Maharashtra on Friday urged the Centre for greater devolution of funds following enforcement of goods and services tax (GST) and relaxing of global borrowing norms to facilitate completion of ten mega-infrastructure projects in the state. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held meetings with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra and Secretary Economic Affairs Shaktikanta Das.
During the meeting with Misra and Das, the chief minister raised the issue of some laid guidelines that put a cap on loan ceiling and that mandates the government to be the guarantor when seeking loans from global financial companies. The state government wants the centre to consider individual autonomous cash rich institutions like MMRDA, CIDCO, MSRDC to be the guarantor.
Last August, the chief minister wrote to the economic affairs department citing the technical glitches. It highlighted how Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which has offered Rs 15,000 crore loan for MTHL, or ADB /World Bank funding of Rs 14,000 crore for Metros 7/ 2A/ 2B have indicated that state government stand guarantor instead of MMRDA.
The problem for the state was it had exhausted its loan ceiling of Rs 64,000 crore. To avail higher global loans, it had to seek the centre’s intervention along with modifications in guidelines. The state is arguing that cash-rich autonomous authorities like MMRDA, CIDCO and MSRDC be eligible and acceptable for standing guarantor.
The state is pushing almost ten mega projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore in Mumbai and the rest of the state.
During the meeting with Jaitley, the chief minister accompanied by state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar indicated that GST compensations should factor various aspects that would be impacted, including Octroi and manufacturing sector. The state expects Rs 7,500 crore compensation for octroi and Rs 15,000 to 18,000 crore as GST compensation. At the meeting, Fadnavis requested the centre to dilute penal provisions of the Act.