DIMAPUR: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, WHO also holds the finance portfolio, presented the final budget of the 13th Nagaland Assembly for the year 2022-23 on Tuesday. 

In his speech, Rio the state government estimated gross receipts at Rs 24389.80 crore and gross expenditure at Rs 24239.50 crore for the fiscal.  

He said the current year’s transaction for the year 2022-23 is 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, the CM said. 

Early resolution of the Indo-Naga political issue, bringing the functioning and activities of the government closer to the doorsteps of the people for better delivery of services, creating a conducive environment for private initiatives to flourish, making credit more affordable and available to individuals, self-help groups and farmer producer organizations, completion of ongoing projects are among the key focus areas of this year’s budget. 

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Rio said his government is also actively pursuing setting up a separate High Court for the state at the earliest.  

The Parliament is expected to enact an Act to set up a separate High Court for the state this year, he added. 

Stating that the state has grappled with Covid-19, he said: “Despite the difficult times we are passing through, the last few months have shown a substantial turnaround in our economy.” 

He said the state’s own revenues are showing a healthy increase.  

As a result, the government is able to allocate Rs 775 crore for the state development outlay of 2022-23, he said adding this represents an increase of 10.71% over last year’s outlay. 

Rio said 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 multiplier effects in creating livelihoods and local economies. 

He said Rs 225.85 crore has been earmarked for buildings or residential quarters and Rs 122.06 crore for road and other infrastructure-related activities.  

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A higher amount of Rs 276 crore has been earmarked for state share to centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) to facilitate access to more central funds.  

Out of this, 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, he stated. 

Later interacting with the media after presenting the budget, Rio said the state witnessed noticeable improvement in the resource position in the last quarter of 2020-2021. 

Stating that since the first quarter started on a negative trend, he said the government was compelled to move for austerity measures as was done during the year 2020-21 to avoid a financial crisis. 

The CM said the last quarter of 2021-22 had seen a huge climb in the GST revenues, resulting in a windfall of Rs 547.10 crore in receipts under the share of central taxes and duties over what was reflected in the Union Budget (BE) of 2021-22.  

Even the state’s revenues witnessed a growth of Rs. 42.45 crore over the Budget Estimates. 

However, despite such improvements, Rio said the state was still struggling to neutralize the huge negative impact of the losses in the share of central taxes and duties incurred during the last two years (Rs 925.42 crore short during 2019-20 and Rs 1341.99 crore short during 2020-21). 

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