Maharashtra budget 2019: State announces Rs 4.05 lakh crore expenditure plan; special emphasis on agricultural sector

MAHARASHTRA : In its last budget for the current term, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday laid out a Rs 4.05 lakh crore expenditure plan with enhanced allocations for capital investments farm intensive and rural infrastructure sector.

With the rural economy which caters to about 53 per cent of the state’s population, the farm sector was once again the focal point of Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s budget speech in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

With state polls due in October, no new tax levies were announced. Politically, the populist budget is aimed to reach various disadvantaged sections including marginal farmers, backward classes and nomadic tribes, especially the Dhangar community, which has been increasingly hostile against the government for denial of reservations.

The state has worked out a policy for giving impetus to the agriculture industry by increasing investments in Agriculture and agro-based businesses.

The government has also proposed Rs 1,000 crore outlay through 22 schemes for the development of the Dhangar community. A memorial for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Mumbai has also been proposed.

Meanwhile, Opposition leaders staged a walkout in both Houses of Maharashtra legislature alleging that budget was leaked on Twitter before Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar read it out in the Assembly.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, however, denied the allegations and said the budget points were being live-tweeted as the minister was reading out his speech.