Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday announced a one-time settlement scheme for farmers whose debt is more than Rs 2 lakh in the state budget for 2020-21. Pawar, who also holds the finance portfolio, said an amount of Rs 2 lakh will be deposited in bank accounts of farmers whose dues were more than Rs 2 lakh till September 30, 2019.

Presenting the first budget of the Shiv Sena-led MVA government in the assembly, the finance minister said farmers who took crop loans in 2018-19 and regularly pay their dues will be given Rs 50,000 as an incentive.

Pawar announced an all-women police station in every district where “Women will be free to lodge their complaints at this police station”.

Pawar said the budget proposals focus on tackling challenges of economic slowdown and creation of employment.

He said the government has set a target of feeding one lakh people through its “Shiv Bhojan” meal scheme. The finance minister made a provision of Rs 150 crore for the subsidised food scheme for the poor. Incidentally, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government completed 100 days in office on Friday. Pawar said there was a drop in central funds to the state to the tune of Rs 8,453 crore. The state’s debt till January 2020 stood at Rs 4,33,901 crore, the finance minister said.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi has set a target of feeding one lakh people through its ‘Shiv Bhojan’ meal scheme. A provision of Rs 150 crore for the subsidised food scheme has been made.

Rs 5 crore has been proposed for transgender welfare corporations and the MLA fund has been hiked from Rs 2 crores to Rs 3 crores per constituency.  An extension of the Hajj House to come up in the Mumbra-Kalwa area to facilitate Mecca travellers. The government has also decided to provide financial help of Rs 10 crores for Marathi schools in Karnataka. Keeping the issue of unemployment in mind, a special skill development scheme for 10 lakh job aspirants was also announced for youth between 21-28 years. State will spend Rs 60,000 per aspirant.

Jobs to locals is a priority for this government, said Ajit Pawar. 80 per cent of jobs will be reserved for locals. New Maharashtra Bhawan will be built in Navi Mumbai. The state’s debt till January 2020 stands at Rs 4,33,901 crore.