Public deprived of welfare schemes.
Mumbai: Even as the Maharashtra government gears up to present the 2017-18 budget on March 18, data procured from the finance department shows that the state spent only 45 per cent of the funds from the 2016-17 budget.
The lowest spend was by the environment (7.76 per cent), housing (8.66 per cent), water resources (11.45 per cent) and the public works department (12.30 per cent). Despite finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s tall claims that he would bring financial discipline, some of the departments failed to utilise the allotted funds. Finance department officials said that due to the poor expenditure, the general public is ultimately at a loss, as schemes are not implemented properly.
As per the data from the finance department, the school education department spent the highest (74.78 per cent) followed by the medical education (73.53 per cent), the agriculture and dairy development department (71.61 per cent) and the technical education department (71.45 per cent).
The actual funds received by all the departments was Rs 2.06 lakh crore of which Rs 1.38 lakh crore was spent on various schemes which comes out to be 45.63 per cent.
There are a few departments that have spent more than 50 per cent funds like the urban development department (55.84%), rural development (55.76%), social justice (54.81 per cent), public health (64.47%), women and child (64.64 %) and Marathi language (52 .14%).
When contacted, Mr Mungantiwar said that there was no point in spending money forcefully.
“There are a few departments that spend funds speedily while others do not. There are some technical difficulties also in spending funds despite its availability. We also divert some funds to other departments because we are short of funds. But in the next budget, the funds would be made available. There is no point in spending money without proper planning. In fact, we have saved money this time due to the financial discipline,” Mr Mungantiwar said.