scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Friday, January 28, 2022

Maharashtra govt provides Rs 435 crore for collection of empirical data on OBC quota issue

🔴 The government's move comes after the state cabinet recently passed a resolution in this regard after the Supreme Court, which has stayed the OBC quota, questioned the government on the steps taken by it.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: December 23, 2021 8:14:21 am
Maharashtra government, Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, Maharashtra local body polls, OBC seats, Maharashtra, Indian Express, OBC quota, OBC reservationThe MSBCC had sent a proposal to the government seeking Rs 435 crore for carrying out the work. (File)

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra on Wednesday presented  supplementary demands of Rs 31,298.26 crore in the state legislative assembly on the first day of the Winter Session. In the supplementary demand, the state government has made the provision of Rs 435 crore for the Mahabharata State Backward Classes Commission (MSBCC) for gathering empirical data required to provide political reservation of Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the local bodies across the state.

The government’s move comes after the state cabinet recently passed a resolution in this regard after the Supreme Court, which has stayed the OBC quota, questioned the government on the steps taken by it.

The MSBCC had sent a proposal to the government seeking Rs 435 crore for carrying out the work. The proposal was met with opposition at the government level as the state’s revenue was badly affected by the pandemic, sources said.

However, on December 10, the state government released the first installment of Rs 5 crore from the state’s contingency funds as an advance to the commission for administrative expenses and to appoint 15 officers and staff.

The provision in supplementary demand is to revert Rs 5 crore to contingency funds and to allocate remaining Rs 430 crore to the commission.

The MSBCC was declared a dedicated commission on June 29, and its terms of reference included conducting a contemporaneous rigorous inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness qua local bodies within the state and ascertaining the proportion of the population of OBCs village/taluka/district wise in rural areas and ward-wise in urban areas.

Deputy chief minister and finance minister Ajit Pawar tabled the demands in the House.

The additional expenditure was necessitated following allocations towards farm relief in wake of incessant rains and cyclone in the state in August-September. Of the total Rs 31,298.26 crore, funds directed towards farmer relief accounted for Rs 1410.81 crore.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown has put additional burden on state finances, which reflected in the supplementary demands. The stress on health infrastructure required allocation of Rs 1,330.81 crore. Besides, Rs 1,000 crore was provided as compensation to the families of those who died due to Covid-19. Every individual was entitled to Rs 50,000 compensation as part of the decision taken by the Centre following a Supreme Court order.

Another factor that compounded the financial stress was the huge loss incurred by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC). An allocation of Rs 1,150 crore was provided to the state transport body due to the losses it suffered in the lockdown. This was followed by the employees’ strike from October, which set MSRTC’s finances back by another Rs 600 crore.

Among the sectors that were accorded priority allocations to boost infrastructure was Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, which got a grant of Rs 1,000 crore to expedite the projects requiring land acquisition.

The Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) sector also got a boost of Rs 1,000 crore aimed at attracting investments post lockdown.

Supplementary demands are an excess amount sanctioned by the finance department to cope with expenditure arising during the ongoing financial year. The amount is up and above the annual budget.

The increased allocation of funds through supplementary demands in successive state legislative sessions has invited criticism from the Opposition BJP.

Former finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “The MVA government seems to have taken supplementary demands for granted. The increased allocation in supplementary demands also reflects poor planning on part of state government.”

Since it took the charge two years ago, MVA government has allocated a cumulative amount of Rs 1,66,993.33 crore through supplementary demands.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Mumbai News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement