Meghalaya CM Presents Deficit Budget of Rs 1532 Cr

Shillong, Mar 19: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Thursday presented the budget for 2020-21 with a fiscal deficit of Rs 1,532 crore, which is around 3.53% of the Gross State Domestic Product.

The Chief Minister estimated the total receipts at Rs 17,375 crore. The revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 15,353 crore and capital receipts at Rs 2,022 crore. “Excluding borrowings of Rs 1,995 crore, the total receipts are estimated to be Rs 15,380 crore,” Sangma added.

On the expenditure side, the Chief Minister who also holds the Finance portfolio estimated the total expenditure at Rs 17,432 crore.

“The revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs 14,428 crore and capital expenditure at Rs 3,004 crore. Excluding repayment of loans of Rs 520 crore, the estimated total expenditure is Rs 16,912 crore,” he said.

Presenting the budget, Sangma also said that Interest payments for 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 843 crore and pension payments at Rs 1,208 crore.

“The year 2020 marks the start of a new decade and my government has the vision to make it the Meghalayan decade – a decade where the state realises its full potential through sustainable development of its human, environmental, social and cultural resources,” he stated.

Tax revenues
Sangma asserted that the government has prioritised improving the state’s own tax and non-tax revenues. He revealed that the revenue collected by the taxation department for 2019-2020 is expected to touch Rs 1,632 crore, registering a growth rate of 12.4%.

The overall tax revenue, including Goods and Services Tax, Excise and Motor Vehicle Taxes will reach Rs 2015 crore for 2019-2020, the Chief Minister revealed adding that the government is putting a full system of data analytics which will aid in increasing the efficiency of revenue collection.

Following the lifting of ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on coal mining, Sangma said that he is confident the revenue collection of the state would improve significantly in the next financial year.

“For 2020-2021, I have estimated Rs 2,377 crore and Rs 690 crore for tax and non-tax revenue collection,” he said.

Total grants recommended
The total grants recommended for Meghalaya for 2020-21 stand at Rs 7,417 crore of which Rs 6,542 crore is the tax devolution, Rs 491 crore is the revenue deficit grant, Rs 182 crore and Rs 88 crore are grants to rural and urban local bodies respectively.

“66 crore is State Disaster Risk Management Fund and Rs 48 crore is grant for nutrition,” Sangma said.

The development budget for State’s resources have been set to Rs 3,300 crore. “This is a 45% increase over the previous financial year and largest in history of state,” the Chief Minister informed.

Education Sector
In the education sector, the government has allocated Rs 10 crore for the promotion of Early Childhood Education. Rs 40 crore will be provided to “bridge the infrastructure gaps in 264 schools across the state.”

The Chief Minister revealed that 13 Eklavya Model Residential Schools are being set up in different blocks of the state with a capital cost of Rs 312 crore through the support from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

A total of 1,050 crore is being allotted for development in the Education sector for 2020-21.

Health Sector
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informed that Rs 2.5 crore has been allocated for the data driven state-wide program called Meghalaya’s Outcome oriented Transformation in Health, Education and Rural Development (MOTHER).

Sangma revealed that the government is implementing the Megha Health Insurance Scheme Phase IV in convergence with Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri jan Arogya Yojana which provides insurance coverage of upto Rs 5 lakh per family.

“The state development budget outlay for Health and Family Welfare sector is Rs 400 crore for 2020-21. The overall proposed development outlay is Rs 724 crore,” the Chief Minister revealed.

Agriculture Sector
The Chief Minister informed that 75,000 farmers possessing land in the state are receiving income support assistance upto Rs 6000 under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme.

Implementation of Meghalaya Farmers Mobilization Project with a cost of Rs 512 crore over a five-year period is set to begin from 2020-21.

The government has proposed a development budget of Rs 540 crore for Agriculture and allied sectors including Rs 241 crore from state resources.

Infrastructure Development
A total of Rs 2,043 crore has been proposed for the Infrastructure sector, which includes Rs 838 crore from state resources.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informed that Rs 220 crore has been allocated for the Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project. “Rs 100 crore will be invested on tourism-specific roads in the next financial year,” he revealed.

Overall development budget for roads and bridges has been set at Rs 1,084 crore for 2020-21. The state development budget for Water Resources has been increased to Rs 213.65 crore.

“Detailed plans for the complete redevelopment and beautification of Barik point in Shillong with a cost of Rs 350 crore are ready,” the Chief Minister informed adding that Rs 10 crore has also been allocated for beautification of Shillong and Tura.

Poverty Alleviation Programs
The government has proposed an allocation of Rs 105 crore for the National Rural Livelihood Mission in 2020-21. Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin has been proposed an allocation of Rs 109 crore and Rs 20 crore for Chief Minister’s Affordable Housing Scheme.

Social Security and Welfare
The Chief Minister has allocated an amount of Rs 5 crore for construction and strengthening of shelter homes for women affected with domestic violence.

For improvement of rehabilitation centres for drug users, Rs 5 crore has been allocated by the government from the state resource for centres at Shillong, Jowai and Nongstoin.

A total of Rs 263.97 crore has been proposed as development budget for Social Welfare.

Tourism sector
The government has proposed to enhance the State Development budget for tourism sector to Rs 103.83 crore.

The Chief Minister also informed that the Ministry of Tourism has approved Rs 30 crore under PRASAD scheme.

Skill Development & Sports
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has proposed a total allocation of Rs 240 crore for skill development among youths. Rs 40 crore out of the above will be from State’s resources.

“The P.A. Sangma Integrated Sports Complex at Tura will be constructed at a cost of Rs 125 crore with funding support from the Ministry of Minority Affairs,” Sangma revealed.

Further he revealed that renovation of J.N Stadum and the construction of a multi-level indoor stadium at Polo will be funded mostly from State’s resources. The Chief Minister has proposed Rs 280 crore as development budget for sports.

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