After Maharashtra’s Covid experience, budget focuses on healthcare
Geetanjali Minhas | March 8, 2021 | Mumbai
Maharashtra, among the worst Covid-affected states, has allocated Rs 7,500 crore for construction and upgradation of health institutions over four years, and provided Rs. 5,000 crore for quality health services in the municipal councils and nagar panchayats over five years. Moreover, post-Covid counseling and treatment centres will be set up in every district hospital and government medical college in urban areas.
“The need for health care reforms in all areas has been underlined due to Covid pandemic,” finance minister Ajit Pawar said while presenting the state budget in the assembly on Monday.
“A project costing about Rs. 7,500 crore has been prepared to provide quality health care and treatment to the people by constructing and upgrading health institutions under the Public Health Department and it will be completed in the next four years.The proposal includes construction of district hospital, psychiatric, trauma care center, primary health center and sub-center, upgrading and construction of taluka level hospital,” he said.
On civil health services, he noted, “Against the increasing urbanization of the state, the state government has set up an office of the Director, Civil Health under the Health Commissionerate, to ensure quality health care to the urban people and effective implementation of the National Health Program. Thereby in a time-bound manner, in the form of a campaign, quality health services will be made available in the Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats by increasing the health care infrastructure. For this, Rs. 5000 crore will be provided by the government in the next five years. Out of this, Rs 800 crore will be made available in this year.”
Moreover, “Due to Covid , we came to learn that the state must have modern hospitals for the treatment of contagious diseases. Modern referral service hospitals for contagious disease will be set up in the premises of Aundh District hospital. It is planned to set up sub-centers of these hospitals at the divisional and district level in phases.”
Benefits to women
“The Global pandemic of Covid-19 has affected the state economy unprecedentedly in the last year. As a result industry, service and other sectors of the state have been severely impacted,” Pawar said. “However despite slowdown in the economy, keeping women as a focal point, I propose the following measures in Part- II of the budget…. On the eve [sic] of International Women’s Day, I propose concession in Stamp Duty of 1 Percent over the prevailing rate exclusively to Women, provided the transfer of house property or registration of sale deed is in the name of woman or women only,” he announced. This move will lead to a revenue shortfall of around Rs. 1,000 crore.
To compensate it, the MVA government has turned to liquor for extra revenue. An increase in state excise duty on liquor will get additional revenue of Rs 800 crore, while an increase VAT on liquor is estimated to get additional revenue of Rs 1,000 crore.
Among other highlights of the budget:
Projects for development of Mumbai
* Mumbai Trans-harbour Link project will be completed by September 2022. A four-lane flyover is under construction to connect Bandra-Worli sea link to MTHL which will completed in next three years.
* 126 km long “Virar-Alibaug Multimodal Corridor” costing Rs. 40,000 crore, of which land acquisition is in progress.
* Thane Coastal Road which is 15 k.m. long and 40 meters wide, parallel to Thane Creek is in progress costing Rs. 1,250 crore.
* Vasai to Kalyan water transport service will be made available in the first phase
Internal transport services in Mumbai city
* Work of Bandra-Versova sea link,17.17 km long, and estimated to cost Rs. 11,333 crore is in progress. The estimated cost of Bandra-Versova-Virar sea link is Rs. 42,000 crores and the feasibility report is being prepared.
* Estimated cost of Goregaon-Mulund link road is Rs. 6600 crores and the tendering work is in process.
* The Mumbai costal road project is progressing rapidly and it is planned to complete before 2024.
Tourist Attractions in Mumbai
* Hindu-Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Smarak has been approved for a cost of Rs. 400 crore.
Infrastructure Development in Mumbai
* Sewage water treatment plants at Worli, Bandra, Dharavi, Ghatkopar, Bhandup, Versova and Malad are being undertaken at a cost of Rs. 19500 crore.
* A project for rejuvenation of the Mithi, Dahisar, Poisar and Oshivara river has been started.
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