CM NEIPHIU RIO PRESENTS BUDGET FOR 2022-2023
Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio presented the final budget of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly for the year 2022-23 on 22nd March 2022.
Stating that at the top of the State Government's agenda is the early resolution of the Indo-Naga political issue, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the August House has passed a number of resolutions over the years. Consultative meetings were held with all stakeholders on 15th October 2021 and again on 9th March 2022. On 18th September 2021, all the political parties represented in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly came together to form the UDA and all the 60 Members of the August House are united with the single objective of working for a solution to the Naga issue. While appreciating the constant contributions of the mass based Civil Societies, Tribal Hohos, Church organisations and NGOs in the search for peace, Rio appealed to all sections to rededicate to the cause of unity, oneness, understanding and true peace.
Rio said that the State Government has recently created the new districts of Chumoukedima, Niuland, Tseminyu and Shamator. Earlier Noklak was also created. He hoped this will go a long way in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people from these areas, and bring the functioning and activities of the Government closer to their doorsteps for better delivery of services.
The Chief Minister said his Government is also actively pursuing for setting up a separate High Court for the State at the earliest. The Parliament is expected to enact the Act to set up a separate High Court for the State this year.
Rio stated that the State Government has made various efforts to create a conducive environment for private initiatives to flourish. After passing the resolution that the SARFAESI Act would be made applicable to the State with the safeguard that land will not be alienated from indigenous inhabitants, banks have started sanctioning loans and credit flow to businesses and entrepreneurs have picked up, addressing the earlier hardships faced by them. RBI has given the permission for opening of bank branches in the unbanked blocks of Sakshi in Longleng and Chessore in Shamator.
The Chief Minister's Micro Finance Initiative was introduced during the year to make credit more affordable and available to individuals, Self Help Groups and Farmer Producer Organisations. In order to do so, the Government will provide for either subsidy or interest subvention against identified activities in the agriculture and allied sector including for processing units, handicrafts and small-scale manufacturing units. As a part of this initiative to promote the agri and allied sector, the removal of the stamp duty on crop loans will be notified shortly, Rio added. An amount of Rs. 65 crore is earmarked for this scheme.
Rio said that for the past two years, the State has grappled with COVID-19 and despite the difficult times we are passing through, the last few months have shown a substantial turnaround in our economy.
The country's GST collections have reached Rs. 1,40,986 crore during January 2022, and our own revenues are also showing a healthy increase. As a result, the Government is able to allocate an amount of Rs. 775 crore for the State Development Outlay of 2022-23. This represents an increase of 10.71% over last year's outlay.
In the State Development Outlay for 2022-23, efforts have been made to ensure that priority is given to completion of ongoing projects, and to projects that have a multiplier effect in creating livelihoods and local economies. Rs. 225.85 buildings or residential quarters. Rs. 122.06 crore is earmarked for road and other infrastructure related activities. A higher amount of Rs. 276 crore have been earmarked for State Share to CSS to facilitate access to more Central funds, out of which 30% of the allocation is being provided upfront to the CSS implementing departments to be reflected in their Demands for Grants of 2022-23. This should enable the departments to get their first installments early and thereby improve implementation of the schemes.
The Chief Minister mentioned that Rs. 33.23 crore have been earmarked for the Agri and Allied Sector. Also, Rs. 11.75 crore has been earmarked as the first tranche of State Share for CSS from the 30% allocated department-wise. Rs. 1.50 crore has been provided for Farmers Training and Exposure visits to introduce them to best practices. Rs. 1.04 crore has been provided for construction of offices and staff quarters at various places. As part of the continuing programme, an amount of Rs. 6 crore has been provided for development of agri and horti link roads under Agriculture and Horticulture departments respectively.
An amount of Rs. 3.14 crore has been allocated for the Soil & Water Conservation Department for core activities and integrated land development. An amount of Rs. 3.50 crore has been allocated for the Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Department for setting up model piggery units and strengthening institutes. An amount of Rs. 3.84 crore is allocated for the Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Department for core activities, integrated fishery development, sports fishing and upgradation of Government Fish Farms.
An amount of Rs. 2 crore is allocated to Forest Department for plantation of fruits and trees of economic importance. The allocation of Rs. 1 crore for the Cooperation Department is for its core activities. The allocation of Rs. 4 crore for the Land Resources Department is for purchase of rubber sheet roller machines, maintenance of coffee plantations, arecanut plantations and value addition of natural teas. The Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency, the Bio Resources Mission and the Bee and Honey Mission have been provided Rs. 1 crore each and NEPED has been provided Rs. 75 lakh.
