Friday, April 19, 2024

CM presents Rs 2,029-cr deficit budget


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Under US $10 bn target, govt to leverage 10 opportunities, provide 10 guarantees

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Feb 21: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday presented a Rs 2,029-crore deficit budget for the 2024-25 financial year.
Sangma, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said in his budget speech that the total receipts stood at Rs 27,072 crore, of which revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 23,515 crore and capital receipts at Rs 3,557 crore. Excluding borrowings of Rs 3,527 crore, the total receipts are estimated to be Rs 23,545 crore, he said.
He said of the total estimated expenditure of Rs 27,072 crore, the revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs 19,653 crore and capital expenditure at Rs 7,429 crore. Excluding payment of loans of Rs 1,498 crore, the estimated total expenditure is Rs 25,574 crore.
Interest payments for 2024-25 are estimated at Rs 1,236 crore and pension payments at Rs 1,865 crore.
Sangma said the government expenditure has more than doubled from Rs 12,159 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 25,052 crore in the current financial year which was achieved through better performance of centrally-sponsored schemes and by attracting investments through externally-aided projects, improving the state’s own revenues and carefully managing the state’s finances.
The CM said Meghalaya is one of the few states that gets bonus instalments under schemes like Jal Jeevan Mission and National Health Mission and that agencies like IFAD and World Bank are providing additional allocations to expand the ongoing projects in agriculture and road infrastructure.
“Under the Special Assistance to States for Capital Investments, our allocations have been increasing exponentially. For 2023-24, the budget estimates for the scheme were Rs 1,003 crore. I am pleased to inform this august House that we have already got approvals for Rs 1,987 crore, close to double the budgeted amount,” he added.
Talking about the state’s finances, he said the vision of doubling the state GSDP and making Meghalaya a US $10 billion economy was set with the GSDP of 2022-23 as the benchmark, when it was Rs 42,697 crore or US $5.3 billion. He said the GSDP for 2024-25 is projected at Rs 52,973 crore or US $6.6 billion.
Sangma said the annual growth rate for the period 2023-25 has been a reassuring 11.4%, adding that the numbers are encouraging and they demonstrate the state is on track to achieve the US $10 billion economy target.
He said during the current year, the total estimated transfers from the Centre, which includes the share of central taxes, the 15th Finance Commission grants and share of centrally-sponsored schemes, are expected to increase to Rs 18,168 crore from the budget estimates of Rs 15,467 crore. Stating that the strong performance of the Indian economy provides the much-required impetus to accelerate the growth of Meghalaya, he said the share of central taxes is expected to increase to Rs 9,355 crore for the 2024-25 financial year from the revised estimates of Rs 8,471 crore for the current year.
“State’s own tax revenue during the current year is Rs 3,262 crore, an increase of 23% over the previous year. With the setting up of the State Economic Analysis Team and various reforms including the end-to-end computerization in the Excise Department, the state’s own tax revenue is estimated at Rs 4,041 crore in 2024-25, of which GST is Rs 1,995 crore, taxes on sales and trade are Rs 1,156 crore and excise is Rs 661 crore,” Sangma said.
Stating that the state’s own non-tax revenue was Rs 457 crore in 2022-23, he said with the increase in prospecting licenses approval by the Government of India and the expected resumption of scientific coal mining, the non-tax revenue is estimated at Rs 747 crore in 2024-25.
Considering the overall anticipated transfers from the Centre and the state’s projected own receipts, he said, “I am estimating the total expenditure for 2024-25 at Rs 27,072 crore, of which revenue expenditure is Rs 19,653 crore and capital expenditure is Rs 7,419 crore.”
“The projected capital expenditure is almost four times higher than the value in 2018-19. The annual growth rate during the 7-year period of 2018-25 for capital expenditure is a staggering 26%, compared to an 11% growth on the revenue expenditure,” Sangma said.
Asking all the members of the House and people to remember this budget as ‘Mission 10’ – an action plan for building a US $10 billion economy by leveraging 10 opportunities and providing 10 guarantees. He said the accomplishment of ‘Mission 10’ in 2028 will coincide with 10 years of the MDA government.
Under Mission 10, the 10 opportunities are investment promotion and private sector development, regional connectivity in border trade, urban transformation, Meghalaya as a tech hub, more than doubling the farmers income, economic empowerment and engagement of women, engaging and employing youth, making Meghalaya the country’s best sustainable eco-tourism destination, climate resilient green economy and power generation.
The 10 guarantees of Mission 10 are improved physical connectivity and seamless mobility, piped drinking water to all, high speed internet connectivity, housing for all eligible beneficiaries, reliable and quality power supply, affordable and quality healthcare for all, joyful and quality learnings at all levels, easing service delivery and grievance redressal, caring and empowering state and community infrastructure for engagement and wellbeing.


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