Mumbai: Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan on Tuesday said the BJP-led state government may borrow over Rs 50,000 crore soon to complete the ongoing irrigation projects.
Speaking to media-persons, Mahajan said his department had spent its last year's allocation of Rs 7,200 crore to create 48,000 Ha land irrigation capacity.
"But this amount is not sufficient as we have incomplete projects worth Rs 90,000 crore and hence we have decided to prioritise the completion of last-mile projects (where 75 percent work is complete)," Mahajan said.
His department is considering borrowing Rs 50,000 crore to complete all such projects, he said, adding, "we will get loan at a cheap interest rate".
However, former Chief Minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan, who also took part in the interaction, said the government's intention was to stop all other projects and only focus on last-mile ones.
As to getting loans at cheap rate, Chavan said fluctuations in currency exchange rates affect the interest amount and it eventually rises.
Chavan also criticised the government for changing the name of Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program (AIBP) to Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).
During the Congress-led UPA, Rs 1,500 crore had been allocated to Maharashtra alone, but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley provided only Rs 5,700 crore for PMKSY for the whole country in his budget, Chavan said.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should use his influence with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and get an allocation of least Rs 1 lakh crore for agriculture and irrigation needs of Maharashtra, he said.