Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari said on Monday that a huge amount of Rs 29,290 crore in GST compensation remains unpaid to Maharashtra out of a total of Rs 46,950 crore.
The Governor said that of the total amount, the Centre has cleared only Rs 6,140 crore while another Rs 11,520 crore was given to the state government as loan till February 2021.
Accordingly, a compensation of Rs 29,290 crore is overdue from the Centre to the state, said Koshyari, addressing the joint sitting of the state legislators on the opening day of the Budget session of Maharashtra Legislature.
Before and after the Covid-19 pandemic crisis struck the state, top Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders, including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and others have been regularly demanding GST compensation dues from the Centre.
“By the end of February 2021, out of the Rs 46,950 crore due to my government as GST compensation, the Central government has paid just Rs 6,140 crore and Rs 11,520 crore as loan for GST compensation. GST compensation to the tune of Rs 29,290 crore is overdue from the Central government,” the Governor said in his speech.
Koshyari added that the state economy has been slowed down owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, besides natural calamities.
“Out of the revenue collection target of Rs 3,47,456 crore, the state has collected just Rs 1,88,542 crore at the end of January 2021. This is 35 per cent less than the budgetary estimates and 21 per cent lower than the collection in the same period in the previous year,” said Koshyari.
However, despite significant fall in revenues, the state provided priority funding to the departments of public health, medical education and drugs, relief and rehabilitation, food and civil supplies, and home to tackle the pandemic and lockdown crises, he said.
“To stimulate the economy, my government has provided for 75 per cent of the budgetary provision for capital expenditure and released 100 per cent money to the Local Development Fund, DPC schemes and the Dongri Vikas Karyakram,” the Governor noted.
In view of the pandemic situation and the economic condition, the state government is pursuing with the Centre to increase the latter’s contribution to the central schemes.
Koshyari also patted the state government for several measures to control and manage the pandemic, which have become a model not only for the rest of the country, but also for other nations.
Referring to the success of the ‘My Family, My Responsbility’ scheme of the CM, he termed it as an ‘innovative health check-up mission in the country’ by which all families in the state were surveyed in two rounds covering high-risk persons and senior citizens and detecting many Covid-19 cases which helped chart out the state health map.
“By the participation of the citizens in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, our state ensured successful control of this epidemic. But the battle against Covid-19 is still on and now the ‘Me Jababdar’ (My Accountability) mission has been launched,” the Governor said.
The state effectively combated the pandemic by reducing the number of active cases, dealing successfully with problem areas like Dharavi, first to set up jumbo (field) corona hospitals, and by implementing the Mahatma Phule Jeevandayi Yojana to prevent exorbitant charges for treatment.
The government also augmented testing facilities and regulated testing fees, hiked capacity in public hospitals and reserved beds in private hospitals at affordable rates for public benefit, he said.
Calling for “constant vigil” on safety measures as the Covid-19 dangers have not passed with the imminent possibility of a ‘second wave’, the Governor stressed on physical distancing norms, face-masks, washing hands, etc.
The state is also implementing the Covid-19 vaccination programme and investing in public health infrastructure by approving new medical colleges for Sindhudurg, Nashik and Osmanabad, with plans for more in the future.
Also present on the occasion were Thackeray, Pawar, Leaders of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar, and ministers and legislators of both the Houses.