CM Zoramthanga addresses press conference after presenting annual budget.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Monday presented the annual budget of the state for fiscal 2021-2022 with an outlay of Rs. 11,148.89 crore, which is Rs 433.89 crore higher than the budget estimate of 2020-2021.

The chief minister also presented supplementary demands for grants for the financial year 2020-2021 amounting to Rs. 3,058.08 crore.

There is no proposal for levying new taxes or enhancing tax rates in the new budget.

Zoramthanga, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that the severe drop in the quantum of revenue collection at the Centre due to the outbreak of Covid-19 has led to a significant reduction in the state’s share of taxes by Rs. 1,185.03 crore during fiscal 2020-2021, which inevitably let the state suffered a gross fiscal deficit of Rs, 2,175.79 crore (6.87% of GSDP) and revenue deficit of Rs. 798.62 crore (2.52 % of GSDP) in 2020-2021.

He said that the state government is constantly taking measures to increase its own revenue from all sectors.

The state government is expecting to increase the state’s own tax and non-tax revenue during fiscal 2021-2022 at Rs. 1,571.82 crore at an estimated growth of 26.27 per cent compared to the 2020-2021 budget, he said, adding that the state’s own revenue is estimated to stand at 16.05 per cent of the total revenue receipt of Rs. 9,795.80 crore.

He said that the target will be achieved not by levying fresh taxes but by more efficient tax collection.

The revenue expenditure for fiscal 2021-22 is estimated to stand at Rs. 9,216.39 crore, which is 82.67 per cent of the total budget and it was decreased by 1.53 per cent from the 2020-21 budget of 84.20 per cent.

Revenue expenditure covers mainly salaries of government employees, pension expenses, interest payments and expenditure on large scale sectors like education, sports, road maintenance, power purchase and water supply among others.

The total fund earmarked for capital expenditure meant for the creation of assets for the public was Rs. 1,932.50 crore which is 17.33 per cent of the total estimated expenditure, Zoramthanga said.

The government also expected Rs. 5,267.82 crore grant from the 15th Finance Commission and Rs. 2,570.39 crore for implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS).

Zoramthanga said that in spite of limited revenue resources, he aimed at maintaining a revenue surplus of Rs. 579.42 crore in 2021-2022.

He said that the estimated gross fiscal deficit for fiscal 2021-2022 is 2.14 per cent and the primary deficit is 1.12 per cent of the State Gross Domestic Product (GSDP).

The total projected liability is Rs. 10,491.20 crore, he said.

Zoramthanga set aside Rs 4 crore for the implementation of the state flagship programme- Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP) against Rs. 5.13 crore in 2020-21 fiscal.

Rs. 5 crore was allocated for rehabilitation of former cadres of Mizo National Front (MNF), who have come overground with the signing of the Mizo peace accord in June 1986 and Rs. 60 crore was put aside for MLA local area development fund, he said.

Zoramthanga also said that the state government will have to continue with its austerity measures at least till the state financial position improves.

He said that various activities, which were undertaken in the pre-Covid-19 period except for priority items, would not be possible to be taken up in 2021-22 as the state government is compelled to reduce its non-obligatory revenue expenditure.

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