Gadkari’s pet projects get push, schemes get Hindutva icons

Mungantiwar said on Wednesday that the state will promote the “usage of e-taxis with ladies driver to cart school going children to school”.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:March 19, 2015 10:34 am
Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and MoS Finance Deepak Kesarkar (centre) with family members before the presenting the budget in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. (Ganesh Shirsekar) Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and MoS Finance Deepak Kesarkar (centre) with family members before the presenting the budget in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. (Ganesh Shirsekar)

Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, is known to be politically close to Union Transport minister Nitin Gadkari. Not surprising then that Gadkari’s pet project — e-taxis or e-rickshaws — found a mention in  his budget speech.

The Union Minister had courted a controversy after he announced plans to overturn the ban on e-rickshaws, with charges of conflict of interest being raised citing his association with Nagpur-based battery-run rickshaw manufacture Purti Green Technologies. Mungantiwar said on Wednesday that the state will promote the “usage of e-taxis with ladies driver to cart school going children to school”.

Replicating the Narendra Modi-led Union government’s budget, the Maharashtra budget invoked the likes of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Pramod Mahajan, Motiram Lahane, and Uttamrao Patil for naming new schemes.

He proposed Mahajan’s name for the Skill Development initiative in Maharashtra, while Mookerjee’s name was prefixed to a scheme meant to increase forest cover. Lahane’s name was given to a pilot scheme for farm modernisation.

He proposed ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Gharkul Khaderi Arthsahayya Yojana’ for financial assistance up to Rs 50,000 for homeless BPL families to purchase land for homes.

The ‘Uttamrao Patil Forest Park’ will be development in all districts, finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar announced. Mungantiwar also announced plans to build a new airport and set up a botanical garden to boost tourism in his native Chandrapur district.

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