Rise in COVID cases in some parts of Maharashtra 'alarming'; may take harsh steps: Dy CM Ajit Pawar

Express News Service
MUMBAI: In the backdrop of 8% negative growth, Maharashtra Finance Minister Ajit Pawar tabled the state’s annual budget with the deficit of Rs 23,643 crore.

However, Pawar announced a discount of 1% on stamp duty and registration of a property if it is in a woman’s name.Pawar said that the state was passing through a difficult phase.

“But this state belongs to warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj; it will come out unscathed from the Covid-19-induced crisis.”

Pawar announced various sops for women on the International Women’s Day. This was Ajit Pawar’s second annual budget of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

“If a property is purchased in the name of a woman or is transferred in a woman’s name, then the government has decided to give 1% discount on stamp duty and registration. This move will empower women. Besides, the government will give free travel passes for girl students travelling by government-owned buses. We have also decided to set up a separate state-level women reserve force,” Pawar said, adding that the decision will add Rs 1,000-crore burden on the state exchequer. 

The Finance Minister increased the excise duty on Liquor. The rate of VAT has been also increased on the sale of liquor from the existing 60 to 65%. The state is estimated to get additional revenue of Rs 1,800 crore, Pawar said.

He said agriculture was the only sector that witnessed positive growth in a pandemic year. To boost this sector, the government has waived interest on crop loans of farmers up to Rs 2 lakh on the loan amount.

CM Uddhav Thackeray termed the budget as inclusive.

“This budget will again put the state on the path of not only recovery but boost the sectors that helped the state in the crisis time. We have focused on agriculture, health and infrastructure projects,” he said.

BJP MLA Devendra Fadnavis said: “The government has included the BMC projects amount in the budget and it did not disclose how much money they received from the Centre for their various schemes.”