Meghalaya Chief Minister presents Rs 1236 crore deficit budget

Shillong, March 15 :  Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today presented in Assembly the budget for the year 2017-2018 with a fiscal deficit of Rs 1,236 crore.

Presenting the budget, Mukul said that the as per the budget estimates for the year 2017-18, the total receipts was estimated at Rs 12,510 crore, of which, the revenue receipts have been estimated at Rs 11,280 crore and capital receipts at Rs 1,230 crore. Excluding borrowings, the total receipts are estimated to be Rs 11,302 crore.

He said that the total expenditure has been estimated at Rs 12,873 crore during 2017-18, of which, revenue expenditure at Rs 10,648 crore, and capital expenditure at Rs 2,225 crore. Excluding repayment of loans, the estimated total expenditure was estimated at Rs 12,538 crore.

As the estimated total expenditure at Rs 12,538 crore is more than the estimated total receipts at Rs 11,302 crore, the budget for 2017-18 has a fiscal deficit of Rs 1,236 crore.

 

“The budget for 2017-18 has a fiscal deficit of Rs 1,236 crore, which is around 3.8 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP),” Mukul said.

The interest payment during 2017-18 was estimated at Rs 589 crore and pension payment at Rs 730 crore, he added.

Stating that in 2016-17, the total revenue of the government was Rs 1,735 crore of which state’s own tax revenue was estimated at Rs 1,269 crore and state’s own non-tax revenue at Rs 466 crore, Mukul said that for 2017-18, the total revenue of the government has been estimated at Rs 2,072 crore, of which, the state’s own tax revenue was estimated at Rs 1559 crore, and state’s own non tax revenue at Rs 513 crore.

The Chief Minister was of the view that the implementation of GST would be a major change in the indirect tax administration of the country,

“The state government is moving in the right direction to ensure that this change is smooth. Though the implication of the roll out would be known in the years to come, it is generally expected that the consumer states like Meghalaya are likely to benefit from GST implementation,” Mukul stated.

According to Mukul, the state’s own resource has been adversely affected consequent to the implementation of recommendations of the Supreme Court’s committee on road safety to impose the ban on sale of liquor near national and state highways, educational and religious institutions.

“Due to the ban on coal mining by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the revenue base of the state has been reduced considerably,” he said.

The Chief Minister in his budget speech outlined some of the initiatives of his government that include convergence push through MGNREGS,  constitution of the Directorate of Prosecution and special courts to tackle crimes against women and children, and separation of judiciary from executive in remaining four districts on the anvil.

Among other initiatives, the budget also talked about the formation of Meghalaya Media Society to look into welfare of journalists, and implementation of a new scheme to provide accommodation facility for senior accredited journalists in the states.

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