In a meeting with the 15th Finance Commission, the Maharashtra government, on September 19, 2018, sought Rs 50,000 crores, as a special support for Mumbai city and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which includes surrounding townships. “Mumbai is the backbone of our economy. We must strengthen Mumbai’s infrastructure. We need to acknowledge the importance of Mumbai in the nation’s GDP,” chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, in a memorandum to the Commission.
He also sought special grants of Rs 32,327 crores, for various other development projects. Of the Rs 32,327 crores, Rs 25,000 crores would be needed to improve living standards in the economically backward Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, he said. The demand for special grants included Rs 1,400 crores for environmental management, Rs 200 crores for ecosystem conservation and protection and wetland conservation, Rs 1,000 crores for conservation and protection of rivers and Rs 200 crores for coastal biodiversity conservation.
The chief minister demanded Rs 825 crores for preservation for culture and heritage, Rs 600 crores for conservation, repairs and development of protected monuments and museums, Rs 100 crores for conservation of forts and Rs 125 crores for upgradation of auditoriums and theatres. He demanded a special grant of Rs 1,177 crores for the conservation of forests, wildlife and for increasing the green cover and mangrove development. The government also sought Rs 1,700 crores for strengthening judicial administration, including renovation of court buildings.
“Maharashtra is the growth engine of the nation and so, we need more share (in tax revenue) for India to grow fast,” Fadnavis said. The chief minister also demanded an incentive for the state, which boasts of the highest tree cover in non-forested areas in the country. He suggested the use of rural data from the Socio-Economic Caste Survey, to measure deprivation and factor it in the devolution formula of the Finance Commission.
Apart from Fadnavis, state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, revenue minister Chandrakant Patil and other ministers Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, Ram Shinde and Deepak Kesarkar, also attended the meeting with Commission members. The Finance Commission is set up every five years, to decide the sharing of tax resources between the centre and states. The 15th Finance Commission, headed by NK Singh, was on a three-day visit to the state from September 17, 2018.