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Maharashtra Budget 2024-25: A Focus on Women’s Empowerment and Inclusive Growth - In Bulletin

 Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister and NCP chief, Ajit Pawar, unveiled the state’s 2024-25 Budget during the Monsoon Session of the Maharashtra Assembly, emphasizing a series of initiatives aimed at women's empowerment and inclusive growth. One of the flagship programs, the 'Mukhyamantri Majhi Ladki Bahin' (CM My Beloved Sister) scheme, will provide a monthly allowance of ₹1,500 to women aged between 21 and 60 years starting July 2024. This initiative mirrors Madhya Pradesh’s successful 'Ladli Behna' scheme, which has been instrumental in the BJP's electoral success in that state.


Maharashtra's 2024-25 Budget introduced: ₹1,500 monthly for women, free LPG cylinders, VAT cuts, and extensive farmer support - In Bulletin.

Some Key Announcements

Empowering Women:

Mukhyamantri Majhi Ladki Bahin Scheme:-

This initiative will benefit women aged 21 to 60, aiming to provide financial stability and empower women in Maharashtra.
"We are announcing Mukhyanantri Majhi Ladki Bahin (CM's Beloved Sister scheme). Under this, all women will be given Rs 1,500 per month. Scheme will be implemented from July 2024," Pawar told the assembly.

Mukhyamantri Annapurna Yojana:-

Under this scheme, families will receive three free LPG cylinders annually, benefiting over 52 lakh households and promoting the use of clean cooking fuel.


Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Mahila Start-Up Yojana:-

Set to launch this financial year, this scheme supports small women entrepreneurs with a start-up convention planned in the Maharashtra.



Support for Farmers:

Mukhya Mantri Baliraja Vij Savlat Yojana:- 

This scheme will waive off electricity bills for 46 lakh farmers, ensuring free electricity for agricultural pumps up to 7.5 horsepower.

Agricultural Subsidies:-

An ₹851 crore subsidy for onion farmers and financial assistance for cotton & soybean farmers are part of the budget’s focus on agricultural development.


Gaon Tithe Godam Scheme:-

Gaon Tithe Godam (godown in every village) for construction and renovation of grain storage facility in every village.


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Additional Welfare Measures:

Third Gender Policy:-

Aimed at promoting inclusivity, the policy ensures better access to government schemes and jobs for the third-gender community.

“The ‘Third Gender’ option has been made available along with male and female options, in the recruitment process by the government and public authorities as well as in all the government schemes. This will make it easier for the members of third-gender community to take benefits of the State government schemes,” he said. Mr. Pawar.


Youth Employment:-

The Chief Minister's Youth Work Training Scheme will provide ₹10,000 per month for skill training to 10 lakh youths annually.


Healthcare and Education:-

Plans include the establishment of 18 new medical colleges and 100% tuition fee reimbursement for OBC and economically weaker section girls with an income up to ₹8 lakh.


Opposition’s Response

The opposition, led by Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, criticized the budget as being election-oriented and filled with unfulfilled promises. Thackeray questioned about  implementing these schemes and called for an expert committee to evaluate the actual implementation of past government promises. “Maharashtra is being looted, and those responsible for the looting will not be re-elected,” Mr. Thackeray said.


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Economic Impact

The budget outlined a total expenditure of ₹6,12,293 crore with a revenue deficit of ₹20,051 crore. The decision to reduce VAT(Value Added Tax) on fuel and provide extensive subsidies is expected to have significant economic implications, particularly as the state prepares for upcoming elections.


Conclusion

The Maharashtra Budget 2024-25, presented by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, reflects a strong commitment to women's empowerment, agricultural support, and inclusive growth. While the opposition remains fire about the implementation and financial sustainability of these schemes, the government’s initiatives aim to address key socio-economic issues and boost the welfare of diverse sections of society.


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