Kohima | February 25
Nagaland’s Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who also holds finance portfolio today presented Nagaland Budget for 2019-20 at the third session of 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly here and later termed it as ‘people friendly budget.’
“The budget for 2019-20 is a people friendly budget. We are not imposing any new taxes or placing any additional burden on the common people in order to generate revenue. The government will try to mobilise resources through other means,” Rio told a press conference after presentation of the budget.
He claimed that the government is taking up measures to improve revenue collections through various measures such as increasing the registration of dealers under GST, implementing the system of online payment of power bills, including introduction of pre-paid power meters and better monitoring of revenue collections in the transport sector.
While efforts are constantly being made to reduce the deficit of the government, Rio said there is always requirement for substantial investments in all the sectors. In such a situation, he said it is important to ensure that the finances are managed in such a way that “we do not go into embargo resulting in freezing of government payments.”
Other measures are also being taken to acquire full control over the employee database through the Personnel Information Management System (PIMS) to capture the details of every employee of the State Government, and ensuring that every new employee appointed and captured in the system is completely verified.
“This will eventually be linked to salary payments. It will remove the problems of appointments without posts and payment of salaries for non-existent employees. We are also streamlining the pension database to capture and verify all State Government pensioners to check the problem of bogus pensioners. These measures are expected to bring substantial financial savings for the State,” he said.
Presenting the state budget on the floor of the House, Rio said that due to implementation of 7 RoP for the State Government employees, the resources available for development could not improve much.
He said that the government has been able to provide only Rs. 609 crore for developmental activities during 2019-20.
Rio said that the current financial year 2018-19 will close with an estimated deficit of Rs. 1,661.68 crore.
He said the current year’s transaction is estimated to result in a positive balance of Rs. 49.70 crore. However, he said because of the negative opening balance of Rs. 1,661.68 crore, the year 2019-20 is estimated to close with a negative balance of Rs. 1,611.98 crore.
As regards the budget proposals, Rio estimated the gross receipts at Rs. 17,604. 48 crore and gross expenditure at Rs. 18, 012. 74 crore for the financial year 2019-20.
Rio said that it has been a difficult year in which the government was confronted with many outstanding liabilities and court cases in connection with many ongoing projects, which had been left unattended for several years.
He said PDA government will continue to make definite efforts to further bring down levels of deficit in the days ahead so that we will be able to devote more resources to developmental activities.