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Shiv Sena wants clarity on LBT abolition, more funds for Mumbai

A day after the BJP-led government in Maharashtra presented its maiden Budget, its ally Shiv Sena has sought clarity on certain aspects of abolition of Local Body Tax (LBT) and said more funds should have been allocated for Mumbai.

“When the LBT is abolished, except Mumbai, 26 other municipal corporations will suffer losses to the tune of Rs. 6,195 crore. The Finance Minister said that these losses will be compensated by levying a surcharge on VAT. Yet, the government needs to clarify on how will these municipal corporations lose money and how will they be compensated for it,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said on Thursday.

Though sufficient amount of money has been allocated to develop the Mumbai Metro-III rail project, it would have been good if the government had looked into certain other aspects concerning the citizens of Mumbai, it said.

“The budget should have also included allocation of funds for the proposed coastal road project, a scheme to re-develop the BDD chawls of Mumbai and setting aside money to provide houses to mill workers,” it said.

The Sena said that while state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has made it clear that this year’s budget is not based on spending but on targets, the government has to seriously work towards achieving it (targets).

“What can be done to make Maharashtra a far developed state? How can farmers be given relief with regard to hailstorms and drought? How can the government instil confidence in women, labourers and those related to industries? These are the targets the government needs to look at,” the editorial said.

The state government’s coffers have been emptied due to the “misdeeds” of the previous Congress-NCP government and in spite of that, new schemes have been introduced which make it an overall ‘safe’ budget, the Sena added.

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