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Meghalaya CM tables deficit Budget

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SHILLONG, March 23 - Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today presented in the Meghalaya Assembly a deficit Budget of Rs 1,150 crore for the year 2018-19, which is around 3.32 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product.

Presenting the first Budget of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance Government, Sangma, who also holds the Finance portfolio, informed the House that the total receipts, excluding borrowings, for the current fiscal is estimated at Rs 12,554 crore.

However, the total expenditure of the State for the current fiscal is estimated at Rs 13,704 crore, thus leaving a deficit of Rs 1,150 crore. The Chief Minister also presented a Vote-on-Account for proposed expenditure of the first three months of the current fiscal.

Sangma said that the State�s total receipts for 2018-19 would improve over 2017-18 because of the higher share of Central taxes earmarked at Rs 5059.77 crore for the current fiscal.

At the same time, the State�s expenditure is also expected to increase substantially due to prior commitments such as support to improve judicial infrastructure, increase in new government posts to improve the State�s delivery system and implementation of the 5th Pay Commission. Sangma said that the State would try to improve its financial position through the award of the 15th Finance Commission.

The Chief Minister put the highest emphasis on the development of the rural sector, earmarking the Community and Rural Development Department with a development outlay of Rs 1457.94 crore.

In this regard, convergence of MGNREGA with other schemes, National Rural Livelihood Mission, Startup Village Entrepreneurship Programmes and other Centrally-assisted schemes have been accorded priority.

The education sector was earmarked the second highest funding with the total outlay at Rs 969.64 crore for the current fiscal. The Government has promised to put in place a more robust education policy to improve the standard of education in the State.

Sangma said that the Government would establish more polytechnic institutes across the State. Moreover, teachers� training programmes will continue and intervention will be made to ensure that enrolment in schools and colleges is increased.

The Government has earmarked Rs 628.04 crore for the PWD necessary for the development of roads and bridges across the State. Sangma said that the Government during 2017-18 constructed 93 km of new roads, blacktopped 47 km of kutcha roads and constructed 350 running metres of RCC bridges at an expenditure of Rs 20.53 crore.

Sangma added that the focus of the MDA Government would be to improve the existing road network of the State, especially the main roads including metalling and blacktopping of kutcha roads.

�Road transport plays an important role in agriculture development, so the Government is committed to improve rural road connectivity so that farmers can easily access the markets,� the Chief Minister informed the House.

The Health sector was earmarked Rs 613.31 crore for 2018-19. The Government proposes to strengthen the existing Community Health Centres, Public Health Centres and Sub-Centres across the State.

The Chief Minister said that the Government would also try to expedite the setting up of the medical college in Tura, which was sanctioned under a Centrally-sponsored scheme.

Stating that the Government would work towards providing preventive, curative health care and other allied services to the people of the State, Sangma said, AMRIT pharmacies would be opened across the State so that people can procure medicines at affordable rates.

Moreover, he added that the third phase of the Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme would be implemented later this year and the Government is also looking at ways to converge the State health insurance scheme with the yet-to-be-launched Central National Health Insurance Scheme.

Earmarking Rs 446.62 crore for the Power department, Sangma informed the House that an amount of Rs 145.11 crore has been proposed for generation projects, Rs 21.6 crore for distribution projects and Rs 50.26 crore for transmission projects across the State.

Further, an amount of Rs 77.36 crore has been kept as the State share for CSS schemes and Rs 60 crore as loans from NABARD for generation projects, Sangma said.

Under the New and Renewable Energy component, several new initiatives like family size biogas plants, solar street lighting system, distribution of solar lanterns to students would be undertaken, the Chief Minister said.

Proposing a Budget outlay of Rs 537.72 for the Social Welfare department, Sangma said the Government would continue to implement the social welfare schemes and provide grants-in-aid for the development of women, children and marginalised section of the society.

Some of the other important sectors include Agriculture and Horticulture which was earmarked Rs 252.26 crore, Water Resources Rs 190.41 crore, Soil and Water Conservation Rs 183.07 crore, Forest and Environment Rs 124.92 crore, Urban Development Rs 204.12 crore, Tourism Rs 93.29 crore, Water Supply and Sanitation Rs 293.26 crore and maintenance of law and order Rs 57.80 crore.

