Prioritizing health and human development, Meghalaya presents a tax-free, deficit budget

NewsBharati    13-Mar-2019

Shillong, March 13: As the country gears up for the upcoming elections, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday presented a Rs 1,323 crore deficit, tax free budget with around 3.65% of the Gross State Domestic Product for the fiscal year of 2019-20. CM Sangma said the government has accorded highest priority to improve revenue collection and estimated to generate revenue of Rs. 2,090 crore and Rs. 601 crore from tax and non-tax.


Presenting the second budget of the National People's Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) 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 crore. Excluding borrowing, the total receipts estimated to be Rs. 12, 554 crore, CM Sangma said.

He said the interest paid during 2109-20 is estimated at Rs. 746 crore and pension payment is Rs. 855 crore. CM Sangma, who also holds the Finance portfolio told the assembly that his government has been methodically working to recognize and resolve the various development challenges faced by the state.

“Our development strategy is to foster human development, by prioritizing 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.

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

“We understand that access to credit is a fundamental challenge in the state. Therefore, 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, adding that the government has prioritized implementation of sustainable rural livelihoods.