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Ajit Pawar set to present ‘please-all’ budget with Shinde guarantee in Maha Assembly today

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Shillong, June 28: With an eye on the upcoming Maharashtra Legislative Assembly election, slated for September-October, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds finance and planning portfolios, is expected to present a ‘please all’ budget for 2024-25 at 2 p.m. on Friday.

 

In a bid to reach out to the women, youth, Muslims, Dalits and farmers, especially against the backdrop of dismal performance in the Lok Sabha election, Minister Pawar will make a slew of populist slogans.

 

Top ministers claim that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has a major say in the budget formulation with a resolve to lure the identified sections during the Assembly elections and thereby retain power in Maharashtra. The MahaYuti plans to approach the voters with a ‘Shinde guarantee’ on the lines of the Modi guarantee with the implementation of a slew of proposals in the budget.

 

Top government sources said the state government is expected to announce a ‘Ladli Bahana’ scheme on the lines of Madhya Pradesh with a monthly allowance of Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500 to eligible women, Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 monthly allowance to unemployed youth, waiver in fee to the girls pursuing engineering and medical education with the annual family income of Rs 8 lakh, financial assistance to government undertakings formed to help Maratha, OBC, Muslims and also special package for Dhangar community which is pressing for reservation from the Scheduled Tribes.

 

Furthermore, the government is likely to provide a monthly allowance of Rs 600 to 700 to Class 12 pass-outs and Rs 7,000 to 8,000 to those who have completed ITI courses and diploma courses. The monthly allowance in various categories is expected to benefit nearly 10 lakh youth in the 18-29 year age group. The government may consider another crop waiver scheme or propose hefty financial aid to the farmers who are in distress due to a dip in prices in various agricultural produce and the Centre’s switch on and switch off policies on onion, grapes, sugar and ethanol.

 

These proposals are a part of MahaYuti’s attempt to win over the Muslims, tribals, farmers, youth and Maratha and OBCs, especially against the backdrop of ongoing protests over the reservation.

 

Ajit Pawar has already presented the Rs 6,00,522 crore interim budget for 2024-25 in February.

 

Of the total budget, with revenue receipts to the tune of Rs 4,98,758 crore, the revenue expenditure was projected at Rs 5,08,492 crore, while the revenue deficit was Rs 16,112 crore and the fiscal deficit was Rs 99,288 crore. With Friday’s budget proposals, the government’s revenue deficit is expected to surge from the present level of 0.5 per cent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) while fiscal deficit may touch 3 per cent or it may be above that limit of the GSDP from the present level of 2.8 per cent. (IANS)

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