Where was Maha FM in pre-budget meeting: MoS Finance Karad

Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Dr Bhagwat Karad made a sensational revelation that Finance Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Rao Pawar, who is also the deputy Chief Minister of the state, was absent in state finance ministers’ pre-budget meeting called by Union Minister of Finance Nirmala sitharaman to know the budget expectations from the state governments.

“He (Ajit Rao Pawar) was not present in the pre-budget meeting of all the finance ministers of state governments. we sent invitations to all, others were there, sans Maharashtra’s finance minister. This was an important meeting as the union finance minister wanted to know the budget expectations from all the state governments, it’s the platform where all state governments participate and let the union finance ministry know about their financial requirements, but unfortunately Maharashtra’s finance minister Ajit Rao Pawar didn’t attend the meeting, even after repeated calls”, revealed MoS Dr Bhagwat Karad.

This verbal spat started after Ajit Pawar commented that his state got nothing in this union budget-22, despite having a Union minister of state for finance from Maharashtra. This was actually a direct comment on MoS finance Karad, who hails from Maharashtra.

Dr Karad specially pointed out the pre-budget consultations with the Finance Ministers of States and Union Territories (with Legislature) for Union Budget 2022-23, chaired by the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman on December 30. The meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Finance, Chief Ministers, Deputy Chief Ministers, Finance Ministers, Ministers and Senior Officers from the States and Union Territories (with Legislature) and the Union Government.

“He (Ajit Pawar) is the finance minister of Maharashtra, why didn’t he come when he had an opportunity to convey his state’s expectations before the Union finance ministry regarding the union budget-22? They sent an IAS officer, who didn’t have any idea about the budgetary expectation of the state, what is the use?” added Karad.

Karad also mentioned one more meeting, where Ajit Pawar was invited as the deputy CM of Maharashtra, called by the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman via virtual conference on November 15, with a view to enhance the investment climate in the country in the wake of strong recovery and the opportunities accorded by a shift in geo-political realities post pandemic.

The states like Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, and Delhi sent their deputy CMs in the meeting as their CMs were not available or the Deputy CMs have finance portfolios, but from Maharashtra, it was attended by state officials.

“I can understand that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray was not keeping well at that time, so he was not in condition to attend the meeting, but what about the deputy CM of the state, Ajit Pawar? Remember, along with holding the finance portfolio, he is also the Deputy CM, but he didn’t attend”, said Karad.




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