Meghalaya CM presents tax-free, deficit budget

Shillong, March 12 : Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday presented a Rs 1,323-crore deficit, tax free budget -- around 3.65 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product -- for 2019-20 fiscal.

Sangma said the government has given top priority to improving revenue collection.

It estimates to generate revenue of Rs 2,090 crore and Rs 601 crore from taxes and non-taxes.

Presenting the second budget of the National People's Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, the Chief Minister estimated the total expenditure at Rs 16,202 crore during 2019-20, of which revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs 13,700 crore and the capital expenditure at Rs 2,502 crore, excluding repayment of loans.

"I have estimated the total receipts at Rs 16,199 crore of which the revenue receipts are estimated at the Rs 14,438 crore and capital receipts at Rs 1,761.

Excluding borrowing, the total receipts are estimated to be Rs 12,554 crore," Sangma said.

He said the interest payment during 2109-20 is estimated at Rs 746 crore and pension payment at Rs 855 crore.

Sangma, who also holds the Finance portfolio told the Assembly that his government has been working methodically to recognise and resolve the various development challenges faced by the state.

"Our development strategy is to foster human development by prioritising education and health sectors to improve physical, social and digital infrastructure, and to build robust rural livelihoods and enterprises in the agri-horticulture, food processing and tourism sectors," he said.

Noting that promotion of nano and micro enterprises is a key strategy for employment generation and fostering growth, the Chief Minister announced setting up an ecosystem that will provide the whole range of services needed by aspiring entrepreneurs.

"We understand that access to credit is a fundamental challenge in the state.

We are setting up a fund with a corpus of Rs 10 crore for small grants and soft loans to promote livelihoods and nano enterprises," he said.

He said the government has prioritised implementation of sustainable rural livelihood.



Source: IANS