Updated: March 1, 2015 2:24:03 am
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Saturday said the tax reforms undertaken by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget would go a long way in transformation of Mumbai into an international financial hub. He said the budget had adequately addressed the concerns of all critical sectors, including Mumbai’s makeover and the state’s agrarian crisis.
“I am extremely glad and thankful to the finance minister for keeping the promise he had made during the Mumbai Next Conclave held last month. Today, the budget has incorporated some of the measures in those directions,” Fadnavis told The Sunday Express.
Referring to tax reforms, Fadnavis said: “Now, global fund managers who operate from Mumbai will not be taxed for operations outside India. This would bring those fund managers who had shifted to Dubai and Singapore back to Mumbai. This is a much needed reform to make Mumbai a global financial centre. With increased financial allocations set aside for the states, Maharashtra can derive maximum benefit and accelerate its mega-projects.”
The CM said the higher allocation of funds for MGNREGA would help the government address the employment issue in rural and drought-prone backward regions of Marathwada, Vidarbha and parts of western Maharashtra. “It would also lead to creation of infrastructure assets,” he said.
Leaders of the Congress and the NCP have, however, expressed disappointment over the budget. Opposition leaders were quick to point out that there was not a single mention of ‘Mumbai’ or ‘drought’ in the entire budget speech.
Former state finance minister Jayant Patil said: “This budget has given Mumbai and Maharashtra a raw deal. Where are the specifics or financial allocations if they accord special status to the city?”
Patil said there was nothing to suggest how it intended to promote industries or tackle the problems in key sectors like power and agriculture growth.
Echoing similar views, state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre said: “The budget has clearly failed the aam aadmi. It is tilted towards the rich and corporate sectors. The poor and the middle class have been skipped.”
The CM, however, argued: “What is significant is the approach of the budget, along with policy measures and its ramifications. When one goes through the fine print of the budget complete with sector-wise allocations, one can easily derive what is in store for Mumbai or Maharashtra.”
He added: “Jaitley mentioned almost 72 per cent of the funds would go to states across the country with the Centre holding just 28 per cent.
Maharashtra, which is a leading state, is bound to derive its maximum share. Moreover, the budgetary allocations for infrastructure (city developments) have been enhanced. Mumbai will reap the benefit. Both the Centre and the state are committed to making Mumbai a world-class city.”
Fadnavis said the FM’s special mention on ease in doing business would provide more strength to the Make in Maharashtra campaign. “The biggest beneficiaries will be small scale sectors. Self-employment and lower rung entrepreneurs will benefit the most. Almost 8.5 lakh crore agriculture credit limit, soil health card and drip irrigation will help in increasing the production and tackle agrarian crisis in Maharashtra,” he said.
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