* Salary burden, reduction in Central grant pinpointed
shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said reduction of the Revenue Gap Grant from the 14th Finance Commission and the effect of the Fifth Pay Commission have led to the increased deficit in this year’s budget.
It may be mentioned that last year, the State’s deficit was Rs 1, 150 crore which rose to Rs 1, 323 crore this financial year. Fiscal deficit, is the gap between total expenditure and revenue. According to Conrad, the Revenue Gap Grant for this current year from the 14th Financial Commission has been reduced to Rs 213 crore.
“The effect of the Fifth Pay Commission which is effective from January 1, 2017, compelling the State Government to pay additional salary of Rs 1,000 crore, was one of the major reason why the deficit has gone up,” the Chief Minister said.
He told the Meghalaya Assembly that although the fiscal deficit has increased, the State’s revenue surplus has gone up from last year’s Rs 495 crore to Rs 738 crore this year.
Conrad also said both tax and non-tax revenues from the State’s own resources was Rs 2,600 crore this year.
The Chief Minister also said the government expects other mechanisms to increase the State’s own tax and non-tax revenues.
Earlier, Congress legislator from Umroi, George B Lyngdoh said the fiscal deficit in this year’s budget was alarming.
According to Lyngdoh, as per the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRMB) Act, the government has to regulate their fiscal deficit to 3 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
“There is a need to revisit some of the estimates to contain the fiscal deficit at 3 per cent as per the FRBM Act,” the Umroi legislator said.
Also read: Meghalaya News