Maha govt presents Rs 24,353 cr deficit budget for 2022-2023

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Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar tabled the state budget 2022-2023 before the legislature with a revenue deficit of Rs 24,353 crore and a slew of major announcements like an amnesty scheme for GST and reduction in VAT for natural gas, here on Friday.

The government estimates revenue receipts of Rs 403,427 crore against a revenue expenditure of Rs 427,780 crore, giving a shortfall of Rs 24,353 crore, in the Maha Vikas Aghadi 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 and MVA leaders of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress lauded the budget as ‘visionary’ while the Bharatiya Janata Party Leaders of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar slammed it as ‘directionless’.

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 is that those having arrears of Rs 10 lakh or less till March 31, 2022, can pay a lump sum of 20 percent of their total arrears and the remaining 80 percent shall be waived, benefitting over 220,000 such cases of medium dealers.

The government has announced a steep reduction in VAT on natural gas – from 13.5 percent to just 3 percent – which will hugely benefit households with piped natural gas and CNG powered vehicles, for which the state will incur a revenue shortfall of around Rs 800 crore.

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