December 22, 2021 10:35:52 pm
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Wednesday presented supplementary demands of Rs 31,298.26 crore in the state legislative assembly on the first day of the Winter Session.
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 1000 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 in 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.
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