The Finance Minister of Maharashtra on Friday presented the state budget for the financial year with a corpus of Rs. 25,000 crore allotting to the agricultural sector of the state.
- The budget has initially announced for a deficit of Rs. 3,757 crore but revised it to Rs. 9,209 crore on the accounts of relief packages being sent to the drought-affected farmers’ families in around 15,000 villages. The agriculture sector has declined in terms of growth rate of 2.7% as opposed to desired rate of 6%.
- As the state is for two years in a row facing severe drought, the farmers are the worst hit. So the state aims to dedicate the budget to the farming sector and irrigation. The state’s budget has estimated fir a revenue mobilization of Rs. 2,20,810 crore against a revenue expenditure of Rs. 2,24,454 crore.
- For the irrigation sector, Rs. 7,850 crore has been proposed compared to previous year’s Rs. 7,272 crore. the government has also proposed for an added tax of Rs. 363 crore which includes increasing entry tax on marble and granite, tea and coconut oil, and increasing VAT on all goods and services to 5.5% (excluding declared goods) from 5%. Also, Rs. 1,855 crore has been allotted under the Crop Insurance Scheme. Simultaneously, the state has given an outlay of Rs. 110 crore to make available crop loan with concessional rate of interest to farmers. To boost the production of oil seeds and pulses crop, under the National Agriculture Development Scheme an outlay of Rs. 80 crore has been allotted.
- A new scheme has been launched to provide subsidy up to 25% amounting to a maximum Rs. 50 lakhs to set up agriculture processing units. The state government has allotted Rs. 10 crore for establishing two new veterinary colleges at Jalgaon and Akola. Simultaneously, an agriculture festival will be organised every district to create awareness among farmers. An outlay of Rs. 51.13 crore has been allotted to set up Intensive Poultry Development Unit in 14 districts of the state. A whopping Rs. 500 crore has been allocated to upgrade roads and new road connectivity under “Chief Minister Rural Road Scheme”.
(Source: The Hindu)