Mumbai: Maharashtra’s budget has failed to cut ice with the experts. The experts in the field of economic and finance sector have termed it as “a continuation of last year’s budget”.
The experts also pointed out that the scope of the budget was limited, as the state’s revenue from indirect taxes would be affected after introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1.
“We do not know the impact of GST and hence the budget has very limited meaning for the state this time. This is the case with all states, of course, that depend on indirect taxes for revenue generation.” economist Abhay Tilak said.
Pointing at the government’s focus on farming and infrastructure in rural areas, Mr Tilak said there was no mention of provision for industries.
“The government has made provision for agriculture and allied sectors. There is a provision of Rs 7,000 crore for road connectivity. Also, Rs 1,000 crore has been given for infrastructure development in nagar panchayat and nagar parishad areas. This shows that the government is keen to develop rural areas and fulfil their requirements. However, there were no benefits announced for the industry sector in terms of investments,” he said.
Expressing disappointment over the budget, financial expert Ajit Joshi stated that it lacks innovation.
“It was more or less continuation of the last year’s budget. Many schemes for various sectors were revised but without revealing the previous performance. For example, Rs 1605 crore were allocated for Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. In last year’s budget, the state claimed that it would construct 400 toilets. But there was no mention of it in this year’s budget,” Mr Joshi said. Pointing at insufficient financial provisions, Mr Joshi added that more fund allocation was expected for micro and small, medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Mr Joshi also said that a new scheme announced in the budget might be interesting for farmers. The scheme proposes to form groups of 20 farmers with minimum land of 100 acres. Rs 200 crore has been sanctioned for the scheme in a bid to double the farmers’ income.