Days before NCP president Sharad Pawar’s 80th birthday, the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government on Wednesday launched a rural employment scheme named after him.
Hiving off some of the beneficiary-driven works taken up under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MGNREGS), the new scheme – Sharad Pawar Gramsamruddhi Yojana – is aimed at doubling the farmer’s income by 2022. The Cabinet approved the implementation of the scheme on Wednesday.
“No additional works have been proposed. Some of the existing individual benefit works under MGNREGS have been brought under one head. There will be no additional burden to the state exchequer,” an official said.
Incidentally, the Shiv Sena-led employment generation scheme department had initiated a proposal in this regard. Works for building pucca cattle sheds, goat and poultry sheds and composting pits will now be hotfooted under the new scheme.
New green power policy
The state Cabinet sanctioned a new policy on renewable energy, setting a target of achieving 17,385 MW of installed capacity within five years and attract an investment of Rs 75,000 crore.
Setting fixed annual targets for each category of renewable power, the policy is focussed on easing business and number of clearances for pushing renewable energy power projects. Energy Minister Dr Nitin Raut said that the plan was to set up 1 lakh solar farm pump and power 10 lakh rural homes using solar power.
But with the Covid-19 pandemic worsening the state’s financial condition, the government hasn’t announced fresh fiscal incentives to push solar and wind energy projects like it had in the past. It has, however, said that ongoing projects will be allowed to continue availing the benefits, if they are completed it a time-bound manner.
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) had earlier targetted raising the share of renewable energy from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. The state has replicated the goal, targeting to go up to 16 per cent by 2022. The current installed capacity of renewable energy is 9,000 MW.
Loan deed fees go up
A proposal for rationalisation of stamp duty and registration fees for agreements or memorandums for the deposit of title deeds was also approved. The deeds are mandatory for home loan borrowers and other mortgage assignments. Stamp duty payable for the memorandum deposit of title deeds has been raised from 0.2 per cent to 0.3 per cent, which will lead to a slight increase in fees for availing home loans. Further, the Cabinet cleared a policy draft for the setting up of an international level sports university in the state.