Maharashtra may be reeling under debt, but the state government decided not to pass on the state’s burden to its citizens in the 2010-11 Budget, which was tabled in the state legislature on Thursday.
The only big pocket-pincher announced by State Finance Minister Sunil Tatkare is the one per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) that developers have to pay on the price of flats on agreements of sale registered after April 1. It will be charged on the price of flat stated in the agreement, and will get passed on to home buyers. So, if your flat costs Rs 80 lakh, you will have to pay Rs 80,000.
Other than this, there are no new taxes in the Rs 7,654-crore revenue deficit Budget, though just last week the state increased VAT by one per cent on 104 essential goods.
To keep a check on rising prices, the state will subsidise foodgrains and pulses through 2010-11, shouldering a burden of Rs 1,550 crore.
“We don’t want to increase taxation from now,” said Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. “We would rather go in for public-private-partnership projects to cross-subsidise unviable projects.” This suggests the state will not spend on big-ticket infrastructure projects.
On the whole, for Mumbai, it’s a disappointing Budget. Other than the Rs 200-crore allocation for the BRIMSTOWAD project — to overhaul storm water drains — there is nothing else.
The city will get two museums — one on Sachin Tendulkar and another on Bollywood.
The government has kept its eye focused on traditional sectors such as water resources, agriculture and power in its Rs 33,934-crore development plan.
The state debt is estimated at Rs 2.09 lakh crore. “Our borrowings are within the parameters announced by the Centre,” Tatkare said.