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Meghalaya CM presents Rs 2,029 Cr deficit budget, highlights ‘Mission 10’ action plan to achieve 10 billion US dollar economy

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SHILLONG, FEB 21: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday tabled a Rs 2,029 crore deficit budget for 2024-25, which is around 3.83 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

He termed the budget as ‘Mission 10’ – an action plan for building a 10 billion US dollar economy by 2028.

The total receipts is at Rs 27,072 crore, of which the revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 23,515 crore and capital receipts at Rs 3,557 crore, Sangma said in his budget speech.

Excluding borrowings of Rs 3,527 crore, the total receipts are estimated to be at Rs 23,545 crore, he said adding that the total expenditure is estimated at Rs 27,072 crore, of which the revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs 19,653 crore and capital expenditure at Rs 7,419 crore.

According to the chief minister who holds charge of the Finance department, the estimated total expenditure is Rs 25,574 crore excluding repayment of loans of Rs 1,498 crore.

He said the interest payments for 2024-25 are estimated at Rs 1,236 crore and pension payments at Rs 1,865 crore.

“I am, therefore, presenting the budget for 2024-25 with a fiscal deficit of Rs 2,029 crore, which is around 3.83 percent of the GSDP,” Sangma said.

“I would like all the members of this august House and every citizen to remember this budget as ‘Mission 10’ – an action plan for building a 10 billion US dollar economy through leveraging 10 opportunities and providing 10 guarantees. The accomplishment of ‘Mission 10’ in 2028 will coincide with 10 years of the MDA government,” he said.

The CM also claimed that the state’s target to be amongst the top ten states of the country in per capita GDP and SDG goals by 2032 is ambitious, but possible.

“My government will make every effort to make it possible. As an intermediate goal, Meghalaya will contribute to the vision of a ‘Viskit Bharat’ by increasing its GDP to 10 billion US Dollar by 2028. This is a commitment I made to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji, a year ago. I reiterate the commitment today in this august House,” he said while adding “I would like to commit to 10 guarantees which will ensure that every Meghalayan benefits from the growth story and that our development over the next four years is equitable, sustainable and just.”

He said that the vision of doubling the state GSDP and making Meghalaya a 10-billion USDollar economy was set with GSDP of 2022-23 as the benchmark, when the state’s GSDP was INR 42,697 crore or 5.3 billion US Dollar.

“The GSDP for 2024-25 is projected at Rs 52,973 crore or 6.6 billion US Dollar. The annual growth rate for the period 2023-25 has been a reassuring 11.4%. These numbers are encouraging and demonstrate the state is on track to achieve the 10 billion US Dollar economy target,” Sangma added.

The chief minister also presented a gender budget and allocated Rs 5,271 crore for 2024-25. The overall allocation towards the climate action is Rs 4,501 crore.

Sangma said that the size of the youth budget that encompasses all the activities undertaken for the youth stands at Rs 2,853 crore.

Giving top importance to the education sector, Sangma said, “I am allocating Rs 3,539 crore to strengthen all the interventions in the education sector, including Rs 1,335 crore as grants-in-aid salaries.”

He also allocated Rs 1,970 crore for overall strengthening of health system which include an allocation of Rs 173 crore for the MHIS program.

The CM also allocated an amount of Rs 2,709 crore for the roads and building sector, power – Rs 1558 crore, primary sector – Rs 1,670 crore, urban sector – Rs 934 crore and drinking water sector – Rs 905 crore.

The CM said during the current year, the total estimated transfers from the Centre, which includes the share of central taxes, Fifteenth Finance Commission grants and centre’s share of centrally sponsored schemes is expected to increase to Rs 18,168 crore from the budget estimates of Rs 15,467 crore. The strong performance of the Indian economy provides the much required impetus to accelerate the growth of Meghalaya.

“The share of central taxes is expected to increase to Rs 9,355 crore for the financial year 2024-25 from the revised estimates of Rs 8,471 crore for the current year, registering a growth of 10%,” he said while informing that the 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 Economy Analysis Team and various reforms including the end-to-end computerization in the Excise department, the state’s own tax revenue is esimated at Rs 4,041 crore in 2024-25, of which GSTis Rs 1,995 crore, taxes on sales and trade is Rs 1,156 crore and excise is Rs 661 crore,” he said while adding “The state’s own non-tax revenue was Rs 457 crore in 2022-23. 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.”

Further, the CM said, “Considering the overall anticipated transfers from the Centre and the projected state’s own receipts, 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 2018-2025 for capital expenditure is a staggering 26%, compared to an 11% growth on the revenue expenditure,” he added.

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