Infra gets big boost with Rs 30K cr outlay in Budget

ST CORRESPONDENT
Saturday, 7 March 2020

The government has provided additional equity of Rs 8,500 crore for the Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Corridor as a result of which Rs 2,500 crore has been saved from interest on project finance, Ajit Pawar said

MUMBAI: The first Budget of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, presented in the Assembly on Friday, seeks to provide a fillip to infrastructure development in the State by proposing an outlay of over Rs 30,000 crore. Employment generation, improvement in health and education sector also received a boost.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio, said that the government intends to develop an economic corridor of international standards in Satara district under the Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC), project, which is on the lines of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). Along with Satara, adjoining Sangli and Solapur districts will also benefit from the proposed economic corridor, he said, adding the estimated cost of the project is Rs 4,000 crore.

A 170-km-long ring road has been proposed to divert traffic coming to Pune from Nashik, Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai, and make vehicles pass from outside the city, Pawar said. For this purpose, an expenditure of Rs 15,000 crore is expected, including land acquisition, he said. He said that Rs 1,657 crore will be made available for metro projects in the state for 2020-21.

In addition to the Maan-Hinjawadi-Shivajinagar route under Pune Metro, two new lines - Shivajinagar-Shevalewadi and Maan-Pirangut will also be started, Pawar said.

Along with this, the new Pune Metro line from Vanaz to Ramwadi will be expanded by extending the length of the line from Vanaz to Chandni Chowk and Ramwadi to Wagholi, he said.

The length of the metro line from Pimpri-Chinchwad to Swargate will be increased and extended from Swargate to Katraj and from Pimpri-Chinchwad to Nigdi, Pawar said. More funds will be provided this year than the amounts earmarked in the last five years for Pune Metro, said the MLA from Baramati in Pune district.

Under a new rural road development scheme, 4,000 km of roads will be taken up for construction and completed by 2025, the minister said. An outlay of Rs 1,501 crore has been proposed for this scheme for the year 2020-21.

Funds will be made available for construction of airports in Kolhapur, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Akola and Amravati districts, he said.

New airports will be constructed at Solapur and Pune for which an outlay of Rs 78 crore has been proposed during 2020-21, the finance minister said.

A sum of Rs 500 crore has been proposed for purchasing 1,600 new buses to replace the old ones. This also includes modernisation of bus stations of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), he said.

The government has provided additional equity of Rs 8,500 crore for the Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Corridor as a result of which Rs 2,500 crore has been saved from interest on project finance, Pawar added. 

The Budget also proposed setting up an international level sports university at Mhalunge-Balewadi in Pune at Shiv Chhatrapati Sports complex.

An international tourist complex is planned on 14 acres in Worli Dairy Complex in Mumbai. The cost of the project will be around Rs 1,000 crore. 

While presenting the Budget, Ajit Pawar said that the Central government did not approve funds last year for farmers who faced crop loss due to rainfall. “However, the Centre only approved around Rs 956 crore, so instead of waiting for the Centre’s help, we took this initiative to help farmers,’’ he said.

With this, the MVA government has proposed Rs 5,000 crore for total health outlay. Out of this, Rs 2,500 crore have been set aside for medical education. This includes the construction of new hospitals, revamping existing hospitals, medical colleges and purchase of ambulances.

Against the total revenue receipts of Rs 3,47,457 crore, the revenue expenditure is expected to be Rs 356,968 crore leaving a shortfall of Rs 9,511 crore, compared to the deficit of Rs 20,293 crore last fiscal, said Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio.

The government has allocated Rs 1,300 crore for higher and technical education.

The government has also proposed employment generation schemes that will help youths to get jobs. There will be apprenticeship programme for youths, who have passed SSC examination. Around 10 lakh youths will be trained for employment and it will start in August 2020.

Giving a boost to real estate sector, Pawar announced 1 per cent reduction in stamp duty for purchasing houses in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.

Pawar further said that the concession in stamp duty will help promote the real estate sector in the wake of a slowdown. The reduction in electricity duty will help promote industries in the State, the Finance Minister said.

Similarly, Pawar proposed to increase VAT (value-added tax) on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre. This will enrich the State exchequer by an additional Rs 1,800 crore. This extra revenue will be transferred to the green fund and will be utilised for conservation of the environment, specifically for the projects related to sewage and waste management and other projects, Pawar told the Assembly.

Pawar also proposed to reduce electricity tariff on industrial use from 9.3% to 7.5% for promotion of industries. Due to the tax concessions, it is expected that there will be a yearly revenue loss of around Rs 2,500 crore.

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