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Maharashtra govt pushes 'unacceptable' Madarasa Modernisation Scheme
No mention of textile industry, Urdu language in Ajit Pawar's Rs 5417 cr revenue deficit interim budget for 2014-15
Wednesday February 26, 2014 0:08 AM, & Agencies

The Maharashtra government, in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, on Tuesday presented a Rs 5,417.28 crore revenue deficit budget for 2014-15. The government refrained from making any populist proposals but said that its Rs 184 crore revenue surplus budget will become revenue deficit of Rs 3,017.22 crore for 2013-14.

At the same time, it allocated Rs 131 cr for Madrasa Modernisation Scheme, which has no taker and is almost rejected by the majority of the people in the state.

"The government has decided to implement the Dr.Zakir Hussain Madarsa Modernization Scheme to provide modern education to the students in the Madarsas, in accordance with the Sacchar Committee recommendations", Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who also holds finance department, told the Maharashtra legislative Assembly.

"Under this scheme the registered Madarsas will get grants for infrastructure development, honorarium for teachers for science, mathematics, languages, social studies; and for scholarships to the students for mainstream education", he added.

The scheme announced few months ago has been received coldly by the Madrasa managements. Many in fact outrightly rejected any aid from the government. Against this backdrop it is surprising why the government is pushing it especially when there are many other issues related to Muslim that need urgent attention.

The government also decided to improve the employability of the minority community candidates through the Maulana Azad Free Coaching and Allied Scheme.

"The government provides pre-matric scholarships to the meritorious students from the minority communities. An outlay of Rs. 81.44 crore is proposed for the Central and State shares for the year 2014-15", Pawar said.

He proposed the annual plan size of Rs 51,222.54 crore for 2014-15. Nearly Rs 6.044.26 crore (11.8%) of the proposed annual plan size has been earmarked for the scheduled castes sub plan and Rs 4,814.92 crore (9.4%) for the tribal sub plan. About Rs 5,902 crore has been earmarked for the district annual plan for 2014-15.

Pawar told reporters that the state's public debt of Rs 3 lakh crore was 17.2% of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) against the national norm of 25.5%. The per person debt comes to nearly Rs 30,000 in Maharashtra as on date.

Besides, the state's fiscal deficit is 1.7% against the prudential norm of 3%. He strongly rejected allegations leveled by the opposition that the government was bankrupt due to balooning public debt. Instead, Pawar said that the Centre especially the Planning Commission has been asking the government not to approach them for additional funds but further meet their fund requirement through raising debt.

The interest payment is 13.53% of GSDP which is well below the national level of 20%.

Pawar gave a broad list of government's achievements since it took over in 1999 and said the per capita annual income grew to rs 1,05,493 crore and literacy rate climbed to 82.9%.

The budget was completely silent on any assistance for the textile industry. It was expected that the budget will have a mention of financial aid to plain powerlooms to be implemented simultaneously with central government's In-Setu scheme.

Though Ajit Pawar allocated special fund for the development of Marathi language, he completely ignored the Urdu language.

No new tax sops or proposals to revise existing taxes
Annual plan size proposed at Rs 51,222.54 cr for 2014-15
District annual plan approved of Rs 5,902 crore
Rs 2,500 cr provided for implementation of industrial incentive scheme
Establishment of Technical University for technical and
professional courses.
Nagpur Metro Railway Project proposal submitted to Central


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