Retired IAS officers to help get Maharashtra’s economy back on track

Mumbai: Retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials have agreed to help Maharashtra’s economy, which has suffered severe blows due to covid-19, get back on its track. The IAS officers met CM Uddhav Thackeray today and suggested ways to tackle the current economic challenge the state is facing, the CM’s office said.

Maharashtra’s revenues have slowed down (to a great extent) owing to limited economic activities (albeit some relaxations since June 1) following the implementation of the lockdown during the first two months of the fiscal FY21. On account of lower own tax revenues and the requirement to spend more amidst the pandemic would pressure the states’ finances and would necessitate additional market borrowings to fund the fiscal deficit.

Maharashtra government, on Thursday, said the state is about to enter into agreements with at least 10 large foreign investors from different countries in the next few days.

The announcement follows Maharashtra’s industry department’s recent efforts to attract foreign direct investment in order to revive the state’s economy, which has been hurt badly due to the lockdown induced by the covid-19 pandemic.

A group of retired IAS officers today presented their suggestions to state’s chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

“Today we see citizens as the only source of income through taxes and other means. Today, a large number of migrant workers have moved out of the state. These workers used to carry huge responsibilities, now we are involving the locals in the state in a large scale in these industries, businesses, infrastructure works,” the CM said.

He added that in a situation where all the states have equal opportunities, Maharashtra needs something special that everyone will be attracted to, so we have to take immediate steps to bring flexibility and change in our approach. “Every part of the state has some strengths. It should be used. Now that technology is so advanced, the state needs to invest in things that really benefit and encourage such things,” he said.

The IAS officials suggested for the state to give full support to micro, small and medium enterprises, enrich the land bank in the state and start infrastructure, construction etc.

Given businesses like gym, wellness, cinemas, theaters, hotels will not be able to stand at full capacity again, it was suggested that manpower be diverted to other businesess. Public transport should also resume in line with with standard operating procedure for covid-19.

Maintaining a limited number of migrants and ensuring responsibility for them, encouraging industry friends, emphasizing technology and knowledge, making important decisions to boost the agricultural marketing sector etc were some of the suggestions given.

Maharashtra is a self-reliant state with almost 70% of the state’s total revenue receipts coming from own revenue sources (tax+non non-tax). Out of the total receipts, the key revenue sources are SGST (30%), sales tax (11%) and state excise duty (5%) which entails economic activities to gradually increase for own tax revenues to register a pickup.

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[Source: live Mint]

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