Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse alleges the loan availed by the Congress-led state govt has gone in greasing palms
The Opposition yesterday sought to know how the Congress-led Democratic Front government utilised the Rs 2 lakh crore loan it took since it assumed power in 1999. Demanding to know what kind of development was realised through the entire amount, Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse alleged that graft guzzled up the money.
Demanding answers: Opposition leader Eknath Khadse at the budget
session in Vidhan Bhavan yesterday. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Initiating a debate on the state's annual budget for 2012-13, Khadse said that during its tenure from 1995 to 1999, the Shiv Sena-BJP government raised Rs 20,000 through loans, which was in addition to the earlier loan of Rs 19,000 during the Congress-led regime. But from 1999 till date, the DF government has added Rs 2 lakh loan burden on the state.
"We can show you 55 flyovers in Mumbai and irrigation projects taken up through Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation. But show us where exactly Rs 2 lakh crore has gone," asked the leader. He alleged that the money went in corruption, as there was hardly anything that the incumbent government could show to establish the utilisation of the money toward development schemes.
Dubbing the budget as mere jugglery, he said Maharashtra has become the leader among all states in terms of debt alone, as the state currently carries a debt burden to the tune of Rs 2.53 lakh crore.
"The state says it has spent Rs 70,000 crore on irrigation, but ironically the irrigation percentage has gone up by just 0.1 per cent, which is surprising," said Khadse. Despite all the tall claims of development made by the government, the state has witnessed negative growth in the agriculture sector.
"The state plan for the year 2012-13 for Rs 45,000 crore says just 2.4 per cent amount is going to be spent on new projects. Why doesn't the state just take a planned holiday?" Khadse asked sardonically. The sales tax collection is witnessing higher target realisations due to inflation, as every one rupee hike in the prices of petrol automatically results in Rs 600 crore being added to the state kitty, Khadse claimed.
Meanwhile, BJP member Devendra Fadnavis alleged that Pune-based contractor Sanjay Kakade, who withdrew from Rajya Sabha election a few days ago in the presence of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, was promised a contract for the Nariman Point-Borivli water transport project. He also alleged that the work of construction of jetties will be awarded to Kakade.