The state government is unlikely to meet the opposition’s demand for additional package for the victims of Cyclone Phyan and the subsequent unseasonal rains that caused heavy damage to fishermen and standing crops across the state.
The state fears that the additional Rs 1,000 crore that the compensation entails will upset its revenue deficit budget for the current year. The revenue receipts in the budget estimates for the current year are Rs.807.1 billion (Rs.80,710 crore) and the revenue expenditure is Rs.891.7 billion (Rs.89,173 crore). The resulting revenue deficit is Rs.84.6 billion (Rs.8,462 crore).
Legislators discussed the issue at length but the government did not take any firm decisions. It had announced some measures last week but the opposition wanted more.
Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, who replied to the discussion in the assembly on Wedne-sday, did not make any commitments regarding the relaxation of the compensation norms for 28 districts that received over 65 mm rainfall in 24 hours in Nove-mber. The relaxation, if approved, would not meet the Centre’s norms and the state will have to bear the financial burden.
The state has received Rs 187 crore of the Rs 670 crore that the Centre approved recently. It has sought an additional Rs 1,171 crore from the Centre.
A senior government official requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media said Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is not in favour of disturbing the budget. No minister was available for comment.
The state has fixed the size of its plan at Rs 260 billion (Rs 26,000 crore). While an amount of
Rs 10,606 crore has been provided, the planning department has shown another outlay of Rs 15,393 crore as a lumpsum provision.