Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Tuesday dismissed the concerns raised by the Opposition over the accuracy of state’s economic data.
Raising questions over the accuracy of the GDP numbers, the Opposition had on Monday — the first day of the discussions of the state’s Budget for 2019-20 — accused the government of “tweaking” the economic data to paint a rosy picture of the “burdened” state economy.
On Tuesday, Mungantiwar, in his reply to the discussions on the Budget speech, countered the claims of flaws in Maharashtra’s GDP numbers. He also refuted the Opposition claims of jobless growth in the economy.
Mungantiwar also announced that the government’s much-discussed plan of widening the ambit of the ongoing farm loan waiver scheme will be implemented within a month.
In his Budget speech, the Finance Minister had announced that the coverage of the scheme would be expanded to cover marginal farmers who had earlier faced technical hurdles to get benefit under the waiver.
Reiterating the plan, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had later estimated that this would cost the government an additional Rs 8,000 crore.
The Finance Minister also announced that the state will approach the GST council to cut rates on farm equipment. NCP’s Jayant Patil had earlier pointed out that tax rate for several farm equipment was 18 per cent.
Countering the Opposition, Mungantiwar said that he has asked his department to publish number of annual investment and jobs generated since 2000. He claimed that direct investment of Rs 3.51 lakh crore could be attracted during the five years of BJP rule in the state as compared to Rs 1.79 lakh crore investment during the previous Congress-led regime. “Economics of growth is not just numbers,” Mungantiwar said.