The economic slowdown and recent spends on drought and flood mitigation have taken a toll on the state’s exchequer, with finance minister Ajit Pawar announcing a 20% expenditure cut on Wednesday. The decision is likely to delay infrastructure and development projects in the state.
The state government has been struggling to meet planned and routine expenses in the wake of poor revenue receipts in the first five months of this fiscal. Of sectors that generate the most revenue, receipts from excise duty and taxes on motor vehicles have been below par.
The state also had to bear the added burden of drought and flood relief measures for the last two years — the expenditure on water tankers and cattle camps since April is over Rs800 crore; the state has announced a relief package of Rs. 1,935 crore for the flood-affected areas in Vidarbha, Marathwada and Konkan. This cost is likely to rise as the heavy rain in Vidarbha have continued even after the package was announced in last week of July.
Three popular schemes sanctioned by the cabinet on Wednesday will put an annual burden of more than Rs. 600 crore on the state exchequer.