Maharashtra presents populist budget

Sudhir Mungantiwar has proposed Rs 1,000 crore for development of Dhangar community and Rs 200 crore for OBC Corporations.

Mumbai: With an eye on Vidhan Sabha polls, which are barely few months away, finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Tuesday announced a slew of sops for farmers, youths, women, physically disabled, minorities and Other Backward Class (OBCs) people in the additional budget for the year 2019-20.

Mr Mungantiwar on Tuesday presented an additional budget with a revenue deficit of Rs 20,292 crore. The total size of the budget is Rs 4,04,793 crore. The interim budget presented in February was of Rs 4,03,207 crore and due to new items of expenditure, there was an increase of Rs 1,586 crore.

Four years of deficient monsoon and drought conditions has badly affected the state’s economy leading to the debt burden spiking to Rs 20,292 crore from last year’s deficit of Rs 14,960.04 crore.

Despite this, the finance minister has something for a majority of people with this being an election year. Mr Mungantiwar has proposed Rs 1,000 crore for development of Dhangar community, Rs 200 crore for OBC Corporations, Rs 600 crore for research by four agricultural universities and Rs 100 crore for construction of houses for divyang. Insurance cover will be made available to 5.5 crore people under the Gopinath Munde Shetkari Apghat Vima Yojana. The scheme will be expanded with an outlay of Rs 210 crore.

In addition to this, Rs 100 crore has been reserved for grant to Khadi and Village Industries Board for strengthening of rural economy and traditional village trades.

The government has earmarked Rs 200 crore for self-employment schemes for widows, abandoned and divorcee women. Funds of Rs 100 crores are provided for the employment

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