Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday presented the state Budget 2022-2023 with a revenue deficit of Rs 24,353 crore, with a slew of major announcements like an amnesty scheme for GST and stamp duty and reduction in VAT for natural gas.
The government estimates revenue receipts of Rs 403,427 crore against a revenue expenditure of Rs 427,780 crore, ot a shortfall of Rs 24,353 crore, in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s third annual budget.
Pawar unveiled a ‘Panchasutri’ (5-Point) development programme encompassing agriculture, health, human resource, transport, and industry, for the state with a total outlay of Rs. 115,215 crore, besides other sops and proposals.
Under this, the government proposes to spend Rs 23,888 crore for agriculture and allied sectors, Rs 5,244 crore for health, Rs 46,667 crore for human resources, Rs 28,605 crore for transport infrastructure and Rs 10,111 crore for industry and energy sectors, with plans to spend over Rs 400,000 crore in the next three years, said Pawar.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, MVA leaders of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress including Eknath Shinde, Hasan Mushrif, Nana Patole and others lauded the budget as “visionary” while the Bharatiya Janata Party Leaders of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar and Union MOS for Finance Bhagwat Karad slammed it as “direction-less”.
Pawar has introduced a first-ever Amnesty Scheme 2022 for the Goods & Sales Tax Department which will be applicable from April 1-September 30 this year.
Under this, there will be a complete waiver of the arrears of Rs 10,000 or less per year as per any statutory orders for various tax laws in the state, which would benefit around 100,000 small dealers.
Another aspect of the amnesty scheme for those having arrears of Rs 10 lakh or less till March 31, 2022, can pay a lump sum of 20 per cent of their total arrears and the remaining 80 per cent shall be waived, benefitting over 220,000 such cases of medium dealers.
The government has announced steep reduction in VAT on natural gas – from 13.5 per cent to just 3 per cent – which will hugely benefit households with piped natural gas connections and CNG power vehicles, while the state will incur a revenue shortfall of around Rs 800 crore.
Pawar also announced an Amnesty Scheme under the Stamp Act from April 1-November 30, for pending penalties dues to the government whereby there will be a shortfall of around Rs 1,500 crore.
For any land donations free to any local government bodies, Pawar has announced a complete exemption of the 3 per cent stamp duty on the gift deed or 5 per cent on sale deed, by which the state exchequer will lose around Rs 21 crore.
For gold-silver delivery order documents imported in Maharashtra which currently attract a 0.1 percent stamp duty, Pawar announced a complete waiver leading to a revenue shortfall of Rs 100 crore.
To boost water transport in the state, he announced a 3-year tax holiday from January 1, 2022 on the tax levied by Maharashtra Maritime Board on passengers, animals, vehicles, goods ferried by boats or roll on-roll off vessels in the state.