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Maharashtra CM: State to control budgets, increase revenue
December, 08th 2010

Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chvan today said state government has decided to control budget estimates and overcome the deficit by increasing revenues through various sources.

"The government has decided in principle to control the budget estimates and overcome the deficit by increasing the revenue through various sources be it sales tax or excise and other revenue sources," Chavan told journalists at a breakfast meeting at his official residence "Ramgiri" here.

"The neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are going ahead of Maharashtra, which has suffered to some extent due to political changes recently," he said.

Touching most of the important issues of Maharashtra and particularly backward region of Vidarbha, Chavan said he would try to get familiar with the problems and would be covering entire Vidarbha region within one month.

Admitting that he was new to the issues of region, Chavan said he had already visited Wardha but would be visiting rest of the district.

He showed keen interest in knowing issues pertaining to Naxalites, police preparedness and tribals living in Naxal infested areas.

"I would be visiting Gadchiroli shortly," he said.

On the state government and prime minister's package, Chavan said some loopholes have been brought to his notice. He, however, did not elaborate it saying he would study it minutely.

Chavan said he would concentrate on expediting prestigious Multi Modal International Passenger and Cargo Hub (MIHAN), Gosikhurd Irrigation Project, other irrigation projects in Vidarbha region.

About MIHAN, Chavan, who only yesterday reviewed the project, admitted that the progress of the project has slowed down and advocated marketing of the much publicised project all over the country.

"Roadshow in Singapore and other places has many reservations and hence at national level, it badly needs a marketing strategy," he said.

"We need to appoint a marketing person," Chavan said.

"MIHAN also requires a project consultant but I was surprised to know from bureaucrats that only one application was received against the advertisement published for it. It was surprising to me," he said.

He said a second runway at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport was essential to facilitate the uninterrupted flying operations.

Chavan was of the opinion that size or investment of the project is not important but what matters is how much employment it generates.

On land allotment to Satyam in MIHAN project in his predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh's regime in around 2001, Chavan said at that juncture, there was nothing improper in allotting land to the firm since Satyam was on par with Infosys and other IT majors but the deal could have been more transparent.

The government should have extended open invitations to the investment firms and offer them land, he added.

Chavan said even he could not have minded giving them free land which would have helped the state in due course.

"We could not give land to HMT in those days that went to Bangalore and Nano now in Gujarat. But we should have transparent allotments," he said.

Chavan also felt that there is every possibility of government adopting "hard posting" and "soft posting" policy while transferring officers from both revenue and police department.

"If an officer from Konkan or Western Maharashtra is posted in eastern Vidarbha, it is like a demise in the family and entire family is perturbed. We have to overcome the problem," he said.

Chavan disfavoured the age old tradition of barter system in land allotments.

The value of land alloted and construction cost is lesser than the bartered land alloted to the party, he said, adding that instead we should go for bids and extend open invitation.

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