Budget may have shortfall of ₹1 lakh crore: Ajit Pawar

A “shortfall” of ₹1 lakh crore is likely in the budget 2021-22 for Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters, he said the Central government is yet to release the dues of ₹25,000 crore to Maharashtra for this year under ‘one nation one tax’ programme, but the situation is changing now and money is being sent every week. He said such shortfall affects the future development works. The budget session is scheduled to begin on March 1.

“We have to give salaries and pensions to the tune of ₹1.50 lakh crore every year out of the ₹4.50 lakh crore annual budget, leaving us with ₹3 lakh crore. In such scenario, a shortfall of ₹1 lakh crore is likely in the coming Budget,” Mr. Pawar, who holds Finance portfolio, told reporters. He said the allies in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government have decided against slashing allocations for departments of police, health, food and civil supplies and PWD.

Mr. Pawar said the government didn’t slash funds for development as well as DPC funds. “The Centre had stopped MP funds since the last two to three years, but we increased the funds to ₹3 crore and did not reduce the quantum, given that these funds play an important role for development of constituencies,” he said.

On the allegedly objectionable speeches made by some speakers at recently-held Elgaar Parishad in Pune, Mr. Pawar said, “There was no reason to give such statements.”

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