Maharashtra Budget 2023 highlights: Farmers and women taking precedence

Maharashtra Budget 2023 highlights: The Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government announced an assortment of financial aids for the common man in its inaugural Budget on Thursday (9 March 2023). Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis presented the state budget for 2023-24 in the legislative assembly. He is also the state finance minister.

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis presented a revenue deficit budget of Rs 16,222 crore in the Assembly with a total outlay of Rs 1,72,000 crore. He called it the first budget of the “Amrit kaal”, which is simply based on five principles “panchamrit”. The principles focus on farmers, women, youth, employment, and the environment.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena), joined hands with Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) to form a government in Maharashtra in June 2022. He called the budget 2023 ‘ historically and inclusive’.

Highlights of the Maharashtra Budget 2023-24:

Here are some of the highlights of the Maharashtra budget 2023 proposed by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis:

For Farmers:

  • The budget proposed the ‘Namo Shetkari Mahasanman Nidhi’ scheme, which would offer Rs 6,000 to every farmer in the state. In addition to the Rs 6,000 provided by the central scheme (PM Kisan Samman Nidhi) annually.
  • The Maharashtra government announced a Re. 1 crop insurance scheme for farmers. With this, the government would bear the financial burden of Rs 3,312 crore.
  • Farmers living in 14 suicide-afflicted districts will receive a cash benefit of Rs 1,800 per year instead of grain rations from the public distribution system (PDS).

For Women:

  • A new initiative called ‘Lek Ladki’ will be launched to empower girls. A subsidy of Rs 5,000 will be given to families with yellow and orange ration cards after the birth of a girl child. After this, the beneficiary will receive Rs 4,000 when she is in Class 1. Later, she will get Rs 6,000 in Class 6, and Rs 8,000 in Class 11. After reaching the age of 18, the beneficiary girl will receive Rs 75,000 in cash.
  • The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will offer women a 50% discount on ticket fares for all of its bus services.
  • The state government has announced that it will waive professional tax for women who earn up to Rs. 25,000 a month. Previously, women earning more than 10,000 had to pay professional taxes.
  • The state government also announced a new scheme called ‘Shakti Sadan’. It offers shelter to women in distress who have been sexually abused or are victims of domestic violence. The scheme will be launched by combining the Swadhar and Ujjwala schemes, each of which was launched with central government assistance.
  • The government will continue to offer women buyers of housing properties the 1 % stamp duty concession. However, this ban on selling a residential unit to a man for 15 years will be relaxed.
  • 50 new working women’s hostels will start for the benefit of Maharashtra’s working women.

Some other Highlights:

  • State Finance Minister Fadnavis also announced the launch and implementation of the Jalyukta Shivar Yojana 2.0 in 5,000 villages. Between 2015 and 2019, the first version was implemented in 22,500 villages.
  • Modi Awas Yojana – The government will build 10 lakh houses in the next three years for beneficiaries of other backward classes. Rs 12,000 crores will be made available to fund this scheme over a three-year period.
  • Fadnavis announced that the remuneration of Anganwadi workers would be raised from Rs 8,300 to 10,000 and of helpers from Rs. 5500 to 4425.
  • Of the 337 kilometers of metro lines planned for Mumbai, 46 kilometers are already operational. Additionally, a 50-kilometer line will go into operation this year.
  • The budget announced that the Value Added Tax (VAT) on aviation turbine fuel would be reduced from 25 percent to 18 percent in Mumbai, Pune, and Raigad.

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