Nagpur: Apart from announcing a loan waiver of upto Rs two lakh for farmers, the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government on Saturday came up with a slew of other decisions that included making available a full meal at just Rs 10 and setting up of 'chief minister's offices' at the divisional-level with an aim to "decentralise power".
On the last day of the Winter Session of the state legislature, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also announced restructuring the outstanding loans of farmers from October 2019 onwards, setting up of Krishi Samruddhi Centres across the proposed 'Balasaheb Thackeray Samruddhi Corridor' for employment generation. He also committed a steel plant at Surjagad in Gadchiroli district.
Thackeray told the Legislative Council that 'Nagpur-Mumbai Sammruddhi Expressway' will be named after his father and Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray. "Initially, 50 outlets of 'Shiv Bhojan' will be set up for people where a full meal will be available at Rs 10. We will expand the number of such outlets phase-wise dependent on the feedback," the CM told the Assembly. Making available meal at Rs 10 was one of the poll promises of the Shiv Sena for the Assembly elections, held in October.
However, the biggest announcement of the day was the loan waiver for agriculturists. "Crop loans outstanding till 30 September, 2019, will be waived by my government. The upper ceiling for the amount is Rs two lakh. The scheme will be called Mahatma Jyotirao Phule loan waiver scheme," Thackeray said in the Lower House. The chief minister also said that upcoming division-level offices of the Chief Minister (CMOs) would be connected to the main one in Mantralaya.
He claimed the move was part of his government's efforts to decentralise power. The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government will work towards boosting tourism in the state, he said. Other announcements included completion of the pending irrigation projects in Vidarbha by June 2023. He said paddy growers will be given an additional amount of Rs 200 per quintal, and 'Krushi Samruddhi' centres would be set up along the upcoming Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway. The chief minister said his government saved about Rs 2,500 crore in the project, which will be named as "Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Samruddhi Expressway".
"This is the dream project of Maharashtra which was initiated by the previous government," he told the Upper House. Thackeray refuted the BJP's charge that his government is a "sthagiti Sarkar" or a dispensation that is bent upon halting development projects. "We have decided to raise funds for the Sammrudhi project on our own and not from any outside sources. We have thus saved Rs 2500 crore of government money," he said, adding that 20 new towns will come up along the upcoming Sammruddhi highway.
"These towns will have agriculture and other developmental projects. Besides, at least five lakh people will get jobs when this project gets completed," the chief minister added. He said medical colleges will be set up in Chandrapur and Gondia in the Vidarbha region. The chief minister also announced that tourism potential of Lonar Lake or Lonar Crater, located in Buldhana district, will be developed. Lonar Lake is a notified National Geo-heritage Monument, which was created by an asteroid collision with earth impact.
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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2019 22:02:35 IST