Mumbai: The state budget 2017-18 was presented on Saturday by finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar as an agricultural budget, repackaging old schemes. Mr Mungantiwar pledged doubling of farmers' income by 2021 with increased investment in irrigation, food processing and agricultural marketing. Although farmers' demand for the government to write off their debt was mentioned, nothing was committed on the issue. Before the budget was presented, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis assured the house that his government, with the help of the central government, was working on a scheme to help debt-ridden farmers.
Before the budget presentation, Mr Fadnavis made a statement in the house, requesting the opposition to pay attention to the presentation that would have schemes for farmers' relief. Briefing the house about his meeting with union finance minister Arun Jaitley in the national capital on Friday, the CM said, "We have requested the Centre to prepare a scheme that can help debt-ridden farmers. We will raise our share in it and see to it that all farmers get relief."
At the beginning of his budget presentation, Mr Mungantiwar said, “Only 10.5 per cent of GSDP comes from agriculture. We are trying to increase it through planned investment.” The minister said that the state government had allotted Rs 8,233 crore to the `irrigation department.