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Not much in budget, Govt. levies 1% VAT
March, 26th 2010

There wasn't much for Mumbai in the state's budget for 2010-11, which finance minister Sunil Tatkare presented on Thursday. Not directly anyway.

Tatkare spoke about money for the city's stormwater drains and sea-links, but these funds will be coming from either the Centre, MMRDA or MSRDC.

Tatkare's maiden budget, announced in Maharashtra's golden jubilee year, was expected to pack a punch, but with concessions being given to items like camphor and hairpins, it seemed to miss the larger issues. The budget showed a deficit of Rs 7,564 crore; the state's debt is Rs 1.85 lakh crore.

So what did Mumbai get directly from the budget? Rs 20 crore for the upgradation of the state-run J J Hospital at Byculla was the most significant financial packet. Mumbai can also hope to benefit from the Rs 1,550 crore to be spent statewide on making commodities available at ration shops to curb the price rise.

The announcement of a marine police wing along the coast and 40 more bomb squads across the state will also hearten a city in dire need of improved security. And yes, there will be two new museums with Bollywood and Sachin Tendulkar as their themes.

On the flipside, with a 1% VAT placed on the price of flats for builders and developers, the Mumbaikar could feel the pinch even more, despite a slew of schemes to build affordable homes across the state, including under JNNURM.

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