CM Neiphiu Rio: Increase in deficit due to Rs. 939 crore deduction in state share of central taxes

(CM Neiphiu Rio addressing the 13th NLA | File Photo)
CM Neiphiu Rio gives concluding remarks on the Budget Discussion.

Dimapur, February 15 (NE): Chief Minister, Nagaland, Shri Neiphiu Rio in his concluding remark on the General Discussion of the Budget for the year 2020-2021, expressed his appreciation to the opposition bench for the constructive suggestion and added that both the Ruling and Opposition Bench has the equal responsibility ensuring Good Governance to the people.

On increase in deficit:

The Chief Minister informed the house that the huge increase in deficit is on account of the reduction in our share of central taxes in the union Budget and added that in the Revised estimate of the union budget Presented on first February 2020, the share of Central taxes due to be paid to Nagaland has been reduced to Rs. 3,267 crore which is less by Rs. 939 crore. He assured the house that there is no way the Government can avoid deficit shooting up when amount due to be paid to the state are reduced by such huge amount.

Rio added that, if there is no reduction in the state share of central taxes, the deficit would have been reduced to Rs. 1,296 crore so there is no way to avoid shooting up when amounts due to be paid to the state are reduced by huge amount.

“We need to explore all possible means to generate more resources for funding Developmental activities and continue efforts to streamline the revenue collection of the Government in all the sector to enhance efficiency”.

Rio was of the view that there is a minimum level of fund requirement beyond which funds that cannot be reduced otherwise departments will be unable to function properly. Accordingly, it will examine areas where efficiency can be enhanced in collection of Government revenue in future.

Rio added that, “We need to appreciate and understand that we cannot expect other people to pay taxes for us for all times to come. Let us not forget that among all the States in the country, our people probably pay the least amount of taxes”, he said. He added that we need to change the mindset or we would not be fit to have a State. He said that Government has to bear its official responsibilities and duties, important among which includes levy and collection of taxes. He informed that all civilized societies run on the revenues generated by taxes – both on goods and the people. He added the amount of Supplementary Demand of Rs. 4469 crore with the total Budget of 2019-20 amounting to Rs. 18026 crore to arrive at total expenditure of Rs. 22,495 crore in the revised estimates.

On Economic growth & Development:

The State Government passed the Nagaland Special Economic Zone Bill 2009 to promote economic growth and development, seeing the difficulties entrepreneurs faced in getting access to institutional credit for economic growth. He therefore said that, “the main objective was to create the Economic Zones to attract investment as well as facilitate access of our entrepreneurs to institutional credit at affordable rates of interest and make all possible efforts to facilitate mortgage of land and fixed assets in these zones against which loans can be accessed”.

On opposition criticism about the budget:

CM Rio acknowledged the argument raised by Opposition Bench members that budget has not been covered on most of the departments. However, he replied that the financial details are reflected in budget documents with sufficient details and chosen to focus more on innovative initiatives and programs.

On Naga peace process:

CM Rio thanked the Joint Legislator’s Forum (JLF) comprising of all the 60 members and the two member of the Parliament for setting aside differences and by coming together under one banner to facilitate the Peace process.

Economics growth through state tourism:

CM Rio added that tourism sector has shown the potential to contribute towards the Economic growth and attract Investment to generate amount for Employment generation.

State Govt fund for coaching classes for Civil Service aspirants:

To promote the youth in securing good employment opportunities, the government has provided an amount of Rs. 1 crore to fund the cost of coaching classes for Civil Services at New Delhi with Rao’s Study Circle for 25 students, and another 100 students with ALS Coaching Centre, he said. Rio was confident that the high level of exposure will help them to stand a much better chance of passing the UPSC exams.

(With inputs from DIPR)