Rio stated that with a view to tap the Centrally Sponsored Schemes more effectively, the Government has earmarked first tranche of Rs. 21 crore from the 30% State Share for CSS allocated department-wise for the Rural Development schemes. In addition, Rs. 9 crore has been earmarked for the sector, out of which Rs. 5 crore is for upgradation of rural roads, Rs. 1 crore each for core activities and for construction of Training and Research Centre in Rural Technology for Tribal Regions and construction of academic-cum-administration block at SIRD.
The Special Area Programme has been provided with an outlay of Rs. 121 crore. This includes funds for Local Area Development, and for iconic projects in all 60 Constituencies. The Government has increased the allocation from Rs. 21 crore to Rs. 23 crore for the Department of Development of Under Developed Areas (DUDA).
The Water Resources sector has been provided with an outlay of Rs. 4 crore for creation of water harvesting structures and other departmental activities.
The Government has provided an outlay of Rs. 18.03 crore to the Power sector with special emphasis on projects aimed at exploiting the potential for generation of power in the state. Funds have been provided for completion of Ponglefo and Tehok hydro electric projects. Clearance have also been obtained for hydro-power projects for 24 MW at Zungki and 42 MW at Lower Tizu for funding by ADB and expect these to fructify during the year. External aid funding of the 24 MW Hydro power project at Tizu Valley is also being taken up during the year. Land owner issues have been resolved for the proposed 186 MW hydro power project at Dikhu and activities will start very soon. The State Government has given clearance for a 21 MW hydro power project at Hakchang village in Tuensang district and 27 MW thermal project at Tuli, which are expected to be operational during 2022-23.
Chief Minister Rio also said that funds have been provided to set up a 5 MW solar plant under the Department of New & Renewable Energy. In the private sector, the 20 MW solar power project in Ganeshnagar is expected to be fully operational during the year. The New & Renewable Energy sector has also been provided Rs. 2 crore for solar street lights and core activities. Rs. 50 lakh has been provided to the Electrical Inspectorate for Green Village Initiative.
Rio mentioned that the total provision for power purchase during the current year stands at Rs. 461.62 crore. Cost of power purchase have increased from Rs. 296.97 crore during 2017-18 to an estimated figure of Rs. 459.47 crore during 2021-22. The department has through sustained efforts managed to reduce it to Rs. 266.47 crore in RE 2021-22, and efforts will continue to further reduce this gap in the coming years. These huge shortfalls in revenue collection are mainly on account of power theft and non-payment of bills. To put a check on theft, the Power Department has recently started a drive against illegal power tapping and disconnection of lines for non-payment. The Department is also implementing pre-paid metering in a phased manner. During the current financial year, the revenue is expected to cross Rs. 200 crore.
The Industries & Minerals Sector has been provided an outlay of Rs. 14.40 crore to facilitate entrepreneurship and start-ups, ease of doing business, construction of common facility-cum-training centre for NKVIB and construction of offices.
The Sericulture Department has been provided Rs. 4 crore for construction of staff quarters and augmentation of silk production. The Geology & Mining Department has been provided Rs. 4.50 crore of which Rs. 2.50 crore is earmarked for shifting of the Decorative Stone Cutting Centre from Chümoukedima to Ganeshnagar.
The PWD (Roads & Bridges) Department has been provided with an outlay of Rs. 45.00 crore. Of this, Rs. 25.00 crore has been earmarked for Special Road Development Programme and Rs. 10.00 crore for improvement of other roads. In order to support the various infrastructural works, Rs. 4 crore has been provided to the Mechanical Engineering wing under the NPWD for augmenting their machineries and spares.
The Department of Transport has been provided Rs. 4 crore for purchase of a new fleet of modern buses during the year to provide more efficiency and comfort to the passengers. Construction of heliports have been taken up in various parts of the State during the previous years, and during the financial year, the network will be extended. With a view to strengthen and modernise the Regional Transport Offices and the regulatory activities assigned to it, Rs. 2.50 crore is provided for construction of RTO offices and core activities.
The Department of Science & Technology has been provided Rs. 3.00 crore (Rs. 2.50 crore is allotted for core activities and towards construction of staff quarters and Rs. 50 lakh for introduction of new brick making technology). The Department of Information Technology & Communication has been provided with Rs. 4.17 crore for carrying out core activities, procurement of IT equipment and further strengthening of the State Data Centre, which will help in rolling out more public oriented online services.
