New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc across the country with a major hit on financial conditions of the country due to the nation-wide lockdown in-place to contain the further spread of the COVID-19, from over a month.  

Now, according to a report by Indian Express, the worst-hit state by the pandemic, Maharashtra, has decided to freeze any new capital works till March next to cope up with the losses incurred due to the lockdown. The state government has also ordered a slash of 67 per cent in development (scheme) spend for 2020-21, which is the deepest ever cut in expenditure since the formation of the state. 

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According to the report, the state government on Monday ordered the authorities to stop tenders for any new purchases and approval for new development works in the state. The state government also withhold all departmental transfers to ensure continuity in administration during the pandemic, which has afflicted more than 14,500 people in the state. The government has only allowed obtaining of infrastructures and items required to combat the coronavirus.

 

The Congress-Shiv Sena-NCP government in the state had presented a budget of Rs 4.34 lakh crore for 2020-21, less than two months ago, which is an increase of 4.1 per cent from the previous year’s revised estimate, but the capital outlay (spending which leads to asset creation) was estimated at Rs 45,124 crore for this year, 2.6 per cent lower than in 2019-20, the Indian Express report further stated.

State’s finance department has estimated its own loss in tax revenues of about Rs 50,000 crore, during the third phase of the lockdown. For the current financial year, the state's own tax revenues were budgeted at Rs 2,25,071 crore. The report also quoted senior officials as saying that the losses due to the lockdown will only likely to increase.

Apart from slashing 67 per cent in development expenditure, the state has also frozen fresh recruitment till further orders.

"Department secretaries have been asked to review all ongoing schemes. Only those that are unavoidable will be taken up on priority. Some others will be stayed. Others that can be avoided will be cancelled," a senior official was quoted by Indian Express as saying.

"Cuts in expenditure on CSS would depend on the amount of the state's share and also the scheme’s overall importance," the order by the Maharashtra government stated. Departments have also been barred from releasing funds to loss-making corporations for now.

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The government also asked the departments to stop administrative expenses at 75 per cent of the budgeted amount, and also announced restrictions on office renovation, stationery, consultancies, and rents among others. 

Posted By: Talib Khan