News Brief

'Laadki Bahin' Scheme, Stipend For Youth, Support To Farmers: Key Takeaways From Mahayuti Government's Budget Ahead Of Maharashtra Polls

Swarajya Staff

Jun 29, 2024, 12:08 PM | Updated 01:53 PM IST

(R to L) Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar. (Image via X)
(R to L) Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar. (Image via X)
  • A summary of the various key measures announced by the Maharashtra government. The state goes to the polls later this year.
  • The Mahayuti-led government in Maharashtra, under the stewardship of Finance Minister Ajit Pawar, presented the state's budget on 28 June.

    In his budget speech, Pawar announced a slew of welfare schemes aimed at various sections of society ahead of the upcoming state assembly election.

    Notably, this was an additional budget after the state government presented an interim budget prior to the Lok Sabha election in February 2024.

    One of the cornerstone initiatives announced by the Maharashtra government is the ‘Mukhyamantri Maajhi Laadki Bahin Scheme’, set to commence in July. Under this scheme, eligible women aged between 21 and 60 will receive Rs 1,500 per month.

    In addition, the government also announced the 'Mukhyamantri Annapurna Yojana', which entails three free LPG cylinders annually for over 52 lakh families.

    To address unemployment, the government announced the ‘Chief Minister Yuva Karya Prashikshan Scheme’. It entails a monthly stipend of Rs 10,000 to over 10 lakh unemployed youth, who will be encouraged to enroll in the ‘Chief Minister Karyaprashikshan Yojana’. 

    In the agriculture sector, the government plans to waive electricity bills for the use of water pumps, benefiting over 44.06 lakh farmers.

    Additionally, cotton and soybean farmers will receive Rs 5,000 per hectare, with a limit of 2 hectares, during the Kharif season of 2023-24.

    Onion farmers will also see relief with a subsidy of Rs 851.66 crore, calculated at Rs 350 per quintal.

    Further, under the ‘Magel Tyala Solar Power Pump’ scheme, valued at Rs 15,000 crore, the state government plans to ensure uninterrupted daytime electricity to farmers, targeting 8.50 lakh beneficiaries. 

    “The state government is committed to enhancing the lives of the farmers in the state. We will also implement a quick and transparent ‘E-Panchnama System’ to assess losses caused by natural calamities. Along with this, we are also announcing the ‘Gaon Tethe Godam Scheme.’ In the first phase, construction of 100 new godowns and repair of existing godowns will be undertaken,” Finance Minister Pawar said.

    In addition to the Laadki Bahin scheme, girls from Other Backward Classes (OBC), Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Scheduled Castes (SC), and Scheduled Tribes (ST) hailing from families with an annual income of less than Rs 8 lakh pursuing higher education in undergraduate courses in government-aided institutes will benefit from 100 percent reimbursement for education and examination fees. The state government will incur an expense of Rs 2000 crore for the same. 

    The government also aims to empower women through initiatives like the ‘Umed Mart’ and ‘E-Commerce Online Platform’. It claims to have already helped 15 lakh women become ‘lakhpati didis.’ Now it aims to extend the coverage to 25 lakh women by the end of the year.

    With an eye on the voter in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), fuel prices in Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai will be reduced, with petrol prices cut by 65 paise per litre and diesel by Rs 2.07 per litre.

    In the healthcare sector, the insurance cover for families has been increased from Rs 150,000 to Rs 5 lakh, covering 1,900 hospitals and 1,356 types of treatment.

    As a hat tip to popular cultural and religious practices in the state, the government announced a Rs 20,000 grant to each dindi (that is, a group of pilgrims) participating in the Ashadhi Ekadashi Vari, an annual pilgrimage conducted on foot to the holy town of Pandharpur.

    In response to speculations about the state government’s announcement of the Rs 1,500 monthly aid to women before the budget speech, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) chief Uddhav Thackeray, part of the opposition-led Maha Vikas Agahadi, had demanded a ‘Mukhyamantri Majha Laadka Bhau Scheme’ along with that announced for women.

    According to Thackeray, the scheme proposed by him could include all unemployed men between the ages of 21 and 60 who would be provided a monthly aid of Rs 1,500 per month, similar to what has been promised for women.

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