Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar Sunday sought from the Centre an additional grant of Rs 1 lakh crore in the financial year 2020-21 for Maharashtra, while stating that the state’s economy had taken a severe beating due to the nationwide lockdown.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Pawar said the revenue receipts projected by the state for the financial year was Rs 3.47 lakh crore, however, the state was likely to have a revenue shortfall of Rs 1.40 lakh crore.
Pawar also pointed out that under the present borrowing limits, Maharashtra could borrow up to Rs 92,000 crore, of which Rs 54,000 crore has been planned for meeting the capital expenditures for the current financial year. He further said the state was going to face a shortfall of Rs 1 lakh crore to sustain the projected expenditure.
To address the problem, Pawar suggested, the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) borrowing limit could be increased but said that doing so would push the state towards a potential debt trap.
“The other strategy could be to cut public spending, however, that would be counterproductive in view of the subdued economy. In fact, there will be additional expenditure requirements in the area of public health and medical education and other public services,” Pawar stated in the letter.
Stating that it was imperative that in this testing times the Government of India should offer suitable financial assistance to states, Pawar said, “The Government of Maharashtra requests additional grants of untied nature to the tune of 1 Lakh Crores for the FY 2020-21.”
He said all major countries, like the US, Spain, Germany, France, and Australia, had released financial packages of around 10 per cent of its GDP and called for a similar package for the states by the central government.
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