Mumbai, March 9: Maharashtra Budget 2018 was presented today by Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantinwar. Maharashtra Budget 2018 has specially focused on agriculture, farmers, minority community, infrastructure and tourism. Also, the budget was presented in sign language for the first ever rime to help people with disability.
Following are the high points:
Tourism: Rs 300 Crores have been allocated for Shivaji statue off the Arabian Sea. This 'Shiv Smarak' will not only be the tallest memorial in the country but in the entire world. “We plan to build it in 36 months,” Minister Mungantiwar said. India’s first battery-operated submarine will be used for underwater tourism at Vengurla, Sindhudurg. Rs 79 Crores have been allocated for development plan of Ganpatipule temple in Ratnagiri. Rs7,502 Crores has been approved for Bandra-Versova sea link. Rs120 Crores budgeted for forest tourism. Another 150 Crores has been allocated for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial at Indu Mills.
Agriculture: Looking forward to hiking investment in the agricultural sector, Rs 8233 Crores have been reserved for irrigation projects. Rs 100 Crores have been set aside to promote organic farming. Rs 1500 Crores are reserved for 'Jalyukt Shivar' water conservation projects. Rs 15 Crores for tree plantation and Rs 750 Crores have been reserved to ensure regular power supply for agricultural water pumps. Rs 3,015 Crores will be spent on completing 26 major irrigation projects, under the Pradhan Mantri Sinchai Yojana.
Up to March 6, 35.68 lakh farmers have been given loan waiver, said Minister of State for Finance Deepak Kesarkar. Rs13,782 Crores were handed out as waiver. An Agricultural Produce Mortgage Scheme will be implemented across the state. For this, a scheme for constructing warehouses will be launched.
Infrastructure: Talking about transport and infrastructure sector Financial Budget has chalked out Rs 40 Crores for repair and reconstruction of ST bus depots across the state. Rs 10828 Crores have been allocated for road repairs and reconstruction. Rs 165 Crores allocated for installation of CCTV's in other cities of the state. Rs100 Crores of provision has been made for upgradation of Nagpur airport. Also National Snake Venom Research Institute will be set up at Haffkine Institute, Mumbai. Navi Mumbai Airport which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – one runway will be completed by 2019, said Sudhir Mungantinwar.
To increase the state's share in UPSC, banking and other competitive exams, the government has announced to set up one coaching centre in every district at cost of Rs 50 Crores. Government will also start a web portal on which literature on BR Ambedkar, Annabhau Sathe, Savitribai Phule will be made available
Minority Community: Scholarships for OBC, ST/ SC students doubled from Rs 2000 to Rs 4000. Around 10 lakh youths will be trained in 5 years under skill development. Rs 2963 Crores have been allocated for Vimukta Jati Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) development. Rs 8,900 Crores allocated for tribal development schemes.
Police Force: Rs 13,385 Crores have been allocated for Home Department. Funds will also be used for modernization and upgradation of police force. A new system will be established to manage complaints made at police stations. Marine police to get two new patrol vessels. Rs 25 Crores earmarked for Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), for better tracking of crimes and criminals.
Waste Management: Rs 335 Crores are allocated for a new sewage treatment scheme for the rural areas and Rs 1526 Crores for treatment of solid waste in cities across the state.
Welfare Schemes: Special policy will also be introduced to increase women entrepreneurs in the state from 9% to 20%. For the welfare of the state’s 20 lakh auto-rickshaw drivers, the government will establish the Maharashtra State Autorickshaw Welfare Corporation; provision of Rs 5 Crores have been made. There will be rebates on interest rates. Rs175 Crores set aside for construction of 1.59 lakh houses in urban areas under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna.