Nagaland budget 2022: Developmental outlay marginally increased, proposes several projects
Kohima, March 22 (EMN): Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday said that the fund allocation for developmental outlay for the fiscal 2022-23 is INR 775 crore, mainly aiming at completing the ongoing projects and those that have a multiplier effect in creating livelihoods and local economies.
The outlay represents an increase of 10.71% over last year, he said while presenting his Budget speech in the ongoing 11th session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
During the past two years, state grappled with Covid-19. But despite the difficult times, the last few months have shown a substantial turnaround in the economy. The country’s GST collections have reached INR 1,40,986 crore during January 2022, and state’s own revenues are also showing a healthy increase. As a result, the state is able to allocate INR 75 crore more than last year for development outlay, he informed.
Presenting further on the allocations, he said that INR 225.85 crore of the development fund is earmarked for various departmental activities, including core activities.
It also earmarked INR 151.08 crore for construction of office buildings or residential quarters, while INR 122.06 crore is for road and other infrastructure-related activities.
A higher amount of INR 276 crore has been earmarked during 2022-23 for State Share to centrally-sponsored schemes (CSS) to facilitate access to more Central funds, out of which 30% of the allocation is being provided upfront to the CSS implementing departments to be reflected in its demands for grants of fiscal year. This should enable the departments to get their first installments early and thereby improve implementation of the schemes, Rio said.
CM’s initiatives worth INR 70 cr. introduced
The chief minister also informed that during 2022-23, the government would introduce two new initiatives — Chief Minister’s Micro Finance Initiative and Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme — seeking to have a wide impact on the people of the state.
The Chief Minister’s Micro Finance Initiative (CMMFI) aimed to provide affordable credit to farmers, Self Help Groups, and Farmer Producer Organisations in the form of subsidy as well as credit subvention to various identified activities in the agri and allied sectors. The initiative has the potential of reducing interest rates to below 3%. An amount of INR 65 crore has been earmarked for this scheme.
As a part of the initiative, he proposed to remove the stamp duty on crop loans to be notified shortly. The selection of the beneficiaries will be through the district-level selection committees and wherever required, the village councils will act as the guarantor.
He expressed confidence that the initiative would have substantial impact on the local economy, and greatly benefit entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow due to lack of affordable credit. The detailed framework of the scheme will be notified separately.
Agri and allied sector
In this sector, the CM said that organic produce has been marketed successfully under the brand “Naturally Nagaland”; individual credit linkages and crop loans through SHGs to meet the demands of horti crops and coffee; and model piggery units set up.
Healthcare: Health Insurance Scheme
Another significant initiative has been taken by the government is to set up a Naga Patient Home at Vellore. Towards this, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu has consented to provide space, Rio said.
Further, the department of Health and Family has been provided INR 7.77 crore for construction of offices, a new 50-bedded extension at Kohima District Hospital (NHAK) and at Impur Hospital Mokokchung.
Government has also constituted an autonomous society for the new Medical College at Kohima. He said that government would strive to ensure that admissions for the college commence from the academic session 2023-24. The remaining works and recruitments should be completed during the current year itself. The work for the Mon Medical College will also start this year.
The Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme envisages providing health coverage up to INR 5 lakh per annum to all citizens of the state irrespective of family income.
The scheme will provide cashless service covering various secondary and tertiary care procedures through empanelled hospitals, both within and outside the state covering both government as well as private hospitals. The new scheme will be effective from September this year.
Youth and Sports
In the area of Youth Resources and Sports, Rio informed that various initiatives have been taken up. It is introducing Target Champion Scheme for talent spotting along with scholarships for training and development to produce sports champions.
He said that the process of recruitments to the Police Sports Battalion would soon commence. Towards this, the Indian Olympic Association has assured all possible support to the sports development plans of the state. A collaborative programme with the Indian Navy is also being launched to empower students with career opportunities.
It was also mentioned about Chief Minister’s Music and Arts Scholarships and the Master Art Residencies, Sports Academies and Centres of Excellence, football stadium at Chumoukedima Police Complex and an indoor multipurpose-cum-wrestling stadium with a capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 at Kohima.
Education, social, human resources
The CM’s grant for journalists, academic researchers and young leadership programme that was kept on hold due to the pandemic would resume in the coming months, Rio said, while informing about 60-bedded Girls Hostel at Sainik School Punglwa and upgrading of facilities at Khelhoshe Polytechnic and Seithekiema Polytechnic.
Public welfare and improving services
It was informed that clearance has been obtained for hydro-power projects for 24 MW at Zungki and 42 MW at Lower Tizu; a separate High Court for Nagaland; and a SARFAESI Act to be made applicable.
It also announced public parks in all districts, re-development of Nagaland House in Delhi on EPC mode and a heritage complex in Mon.
In the Tourism sector, government will take steps to promote Brand Nagaland to international audiences in a bigger way, and promote Nagaland as an off-roading destination in collaboration with Wander Beyond Boundaries.
Experimental tourism will be promoted and Hornbill Festival will be taken to different parts of the country and beyond.
A new Centre of Excellence for Music and Arts has also been inaugurated in the State capital to promote art, innovation and creativity.
Infrastructure and roads
Rio said that it is taking steps to ensure that critical infrastructure in the newly created districts. Funds have also been provided for construction of Deputy Commissioner office complexes in Tuensang, Mokokchung, Phek, Zunheboto, and newly created districts of Noklak, Shamator, and Tseminyu. In the new districts, wherever required, government will provide mini Secretariats which would house the office of the DC and other district level offices, he informed.
On infrastructures including the foothill road, he said that provision of INR 30 crore had been made in the current financial year. Once the tender formalities are completed and works commence, funds will be released. Also, construction of modern pre-engineered multi-purpose indoor stadiums is also being taken up in all the newly created districts.
Meanwhile, preparation of DPR for the East-West Highway, running from Showuba-Zunheboto-Shamator-Noklak-Pangsha, and for the Trans Eastern Highway from Mon-Longwa-Pangsha-Kiphire-Avangkhu has already been initiated by the state government along with NHIDCL, Rio said.
Regarding the huge number of government offices and establishments in Nagaland, Rio said that ‘our people are different and downsizing will have a very bad affect’. State being a tribal state, every tribe wants to be represented in the Cabinet which is not feasible. Moreover, election in the state is “very aggressive” that is why every elected member wants to hold a functional department (directorate). Therefore, to work together, government have bifurcated and broken up the departments accordingly, otherwise, there is no additional department, he added.