Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Wednesday tabled a Rs 1,236 crore deficit budget for the financial year 2017-18, in which he increased the tax slabs for transportation to raise additional revenue. The Chief Minister also announced merger of the plan and non-plan expenditure to rationalise its budgetary allocations with a focus on development expenditure and synchronise the budgetary framework with that of the Union Government.
“I am presenting the budget of 2017-18 with fiscal deficit of Rs 1236 crore which is around 3.8 per cent of the GSDP,” Sangma, who also holds charge of Finance department said in his budget presentation.
Estimating the total receipts at Rs 12,510 crore, he said the revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 11,280 crore and capital receipts at Rs 1230 crore.
The total receipts see a nominal increase from a Rs 10,173 crore projected receipt for the year 2016-17.
The total expenditure is estimated at Rs 12873 crore of which the revenue expenditure is estimated to be at Rs 10,648 crore while Rs 2225 crore as capital expenditure, he said.
Stating that the state’s own resources have been adversely affected by the banning of sale of liquor near the national and state highways as per the recommendations of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety, the chief minister also highlighted the continuing impact on the NGT ban on coal mining.
He however, said that the advance estimates for Gross State Domestic Product for 2017-18 is Rs 29,566 crore and increase of 10.55 per cent over this year’s current market price of Rs Rs 26,745 crore which showed an increase of 9.58 per cent over last year’s figures.
The Chief Minister stated that the per capita income of the state at current price for the year 2016-17 stands at Rs 88,497, a marked increase of 8.26 per cent increase over last year’s estimates of Rs 81,498.
Spelling out measures to generate additional resources, he said the implementation of the GST is expected to benefit consumer states like Meghalaya even as excise duty and VAT on liquor would be revised, increase tax on transportation apart from rationalising tax structure on cigarettes and bidis.
There is a proposal to revise late closing fee for bars and restaurants and also to reduce export fee for liquor produced in the state to boost export.
Various Indian-made foreign liquor, cigarettes and bidis will be costlier. So also the cost of dining at high end bars and restaurants are expected to go up considerably.
The state government has also pledged a development plan outlay of Rs 1731.57 crore for Rural Development as against Rs 274.1 crore only last year.
Rs 909.94 crore has been earmarked for Education as against Rs 677 crore only last year, Rs 712.8 crore for Road and Bridges as against 471.8 crore last year, Rs 420.93 crore for Health and Family Welfare as against Rs 470 crore last year.