Aizawl: Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Monday presented the annual budget for the financial year 2023-2024 with a total outlay of Rs. 14,209.95 crore.
The chief minister said the new budget is a zero-deficit as well as a non-surplus budget as the estimated total receipts is exactly equal to the estimated total expenditures.
Neither new taxes have been imposed nor was a proposal to hike the existing rates in the 2023-24 budget.
He also presented supplementary demands for the current fiscal (2022-2023) amounting to Rs. 3,265.69 crore.
Zoramthanga, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that the state economy has been profoundly impacted by the non-receipt of share of Central taxes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the government did not receive its share taxes amounting to over Rs. 3,000 crore in the last two fiscals- 2021-22 and 2022-23.
“It is indeed delightful to lay such a sizeable budget that is Rs. 201.80 crore higher than the 2022-23 budget in spite of financial adversary and in the absence of a substantial project like Rs. 600 crore under PM-Devine projects,” Zoramthanga said.
He laid emphasis on SEDP and Rs. 595. crore was allocated for the implementation of the flagship programme during 2023-24 fiscal.
Out of Rs 595 crore, Rs. 300 crore was allocated for the implementation of family-oriented SEDP in 2023-24.
Under the family-oriented programme, the government has made an arrangement to distribute monetary assistance of Rs. 50,000 each to 60,000 families during the current fiscal and the first installment of the assistance amounting to Rs 25,000 each has been already disbursed to 5,996 beneficiaries, he said.
“Money (Rs. 25, 000 each for the beneficiaries) has been sanctioned for the second installment, which will be disbursed during the current fiscal,” the chief minister said.
He said that his government would also distribute the second phase of family-oriented SEDP assistance to thousands of beneficiaries during the new fiscal 2023-24.
Apart from Rs. 300 crore allocated for family-oriented SEDP, Zoramthanga also set aside Rs. 220 crore under the flagship programme as counterpart funding for Centrally funded projects, Rs. 50 crore for the implementation of the healthcare scheme and Rs. 25 crore was set aside for untied SEDP.
With an additional Rs. 10 crore from state lottery, the total amount allocated for the implementation of the state healthcare scheme is Rs. 60 crore, he said.
The Zoramthanga government has been severely attacked by the opposition for its failure to pay health insurance amounting to crores of rupees to the beneficiaries.
He said his government has sought a loan amounting to Rs. 1,000 crore from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the implementation of the state healthcare scheme.
Of the total Rs. 14,209.95 crore annual budget, 21.90 per cent (Rs. 3,141.19 crore) has been earmarked for capital expenditure and 78.10 per cent (Rs. 11,068.76 crore) for revenue expenditure, he said.
While capital expenditure is meant for the creation of assets for the public, revenue expenditure covers mainly salaries and wages, pension expenses, interest payments and power purchases, among others.
Rs. 60 crore has been allocated for MLA Local Area Development Fund.
To continue the support for preparing brilliant students for All India Service and other Central Service examinations, the chief minister set aside Rs. 50 lakh.
Rs. 200 crore was allocated for the smooth conduct of state assembly polls due in November, while Rs. 5 crore has been set aside for rehabilitation of ex-cadres of Mizo National Front (MNF), he said.
According to Zoramthanga, the State’s Own Tax Revenue (SOTR) in the new fiscal is hoped to increase by 35.32 per cent from the current fiscal and that of the State’s Own Non-tax Revenue (SONTR) by Rs. 60.57 crore.