With an eye on urban voters, Maharashtra pushes infrastructure spends

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first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government on Wednesday tabled an interim Budget targeted at boosting its popularity among urban voters ahead of Lok Sabha elections in just over a month. The ₹19,784-crore deficit Budget for 2019-20 focusses on the delivery of big-ticket infrastructure projects at the rich expense of ballooning fiscal deficit, and debt. The total outlay of ₹99,000 crore, includes funds for construction of Metros, roads, transportation, mobility schemes and housing in urban areas. In his 75-minute speech, State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar refrained from announcing any new projects, but focused only on providing money to projects already in progress. The Opposition was quick to term his effort ‘disappointing’, arguing it neither caters to the farmers nor the urban population.Metro projectsMr. Mungantiwar said the government is determined to complete Metro projects in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and other cities speedily. “In Mumbai, approval has been given to MMRDA for a plan of 276 km Metro route length. Therefore an ambitious decision has been taken by the government to extend the Metro network to Thane, Mira-Bhayander, Vasai-Virar, Kalyan-Dombivli and Bhiwandi,” he said. Apart from Nagpur, Pune and Navi Mumbai where 141.06 km Metro route will be constructed, preliminary survey for light rail transport system is being undertaken for Nashik city as well. Giving a pushing to boosting road infrastructure, Mr. Mungantiwar has proposed an outlay of ₹8,500 crore for road construction in the State, in addition to ₹1,105 crore under Central Road Fund Scheme. Last year, ₹10,828 crore were allocated for road construction.An outlay of ₹3,700 crore has been proposed for the hybrid annuity model, the same as last year’s provision. The finance minister also announced the beginning of construction of Mumbai-Nagpur express highway and said that ₹700 crore has been spent on land acquisition. The Budget has proposed modernisation of State Transport bus stations and purchase of new buses, for which ₹101 crore has been earmarked.Addressing the issue of industrial growth and employment, Mr. Mungantiwar claimed that the State has created 25.60 lakh employments in the last one year. He said the new IT policy is likely to attract an investment of ₹1,500 crore and create one lakh jobs.“Under the electronic policy, ₹6,300 crore investment is expected and 12,000 jobs are likely to be generated,” he said, giving credit to Make in India and Magnetic Maharashtra convergence summits. Investments of ₹7,500 cr. and ₹7,000 cr. are expected from space and defence material manufacturing policy, and the eco-friendly electric vehicle manufacturing policy respectively. An outlay of ₹65 crore is proposed for the Industrial Cluster Development Program, he said. The Minister proposed an outlay of ₹6,895 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), a substantial increase from last year’s ₹2,215.85 crore. Similarly, an outlay of ₹2,400 crore has been proposed for smart cities project and for Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation for development of basic facilities such as water supply in urban areas, sewerage and green belts.last_img

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