Meghalaya CM presentsl Rs 1,150 cr deficit budget

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Shillong, March 23 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday presented a Rs 1,150 crore deficit budget — around 3.32 per cent of the state GDP — for the 2018-19 fiscal.

Presenting the first budget of the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, Sangma estimated the total expenditure at Rs 14,101 crore during 2018-19, of which revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs 12,036 crore and the capital expenditure at Rs 2,065 crore, excluding repayment of loans.

“I have estimated the total receipts at Rs 14, 104 crore of which the revenue receipts are estimated at the Rs 12, 531 crore and capital receipts at Rs 1, 573 crore. Excluding borrowing, the total receipts estimated to be Rs. 12, 554 crore, he said.

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He said the interest payment during 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 653 crore and pension payment at Rs 784 crore.

Sangma, who also handled the Finance portfolio, admitted that the National Green Tribunal ban on coal mining on the economy of the state is still restricting the state from realizing its full revenue potential.

Voicing confidence that the six-party coalition government will sincerely build a strong and vibrant Meghalaya, Sangma said: “Our commitment is to ensure all round development in the state and to accord priority to education, health, rural road connectivity, agriculture, particularly food processing and tourism amongst others.”

Noting that revenue collection of Indian Foreign Made Liquor and Meghalaya Passengers and Goods Taxation Act during 2017-18 was higher as compared to 2016-17, Sangma said that the state’s own tax revenue in 2017-18 was Rs 1,559 crore and non tax revenue was Rs 513 crore.

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