DIMAPUR, Feb 13 - Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who also holds the Finance portfolio, presented a Rs 123.96 crore tax-free deficit budget for 2020-21 in the fifth session of the 13th Nagaland Assembly in Kohima today.
Presenting the budget, Rio said the fiscal year 2020-21 marks commencement of the 15th Finance Commission Award period. He said the tenure of the Commission has been extended by another year. So the submission of the final report of the Commission has been delayed, he added.
He said the Commission had submitted its report for 2020-21 and would submit a separate report for five years for the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26 by October, 2020. Rio said during the recent visit of two members of the 15th Finance Commission � Dr Ashok Lahiri and Ajay Narayan Jha � he conveyed to them the problems the State has been facing due to discontinuation of Special Plan Assistance funding, leaving the State with a financial liability of Rs 529 crore. He also stressed that the financial problems have increased due to the large number of government employees and the resultant high salary expenditure.
The State Government has urged the Commission to give due consideration to cover the revenue deficit and recommend State-specific grants to ensure development of the State, he said.
Rio said that the 14th Finance Commission had not recommended State-specific grants, citing the increased devolution to States by 10 per cent � from 32 per cent to 42 per cent � but this increased devolution did no benefit Nagaland since it continues to remain deficit on revenues even after the awards.
On the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which has created serious apprehensions in the minds of the people, the Chief Minister said the People�s Democratic Alliance (PDA) Government had maintained a consistent stand from the very beginning that Nagaland is protected under provisions of Article 371(A) of the Constitution and the inner line permit (ILP) system under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.