Infrastructure and urban development are two of the Maharashtra government’s five priority areas, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar spelled out on Wednesday in his budget announcements for 2015-16.
A good portion of the budgetary allocations towards infrastructure have been earmarked for boosting schemes launched by the Modi government in the Centre or for funding state-level versions of it.
A major thrust has been on roads with an outlay of Rs 3,213 crore covering 5,000 km across the state. In addition to an outlay of Rs 861 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Mungantiwar has announced a Mukhyamantri Gramin Marg Yojana with an initial outlay of Rs 300 crore for constructing roads to connect villages with growing populations.
The defect liability period for road works has been increased from the existing six months to five years. Defect liability refers to the time-frame under which the contractor is liable to repair any defect after the work is completed.
Along the lines of prime minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious model village scheme for MPs, the finance minister has announced the launch of a MLA Model Village Scheme under which state’s 288 elected representatives are encouraged to come forward to adopt a village each. With an initial outlay of Rs 25 crore, the scheme aims at covering 1,000 villages over the next five years. It proposes to bear 50 per cent of the cost of developing the village provided the MLA uses his funds to meet the remaining cost.
Another pet project of the Prime Minister, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan has been allocated Rs 320 crore for cities and towns and Rs 490 crore for rural areas as part of the state’s share in the scheme. Likewise, for inclusion of more cities in the Central government’s Smart Cities initiative, an outlay of Rs 268 crore has been proposed for 2015-16.
Mungantiwar also emphasized on Modi government’s Housing for all by 2022 while announcing an outlay of Rs 884 crore for a meeting the construction target of 1 lakh houses under various existing schemes. The minister also launched a scheme named after Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya for providing financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to every Below Poverty Line family for buying land to build homes.
Much of the remaining outlay for infrastructure has been for funding previously planned projects such as Mumbai Metro Line 3, Nagpur and Pune Metro projects, purchase of state transport buses and bus depot repairs, funding under-construction railway projects, airport development and land acquisition for the Mihan Project in Nagpur.
The combined outlay for power generation projects including hydro-power and infrastructure for distribution works out to Rs 1,973 crore.
While touching upon its Make in Maharashtra agenda for simplifying procedures for setting up of new industries, Mungantiwar announced an outlay of Rs 30,150 crore for the coming fiscal year for 25 mega industrial projects that were approved in the 2014-15. Significant budgetary outlays for promotion of tourism including eco-tourism and the preservation of 10 forts.