Mar 18, 2016 08:54 AM IST | Source: PTI

Fiscal health of state is 'weak': Maha revenue minister

Former Finance Minister Jayant Patil of NCP, who was also present, painted a grim picture of the state economy and said raising money through loans was seemingly unavoidable.

Fiscal health of state is 'weak': Maha revenue minister

Admitting that fiscal condition of the state was weak, Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said he too was curious about the Budget that Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar would present today.

Khadse was speaking at a meet-the-press program organised by the Mantralaya Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh.

Former Finance Minister Jayant Patil of NCP, who was also present, painted a grim picture of the state economy and said raising money through loans was seemingly unavoidable.

Conceding that "fiscal condition is weak", Khadse however argued that Maharashtra had fared better than expected in some sectors and slowed down in some other. "But the growth rate, which had declined, is expected to go up," he said.

"Had there been good rainfall and the agriculture sector not registered negative growth (due to drought), the state's economy would have achieved double digit growth rate....the agricultural growth is at par with national average," he said.

The Revenue Minister also said "the revenue deficit is a fact of the day and we need to accept it".

Khadse, however, denied that revenue from stamp duty and excise had dipped drastically. "I expect the revenue in both these sectors to meet the targets," he said.

There was an urgent need to cut the non-plan expenditure, he said, adding, "This means we will have to take some decisions that would be politically unpopular." Patil said that though the economic survey says the industrial and service sectors had done better this year, they may not do so next year due to the global recession and this would increase the state government's troubles.

Khadse said that recession was primarily due to the oil sector, which might actually help the state economy.

The state was eyeing around Rs 30-40 thousand crore (from disputed matters) locked in appeals, he said.

"We have cleared a legislation that would help settle all such appeals in a time-bound manner releasing the locked amount, which would help the state economy," he said.

"Land monetisation is another alternative the state government is eyeing," the minister said.

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