MUMBAI: Faced with a liquidity crunch, the state government has asked its cash rich corporations MMRDA,CIDCO,MHADA, SRDA and MIDCto loosen the purse strings. All put together, the cash reserves of these corporations come to Rs 30,000 crore.
This is not the first time the state government has milked these entities. During Devendra Fadnavis government’s tenure, they were asked to give a loan of Rs 1,000 crore each to Maharashtra Road Development Corporation(MSRDC) for the former CM’s dream project, the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, whose cost was pegged at Rs 55,000 crore.
On April 9, Mirror had published a report on how the state government’s overall revenue for the month of March was just Rs 17,000 crore, a sharp drop from Rs 42,000 crore during the same period last year.
Besides, the government’s finances are already stretched due to schemes like the farm loan waiver. The total cost of farm loan waiver is expected to be around Rs.22,000 crore and till first week of April, the MVA has spent around Rs 11,969.14 crore on the scheme.
Interestingly, March is the month when the government sees a surge in revenue as many firms rush to clear their tax dues, which increases the state’s earnings by 15-20 per cent compared to other months.
In order to tide over the problem of cash flow, the state government is exploring various options, including giving the March salary to employees in a staggered manner. In doing so, it hopes to save around Rs 4,000 crore.
Deputy chief minister and finance minister Ajit Pawar recently wrote a letter to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman asking her to immediately release the state government’s share in GST and other taxes and grants amounting to Rs 16,654 crore. He also sought a special package of Rs 25,000 to overcome the state’s revenue shortfall.
When contacted CIDCO’s vice chairman and managing director Lokesh Chandra said, “So far we have not received any proposal from the state government but if it sends an official proposal, then our board will definitely consider it.”
MHADA’s vice chairman and CEO Milind Mhaiskar and MMRDA’s metropolitan commissioner RA Rajeev also said they have so far not received any official proposal.
State finance secretary Manoj Saunik didn’t respond to text messages.
April 11, 2020