presented an interim budget for 2019-20 which has an estimated revenue deficit of Rs 19,784 crore and has provision of special fund for farm loan waiver.
The state’s outstanding debt has increased to Rs 4,14,411 crore, which is 14.82 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), he said, but maintained that the state’s economy was “sound”.
The debt level of Maharashtra, leading industrialised state, is among the highest in the country.
The budget also provides for Rs 90 crore towards a skill development scheme named after late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan.
As per the budget provisions for 2019-20, revenue receipts of Rs 3,14,489 crore and revenue expenditure of Rs 3,34,273 crore is estimated, he said.
Maharashtra government’s annual plan has been fixed at Rs 99,000 crore for the financial year 2019-20.
Presenting the vote-on-account, which will have budget provisions for the first four months of 2019-20 (April to July this year), Mungantiwar said in the state Assembly that the government will try to keep deficit in control by reducing unnecessary expenditure and making effective recovery of revenue.
“It is observed that whenever the pay commission recommendations (for government staff) are implemented, the state’s finances are somewhat stressed the next year,” the minister said, explaining the deficit.
Mungantiwar said the annual plan includes an outlay of Rs 9,208 crore for a special component plan, Rs 8,431 crore for tribal sub-plan and Rs 9,000 crore for district annual plan.
The final budget which will be presented in the next session (after Lok Sabha elections) will focus on farmers, the poor, women and youth, he informed the Lower House.
“Looking at the state economy’s size, it can be said that the current debt level is reasonable as per the established fiscal benchmarks,” he mentioned.
According to fiscal indicators, the financial position of a state is considered healthy if the quantum of debt is below 25 per cent of GSDP, he said.
The government has been successful in keeping the debt quantum below 15 per cent of GSDP for 2018-19, he said.
The minister said 2017-18 was the first year of implementation of GST and a revenue of Rs 90,000 crore was expected from this tax. Due toco-operation of farmers, merchants, workers and industrialists, the actual revenue was Rs 1,15,000 crore, he said.
Mungantiwar said last year, the farmers loan waiver scheme, known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana, was not included in the original budget.
It was introduced later for which Rs 16,095 crore was to be provided. Despite this, Rs 2,082 crore was the revenue surplus, he said.
He said the revenue deficit for 2017-18 was Rs 14,960 crore against the estimated Rs 15,374.90 crore.
Minister of state for Finance Deepak Kesarkar presented the budget in the Legislative Council.