Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said CM Uddhav Thackeray has instructed the Chief Secretary to ensure that government funds are deposited only in nationalised banks and not private lenders. Pawar, also the Finance Minister, made the remarks in Thackeray's presence after the former presented the state's budget for 2020-21 in the assembly.
"The CM has instructed the Chief Secretary and other secretaries to deposit government funds in nationalised banks, particularly ones protected by the Centre," Pawar told reporters outside state legislature building complex in Mumbai. Pawar's statements came in the backdrop of controversy over the transfer of salary accounts of the police department to Axis Bank, a private lender, allegedly by the previous BJP government led by Devendra Fadnavis.
Fadnavis's wife Amruta holds a senior post in Axis Bank. The Bombay High Court, on Thursday, sought Fadnavis's response to a petition questioning the transfer of salary accounts of the police department to Axis Bank. A senior official had stated last year that salary accounts of police personnel were with UTI Bank — later renamed as Axis Bank — since 2005, much before Fadnavis became Chief Minister in 2014.
Ajit Pawar started presenting the maiden budget of the Maha Vikas Aghadi in the Legislative Assembly on Friday by saying that the national economic slowdown has affected the state as well. The Minister said that there was a drop in central funds to the state to the tune of ₹8,453 crores, and added that the total debt on the state till January 2020 is ₹4,33,901 crore.
Pawar said the budget proposals focus on tackling challenges of economic slowdown and creation of employment. The Minister said that there was a drop in central funds to the state to the tune of ₹8,453 crores, and added that the total debt on the state till January 2020 is ₹4,33,901 crore.
Expressing concerns over the observations in the Economic Survey 2019-20, Ajit Pawar said on Thursday that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government will reclaim the state's top ranking. The survey was tabled in the state legislature ahead of the budget. "It indicates that Maharashtra is lagging behind in sectors such as industries and services while employment generation too was poor during the five years of Devendra Fadnavis-led regime," Pawar said.
"This is the result of wrong policies," the state Finance Minister said, adding that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government, which came to power in November 2019, will correct these mistakes. "We will try to reclaim Maharashtra's number one position in agriculture, industries, trade, education and foreign investment," said the NCP leader.
(With agency inputs)