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New Delhi : The Fifteenth Finance Commission of the Government of India will visit Maharashtra from September 17 to September 19, 2018. The Commission led by its Chairman N K Singh, Members : Shaktikanta Das, Dr Anoop Singh, Dr Ashok Lahiri, Dr Ramesh Chand, and Secretary Arvind Mehta along with other officials will have meetings with Chief Minister, Ministers and other officials of the state in Mumbai.

There will be meetings with the leaders of various political parties, representatives of Trade and Industry, Urban Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions to understand the issues concerning the state. The Commission had also held a consultation meeting with economists in Pune in August to understand the issues in the region. Ahead of the visit, Commission understood in New Delhi, various aspects of its finances and issues related to socio-economic spheres from Accountant General of Maharashtra.

Maharashtra is a high income State of the Indian Union. It is a leading industrial State and also one of the most urbanised States in India. It is also known as the host State to several leading educational institutions in the country. Maharashtra contributes around 15 % of the Gross Domestic Product of India. Service sector contributes 57 % of the state income, followed by industrial sector with 33 % and 9 per cent originates in the agriculture and allied sectors.

However, high inter- regional disparity has been a characteristic feature of the State since its inception in 1960. The state seems to have faltered in translating its high economic growth into commensurate human development.

The State is a front runner in terms of better fiscal management in the country since the enactment of state Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management (FRBM) Act in 2006. The fiscal deficit of the state continues to be well within the limit of 3 % of GSDP. The debt stock to GSDP ratio is also well within the 17.5 % limit set by the Maharashtra Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management Rules (MFRBM, 2011), according to a PIB release.

Yet, a revenue deficit of 0.5 per cent of GSDP continues to be a worrisome factor for Maharashtra, the revenue deficit to GSDP ratio has increased even as the fiscal deficit to GSDP ratio has fallen. This indicates that debt is being used for revenue expenditures. Revenue expenditures show rigidities due to the presence of high levels of salary and interest payments. More stringent steps would be required to achieve complete sustainability. Complete sustainability would require a huge increment in the revenue generation capacity of the State.

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