Maharashtra's financial position sound: Jayant Patil

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Mumbai, Mar 27: Maharashtra Finance Minister Jayant Patil today assured the Legislative Assembly that the financial condition of the State was sound. "Do not worry about the debts. The State's revenue has increased and Maharashtra continues to remain a leading state in the country," Mr Patil said while replying to the discussion on the budget.

Meanwhile, he said the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji, proposed to be installed mid-sea, will be completed within two years. The project was delayed since an appropriate spot could not be identified earlier, he added. The statue, when installed, would be comparable to the Statue of Liberty and would prove to be a major tourist attraction, Mr Patil claimed while adding that funds would not be an obstacle to the project.

Mr Patil also informed that funds have been earmarked for carrying out repairs on forts and for the development of religious places .

Speaking on the housing sector, he said ten lakh houses would be constructed in two years time of which, five lakh would be constructed in the rural parts.

On roads and railways, Mr Patil agreed that the infrastructure has to be improved. ''We want to improve road, railway and even the air travel infrastructure,'' he said, adding development of airports in the state was also on the cards.

Mr Patil informed that 3,000 to 5,000 ''gram sevaks'' would also be appointed in the state soon.


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