Nagaland Chief Minister presents deficit budget with no new tax - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland

Nagaland Chief Minister presents deficit budget with no new tax

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Feb 18, 2021 9:43 pm
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Highlights

  • Deficit budget of INR 2679.46 crore
  • INR 2314.13 negative opening balance
  • INR 365.33 crore estimated negative balance from the present fiscal year
  • State’s share of central taxes reduced by INR 1341.99 crore
  • State’s own revenue declined by INR 86.19 crore
  • INR 90 crore additional expenditure on fighting the pandemic
  • Developmental outlay for 2021-22 at INR 700 crore

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Feb. 18 (EMN):
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday presented a deficit budget of INR 2679.46 crore for 2021-22 with no new tax, on the fourth day of the ongoing 7th session of the 13th NLA in Kohima.

The estimated revenue deficit include negative opening balance of INR 2314.13 crore from 2020-21 and estimated negative balance of INR 365.33 crore from the present fiscal year.

Rio, who also holds financial portfolio, presented a budget proposal estimating the gross receipt at INR 22,451.28 crore and gross expenditure at INR 22,816.61 crore for the financial year 2021-22; resulting in an estimated negative balance of INR 365.33 crore from the financial year 2021-22.

Owing to the pandemic-induced lockdowns, the state’s share of central taxes reduced in the Revised Estimates (RE) by INR 1341.99 crore (RE of INR 3151.38 cr. against budget estimates of INR 4493.37 cr.), while the state’s own revenue also declined by INR 86.19 crore, it was informed.

‘The state’s closing deficit for 2020-21 would have deteriorated by this amount had it not been for the various measures of reduction in expenditure undertaken by the state government. As a result, the year 2020-21 is estimated to close with a deficit of INR 2314.13 crore, which is an improvement of INR 44.68 crore over Budget Estimates (BE) figures,’ CM pointed out. 

Fearing a financial crisis, the state government adopted austerity measures to curtail expenditure during the pandemic. The measures included freezing of three instalments of dearness allowances/relief in line with the decision of the central government and cutting of expenditure on items such as motor vehicles, office expenses, travel expenses and maintenance under non-development. The Government also decided to cut down the developmental outlay (state programmes) by 15% and all fresh appointments have been kept on hold except in unavoidable cases, it was informed.

The austerity measures, Rio said, have “paid off well” and therefore the government is “likely to continue the measures to reduce avoidable expenditure”. 

The pandemic has adversely affected the finances of the state with huge shortfalls in revenues – its own as well as share in central taxes and duties. It compelled the state to invest huge amounts of unbudgeted funds to fight the pandemic. The additional expenditure on fighting the pandemic alone comes to INR 90 crore till date, it was informed.

‘However, seeing steady pace of recovery of the country’s economy and high expectations of a resurgent growth in the year ahead, the state developmental outlay for 2021-22 has been fixed at INR 700 crore. This is an increase of 9.55% over the plan size of 2020-21. It has been done at the cost of increasing the deficit, because the state is passing through a time when the economy needs adequate capital investment to provide an impetus for the much-needed growth to take place,’ Rio stated.

He expressed hope that in 2021-22, the country’s economy will rebound to its full potential, and the state would get an opportunity to make up for the time that was lost.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Feb 18, 2021 9:43:03 pm