Shillong: Chief Minister (in charge of Finance) Conrad K Sangma presented his third Budget on the floor of the State Assembly with a fiscal deficit amounting to Rs 1,532 crore which is around 3.53 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). However, the proposed Budget could not be debated as the Assembly session was truncated due to Covid-19. As jointly agreed, the Chief Minister moved a motion for a vote on account for the first quarter amounting to Rs 4358,03,37 in advance to defray charges in respect of different departments.
Placing before the House, the Budget estimates for the year 2020-2011, the Chief Minister said that the total receipts will be Rs 17,375 crore, of which the revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 15,353 crore and capital receipts at Rs 2,022 crore. This is excluding the borrowings of Rs 1,995 crore where the total receipts are estimated to be to be Rs 15,380 crore.
On the expenditure side, the Chief Minister said that out of the total expenditure of Rs 17,432 crore, revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs 14,428 crore and capital expenditure at Rs 3,004. Interestingly, the interest payments for 2020-2021 is estimated at Rs 843 crore.
In the course of his presentation, Sangma related his government’s endeavor to make the State ranked in the top 10 ten States in the GDP index and achievement of sustainable development goals. In saying so, the Chief Minister stated, “Like other special categories States, Meghalaya is largely dependent on transfers from the Centre for meeting both its revenue requirements and for making capital investments”, while citing the State’s own resources is only 20 percent of the State’s total revenue receipt.
Stating that his government has prioritized improving tax and non-tax revenues, which he claimed that he is personally monitoring, the Chief Minister referred to the number of measures to significantly increase the revenue collection in the current financial year. He also said that the government estimated Rs 2,377 and Rs 690 crore for tax and non-tax revenue collection. On the overall financial aspects that include Central funded schemes and other resources, the Chief Minister said, “The total development budget for 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 8,616 crore.
In the course of his Budget presentation, the Chief Minister listed a number of priorities varying from healthcare, tourism, agriculture development, and others.