With an eye on upcoming Assembly elections, Maharashtra Government on Wednesday hiked the budgetary provision for minority welfare from Rs 362 crore to Rs 500 crore.
The announcement was made in the Legislative Assembly by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who intervened when the discussions by various departments on the budget were in progress.
Chavan said that in the interim budget presented in February, a provision of Rs 280 crore was made while in the additional budget presented last week, a provision of Rs 82 crore was made. "The government has increased the budgetary allocation from Rs 362 crore to Rs 500 crore this year," Chavan said.
He informed the House that the procurement of paddy would continue till June 30.Chavan said that he had spoken to Union Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Ramvilas Paswan regarding the procurement scheme under the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and has secured the Centre's approval for the same.
"The paddy procurement had been stopped from May 15 following a Central government GR (government order) of May 8," the chief minister said.
During the discussion, Forests Minister Patangrao Kadam said that the number of tigers in the State had gone up from 170 to 210.
The Minister of State for Tourism Amit Deshmukh said that land acquisition was in full swing for the proposed sea world project in Sindhudurg district in coastal area. "The sea world and scuba diving projects would boost tourism in the state," he said.