It flees from the many challenges before the State, says Khadse

It lacks vision; silent on backlogs and has a lacklustre approach.

These were some of the comments that emanated from the Opposition after the budget was presented in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

Leader of the Opposition Eknath Khadse told reporters that the budget “flees from the many challenges” before the State.

“There is not a word on the huge backlogs in irrigation, road development and social sector schemes,” Mr. Khadse said. “Around Rs. 4,000 crore backlog exists in road development alone. Many student scholarships are waiting to be cleared. There is no mention of how the government aims to remove this backlog. Plus, 50 per cent of government posts are vacant as the State does not have the money to pay salaries. This budget is disappointing. There are many challenges before this State and the budget flees from them.”

Huge debt burden

Mr. Khadse the State was staring at a huge debt burden of Rs. 2.40 lakh crore. “Only 15 per cent of the total expenditure of Rs. 1.40 lakh crore has been allocated for development works. The State has not spent 60 per cent of the Plan outlay. On the other hand, non-Plan expenditure is rising. Ministers are spending on their bungalows and choppers. The budget makes the same old slogans, but the assurances have fallen flat.”

Calling the budget “anti-Vidarbha,” Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Devendra Fadnavis said it made no mention of the backward regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada. Similarly, it was silent on the poverty alleviation schemes.

“The poverty percentage of Maharashtra is 38, against 31 for the country. Yet there is not a single new scheme to alleviate poverty or generate employment. This is the first budget that says nothing about social inequality,” the MLA said.

BJP MLC Vinod Tawde said no concrete step was taken to increase the State's earnings.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MLA Bala Nandgaonkar called the budget “boring,” “ineffective” and “hollow.” He said, “There is nothing in it. Nothing specific on development or for that matter for the benefit of farmers.”