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Meghalaya CM tables deficit Budget

SHILLONG, March 23 - Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today presented in the Meghalaya Assembly a deficit Budget of Rs 1,150 crore for the year 2018-19, which is around 3.32 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product.

Presenting the first Budget of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance Government, Sangma, who also holds the Finance portfolio, informed the House that the total receipts, excluding borrowings, for the current fiscal is estimated at Rs 12,554 crore.

However, the total expenditure of the State for the current fiscal is estimated at Rs 13,704 crore, thus leaving a deficit of Rs 1,150 crore. The Chief Minister also presented a Vote-on-Account for proposed expenditure of the first three months of the current fiscal.

Sangma said that the State�s total receipts for 2018-19 would improve over 2017-18 because of the higher share of Central taxes earmarked at Rs 5059.77 crore for the current fiscal.

At the same time, the State�s expenditure is also expected to increase substantially due to prior commitments such as support to improve judicial infrastructure, increase in new government posts to improve the State�s delivery system and implementation of the 5th Pay Commission. Sangma said that the State would try to improve its financial position through the award of the 15th Finance Commission.

The Chief Minister put the highest emphasis on the development of the rural sector, earmarking the Community and Rural Development Department with a development outlay of Rs 1457.94 crore.

In this regard, convergence of MGNREGA with other schemes, National Rural Livelihood Mission, Startup Village Entrepreneurship Programmes and other Centrally-assisted schemes have been accorded priority.

The education sector was earmarked the second highest funding with the total outlay at Rs 969.64 crore for the current fiscal. The Government has promised to put in place a more robust education policy to improve the standard of education in the State.

Sangma said that the Government would establish more polytechnic institutes across the State. Moreover, teachers� training programmes will continue and intervention will be made to ensure that enrolment in schools and colleges is increased.

The Government has earmarked Rs 628.04 crore for the PWD necessary for the development of roads and bridges across the State. Sangma said that the Government during 2017-18 constructed 93 km of new roads, blacktopped 47 km of kutcha roads and constructed 350 running metres of RCC bridges at an expenditure of Rs 20.53 crore.

Sangma added that the focus of the MDA Government would be to improve the existing road network of the State, especially the main roads including metalling and blacktopping of kutcha roads.

�Road transport plays an important role in agriculture development, so the Government is committed to improve rural road connectivity so that farmers can easily access the markets,� the Chief Minister informed the House.

The Health sector was earmarked Rs 613.31 crore for 2018-19. The Government proposes to strengthen the existing Community Health Centres, Public Health Centres and Sub-Centres across the State.

The Chief Minister said that the Government would also try to expedite the setting up of the medical college in Tura, which was sanctioned under a Centrally-sponsored scheme.

Stating that the Government would work towards providing preventive, curative health care and other allied services to the people of the State, Sangma said, AMRIT pharmacies would be opened across the State so that people can procure medicines at affordable rates.

Moreover, he added that the third phase of the Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme would be implemented later this year and the Government is also looking at ways to converge the State health insurance scheme with the yet-to-be-launched Central National Health Insurance Scheme.

Earmarking Rs 446.62 crore for the Power department, Sangma informed the House that an amount of Rs 145.11 crore has been proposed for generation projects, Rs 21.6 crore for distribution projects and Rs 50.26 crore for transmission projects across the State.

Further, an amount of Rs 77.36 crore has been kept as the State share for CSS schemes and Rs 60 crore as loans from NABARD for generation projects, Sangma said.

Under the New and Renewable Energy component, several new initiatives like family size biogas plants, solar street lighting system, distribution of solar lanterns to students would be undertaken, the Chief Minister said.

Proposing a Budget outlay of Rs 537.72 for the Social Welfare department, Sangma said the Government would continue to implement the social welfare schemes and provide grants-in-aid for the development of women, children and marginalised section of the society.

Some of the other important sectors include Agriculture and Horticulture which was earmarked Rs 252.26 crore, Water Resources Rs 190.41 crore, Soil and Water Conservation Rs 183.07 crore, Forest and Environment Rs 124.92 crore, Urban Development Rs 204.12 crore, Tourism Rs 93.29 crore, Water Supply and Sanitation Rs 293.26 crore and maintenance of law and order Rs 57.80 crore.

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