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Maharashtra Budget 2024: Key Benefits for Women, Farmers, and Youth

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Here’s what the Maharashtra Budget 2024 has to offer women, farmers and youth.

The Maharashtra Budget 2024 was presented on Friday (28th June) by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who is also the Finance Minister for the state. The budget introduces several measures to support women, farmers, and youth, including monthly allowances, fuel and energy subsidies, and skill training stipends. Additionally, the budget unveils new initiatives for the third-gender community and significant agricultural and infrastructure support. The Budget outlined a total expenditure of ₹6,12,293 crore and a revenue deficit of ₹20,051 crore

Here are the key points of the budget:

Maharashtra Budget 2024: Key Announcements

1. Monthly Aid for Women

  • 1,500 monthly allowance for women aged 21 to 60 under the "Mukhya Mantri Majhi Ladki Bahin" scheme.
  • Implementation from July with an annual budgetary allocation of ₹46,000 crore.

2. Fuel and Energy Subsidies

  • VAT on fuel in Mumbai Metropolitan Region reduced
  • Petrol prices lowered by 65 paise per litre and diesel by ₹2.60 per litre from July 1. This will cost the government ₹200 crore.
  • Free electricity to agricultural pumps up to 7.5 horsepower capacity for 44 lakh farmers.
  • ₹14,761 crore allocated for waiving electricity bill dues for 44 lakh farmers.

3. Free LPG Cylinders

  • Under “Mukhya Mantri Annapurna Yojana,” three free LPG cylinders per household annually.
  • This will benefit approximately 52,16,412 families.

4. Youth Employment and Skill Training

  • ₹10,000 per month stipend for youth skill training.

5. Third Gender Policy

  • Inclusive recruitment processes and welfare schemes for the third-gender community.
  • "Third Gender" option included in government recruitment and schemes.

6. Women Entrepreneurship

  • "Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Mahila Start-Up Yojana" to support small women entrepreneurs.
  • All-India start-up convention in the state.

7. Agricultural Support

  • ₹851.66 crore subsidy for onion farmers at ₹350 per quintal.
  • ₹200 crore revolving fund for assured purchase of onion and cotton.
  • ₹341 crore allocated for productivity and value-chain development for cotton, soybean, and other oilseeds.
  • ₹5 per litre milk subsidy for registered milk producers.

8. Infrastructure Development

  • "Gaon Tithe Godam" initiative for village-level storage facilities.
  • Construction and repair of 100 godowns in the first phase.

9. Medical and Education Initiatives

  • Establishment of 18 new medical colleges in the state.

The Budget faced criticism from the opposition, who called it a gimmick aimed at winning the upcoming elections. Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray dismissed it as a list of empty promises. A major concern was the lack of clear explanation on how the government plans to fund these ambitious new schemes. However, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis defended the Budget, asserting it was practical and not solely focused on the polls.