Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday said out of Rs 46,950 crore due to the state government as GST compensation, the Centre has paid just Rs 6,140 crore and Rs 11,520 crore as loan by the end of February. Addressing the joint sitting of members of the state Legislature on the first day of the budget session, Koshyari said compensation to the tune of Rs 29,290 crore is overdue from the central government.
“By the end of February 2021, out of the Rs 46,950 crore due to my government as Goods and Services Tax compensation, the central government has paid just Rs 6,140 crore and Rs 11,520 crore as loan for GST compensation,” the governor said.
Koshyari noted that the coronavirus-induced lockdown slowed down the state’s economy in addition to medical emergency and natural calamities.
Out of the revenue collection target of Rs 3,47,456 crore, the state has collected just Rs 1,88,542 crore at the end of January 2021, which is 35 percent less than the budgetary estimate and 21 percent lower than the collection in the same period during the previous year, he said.
Despite significant reduction in revenue, the state has provided priority funding to the departments of public health, medical education and drugs, relief and rehabilitation, food and civil supplies and home during the pandemic, the governor said in his speech.
“To stimulate the economy, my government has provided for 75 percent of the budgetary provision for capital expenditure and released 100 percent money to the Local Development Fund, DPC schemes and Dongri Vikas Karyakram,” he said.
The governor said considering the COVID-19 situation and the economic condition, the state government is pursuing with the Centre for increasing its (Union government’s) contribution in the central schemes.
“My government took several measures for control and management of the COVID-19 pandemic which have become a model for the rest of the states and even in other countries.
“Maharashtra has most effectively managed the epidemic by bringing down the number of active cases and successfully dealing with difficult settlements like Dharavi,” he said.
He said sufficient laboratories were set up for testing infected people in Maharashtra and the state was the first to erect temporary jumbo corona hospitals in record times.
The ‘Mahatma Phule Jeevandaayi Yojana’ ensured that hospitals could not charge unreasonable rates for treatment. Apart from the capacity in government hospitals, sufficient beds in private hospitals were reserved for COVID- 19 patients at reasonable rates, he said.
“The cost of treatment in private hospitals, cost of laboratory tests, CT scan, masks were regulated to safeguard peoples interest,” the governor said.
Terming the ‘Majhe Kutumb, Majhi Jababdari’ (My Family, My Responsibility) as an “innovative” health check-up mission in the country, he said under the programme, all families in the state were surveyed in two rounds.
The special survey of high-risk individuals and senior citizens was also done, due to which several patients affected by COVID-19 infection could be detected. This mission helped in preparing the state health map, Koshyari said.
“By participation of citizens in the management of COVID-19 pandemic, our state ensured successful control of this epidemic. But, the battle against COVID-19 is still on and now ‘Me Jababdar’ mission has been launched,” he said.
The Maharashtra government is implementing the vaccination programme regarding COVID-19 disease and it is also pursuing the Centre for increasing the quota of vaccines for people of the state, he added.
The governor also called for being constantly vigilant about safety measures regarding COVID-19 and said there is a serious need to follow physical distancing norms, use of face mask and regularly wash hands, as the possibility of a “second wave” is imminent.
Having recognised the need for investing in the public health infrastructure, the state government has approved the setting up of new medical colleges in Osmanabad, Sindhudurg and Nashik and is committed to set up more medical colleges, he said.
Koshyari further said the Maharashtra government has strongly presented the case of the state in the original suit filed in the Supreme Court on its border dispute with Karnataka and henceforth, will continue to present the same.
“My government expresses its commitment to the Marathi-speaking people of the border areas and is committed to get them justice,” the governor said.