The Nagaland Legislative Assembly has achieved the distinction of being the first Legislature in the country to implement National e-Vidhan Application and going paperless. Rio urged the Members of the August House, Government servants and public institutions to use the tools of technology to improve productivity and provide better public services.
The Department of Youth Services & Sports have been provided Rs. 8.75 crore for capacity building of youth, for activities of the Task Force on Music and Arts, for Hornbill Festival related activities and for various sports activities. The country's first ever Police Sports Battalion was launched on 12th November 2021, which has been well appreciated in the rest of the country. Rio assured of completing the Multi-Disciplinary Sports Complex at Dimapur so that the State is ready to host national and regional games.
On March 26, 2022, Nagaland will be hosting its biggest ever sporting event in the form of the South Asian Cross Country Championships being hosted by India with Kohima as the Host City. Athletes and officials from all over South Asia and every State and Union Territory of the Indian Union will be participating. This will be a landmark event for our State. In April 2022, the next edition of the Nagaland Olympics will also be conducted where sportspersons and youth from every corner of Nagaland will exhibit their talents and strive towards reaching the highest standards. Dr. T. Ao Tournament at Mokokchung will also be organised during April 2022.
Rio stated that the Social Services Sector has been provided with an outlay of Rs. 131 crore. Of this, the Department of School Education has been provided Rs. 6.56 crore for construction of GHS, DEO/SDEO offices and for extension of classrooms. Rs. 7.00 crore has been provided as the first tranche of State Share of CSS from the 30% allocated department wise. He added that Rs. 2.50 crore has been earmarked for construction of a 60 bedded Girls Hostel at Sainik School Punglwa to ensure that the Sainik School is fully ready within the year for girl cadets to be admitted under the new policy of opening the Sainik Schools for enrolment of girls.
The Department of Higher Education has been provided Rs. 8.22 crore to facilitate NAAC accreditation and for construction of academic buildings in Government colleges. The State Council of Educational Research and Training has been provided Rs. 3.15 crore for various construction works, development of text books, trainings and workshops and conduct of examinations. The Department of Technical Education has been provided Rs. 3 crore, of which Rs. 1 crore is for upgradation of facilities at Khelhoshe Polytechnic. Rs. 1 crore each has also been provided for core activities and infrastructure development at Seithekiema Polytechnic.
The Department of Health & Family Welfare has been provided Rs. 7.77 crore for construction of offices, a new 50 bedded extension at Kohima District Hospital and for Impur Hospital Mokokchung. Substantial funding is made available through various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, for availing which an upfront allocation of Rs. 10.50 crore has been made for the State share. Rio informed an autonomous society has been constituted for the new Medical College at Kohima, and the Government will ensure that admissions for the college commences from the academic session 2023-24. He added that the work for the Mon Medical College shall also be started in full swing during the year. Rio announced the launching of 'Chief Minister's Health Insurance Scheme,' which will provide every citizen with hospitalization insurance cover of upto Rs. 5 lakh per annum, irrespective of the family income. The scheme will provide cashless services for predefined packages covering secondary and tertiary care procedures at empanelled Government or private hospitals, both within and outside the State.
The Public Health Engineering Department has been provided Rs. 3.63 crore to complete ongoing water supply projects and for core activities. A substantial amount of Rs. 11.00 crore has been provided as an upfront allocation for State Share for CSS. The P.W.D. (Housing) Department has been provided Rs. 25.69 crore for completion of the Commission Complex, construction of Rental Housing, construction of Patient Guest House at Dibrugarh and guest house at Dimapur. Rio said that the Government has also decided to construct a Naga Patient Home at Vellore for which the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu agreed to provide space for this and an amount of Rs. 1.00 crore has been provided for this purpose.
The General Administration Housing has been provided Rs. 19.51 crore for construction of offices and quarters for Administration in various parts of the State. Police Housing has been provided Rs. 10.60 crore for construction of offices for SPs, barracks for jawans and Police Stations.
The Justice & Law Department has been provided Rs. 4.14 crore for the ongoing High Court Complex, construction of Judges Rest House and for the Advocates Chambers in the High Court Complex. Funds have also been provided for construction of DC office complexes in the newly created districts of Tuensang and Noklak. Rio said in the new districts, wherever required, the Government will provide Mini Secretariats which would house the office of the Deputy Commissioner and other district level offices.
The Home Guards have been provided Rs. 2.00 crore for construction works at the Central Training Institute at Dimapur. The Jails Housing has been provided Rs. 3.49 crore for construction works in various jails. The Excise Housing has been provided Rs. 1.6 crore for construction of staff quarters at the Excise Housing Complex at Dimapur. The Urban Development Department has been provided Rs. 4.4 crore for P. Shilu Memorial Park at Mokokchung, for upgrading the marketing centre of Development Authority Nagaland and for other construction activities.
