Mukul Sangma presents Rs 1,090 cr deficit budget for Meghalaya

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Shillong, Mar 14: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Monday tabled a Rs 1,090 crore deficit state budget for 2016-17, withdrawing exemptions on diesel and petrol and hiked VAT on liquor from 20 per cent to 30 per cent, with an aim to raise additional revenue.

Sangma also announced creation of four new Community and Rural Development blocks and equal number of civil sub-divisions and 15 new police stations, nine in the militancy-hit Garo Hills region, as measures to improve administration and law and order situation.

Mukul Sangma

"I am presenting the 2016-17 budget with a fiscal deficit of Rs 1,090 crore, which is around 3.6 per cent of the GSDP," he told the Assembly while presenting the budget.

Estimating the total receipts at Rs 10,173 crore from Rs 9,282 crore last year, the Chief Minister said revenue receipts were estimated at Rs 8,981 crore and capital receipts at Rs 1,192 crore.

In 2015-16, the state's own tax and non-tax revenue was estimated at Rs 1,347 crore, which was projected at Rs 1,735 crore for next fiscal, he said.

The revenue shortfall was due to the shrinking of resource based on account of the National Green Tribunal ban on coal mining, Sangma said.

The total expenditure was estimated at Rs 10,507 crore, excluding repayment of loans and other liabilities, of which revenue expenditure was estimated at Rs 7,621 crore while capital expenditure at Rs 10,103 crore, he said.

Stating that the fiscal deficit has gone beyond "comfortable limits" due to the NGT ban on coal mining, Sangma said the debt-GSDP ration was well within the 31.7 per cent target set by the 13th Finance Commission.

Spelling out measures to generate additional resources, he said the government proposed to withdraw the remaining rebate of Rs 56 paise per litre on petrol and enhance the VAT rate on the fuel from 20 to 22 per cent.

The Chief Minister said VAT on liquor would be enhanced from the existing 20 per cent to 30 per cent, besides increase in the import and export pass fees.

The state government has also pledged a development plan outlay of Rs 677 crore as against Rs 681.88 crore for education last year, Rs 471.8 crore as against Rs 555.2 crore for roads and bridges and Rs 274.1 crore as against Rs 509.9 crore for Community and Rural Development last year.

For health, an outlay of Rs 470 crore was presented with an increase of Rs 89.5 crore from last year.


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