The Municipal Affairs Department has been provided Rs. 1.70 crore for urban sewerage. The Labour Department has been provided Rs. 1.50 crore, and the Employment and Skill Development has been provided Rs. 2.00 crore for strengthening ITs and for skill programmes. The Social Welfare Department has been provided Rs. 1.50 crore for construction of district office at Mon. The department has also been provided an amount of Rs. 6.00 crore as the first tranche of State Share for CSS from the 30% allocated department wise.
Departments covered under the General and Other Services have been provided with an outlay of Rs. 29.60 crore. The Printing and Stationery department has been provided Rs. 1.50 crore for procurement of machineries. The Administrative Training Institute has been provided Rs. 75 lakh for training activities. The Assembly Complex Project has been provided Rs. 5.00 crore for various construction and upgradation works and also for the MLA Hostel and approach road to the staff quarters. The Nagaland Fire Services has been provided Rs. 5.00 crore for purchase of new machineries and construction of fire stations in the new districts.
The Treasuries and Accounts Department has been provided Rs. 2.12 crore for construction of Sub-Treasury at Chozuba and Aboi. The Border Affairs Department has been provided Rs. 2.88 crore for construction of staff quarters and constructions along the inter-state border areas.
The Parliamentary Affairs Department has been provided Rs. 1.50 crore for parliamentary study tour, youth parliament and other activities. The Taxes Department has been provided Rs. 2.00 crore for construction of staff quarters. The Village Guards has been provided Rs. 1.50 crore for construction of office and residential building. The Chief Electoral Office has been provided Rs.3.64 core for construction of storage facilities for EVMs and VVPATs in 12 districts. The Home Department has been provided Rs. 3.00 crore for Nagaland Houses and disaster mitigation works.
The Tribal Affairs Department has been provided Rs. 50 lakh for construction of the directorate and staff quarters. The Minority Affairs Department has been provided Rs. 1.70 crore for construction of playgrounds and community halls in addition to Rs. 3.00 crore upfront allocation for State Share to avail CSS.
Rio stated that the Government has also provided Rs. 30 crore for the Foothill Road during the current financial year.
Rio said that through the ‘Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure" in the form of interest free loan for a period of 50 years, the Government of India have in their budget announced the allocation of Rs. 1.00 lakh crore for the scheme for 2022-23, Rio proposed to supplement activities under the sectoral allocations or take up specific projects during the year, some of which are – to provide access to remote and rural areas, improve facilities in the District and Administrative Headquarters; completion of a football stadium at Chumukedima Police Complex; Development of a Heritage Complex at Mon; Re-development of the Dimapur Town Hall; Construction of an indoor multipurpose-cum-wrestling stadium with a capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 at Kohima.
Rio stated that 2020-21 again saw a huge shortfall in the State’s receipts due to the COVID pandemic to the tune of Rs. 1341.99 crore over what was reflected in the Union Budget for the State in the Share of Central Taxes and Duties. These shortfalls have seriously affected the State's financial health. He said that the Government has also taken various measures to enhance the State's revenues and increase resources, and measures have been proposed for enhancement of rates, fees and duties, including measures to enhance efficiency. The State Government is also actively exploring the guarantee route to help access funds outside of the budget to fund critical developmental and infrastructure activities to supplement the State’s limited resources for which a Special Purpose Vehicle is being formed.
The Government has created a comprehensive database for all Government employees called the Personnel Information Management System (PIMS) which will also form the basis for budgetary allocation to various departments for salaries and wages and help to put a check on illegal and excess appointments beyond the sanctioned strength, which Rio stated is becoming a widespread problem. In addition, the State Finance Department has recently introduced the e-Pay Bill at the DO level to ensure that salaries are prepared as per actual staff strength as reflected in the PIMS database. These measures, Rio stated will go a long way in bringing about transparency and accountability, and prevent malpractices and leakage of public funds.
CM Rio presented the Budget estimating the gross receipts at Rs. 24389.80 crores and gross expenditure at Rs. 24239.50 crore for the financial year 2022-23. He added that the current year’s transaction for the year 2022-23 are estimated to result in a positive balance of Rs. 150.30 crore. However because of the negative opening balance of Rs. 2363.04 crore, the year 2022-23 is estimated to close with a negative balance of Rs. 2212.74 crore.
(Mhonlumi & Nouneseno)