Government of Meghalaya

Budget Speech

1997 98

By

Dr. R. C. Laloo

Finance Minister, Meghalaya

20th March, 1997

 

Mr. Speaker Sir, 

        I rise to present the Budget Estimates for  1997-98.

        The year 1997 has a historic significance on the 21st January, 1997, we observed the 25th year of creation of Meghalaya. Our mind goes  back to the days of our struggle for Hills State  under leadership of late Captain W.A. Sangma and others. We cherish the memory of Captain W.A. Sangma who headed the First Ministry along with late Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy, Shri Brington B. Lyngdoh . Shri Edwingson Bareh and Shri Sandford K. Marak. Shri B.B. Lyngdoh is still with us in the Assembly as our leader of opposition, I salute them all for their singular contributions  and achievements Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hope I am in the right place to mention the names of Shri S.C. Marak, Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Shri S.D. Khongwir and Shri D.N. Joshi who have been members of this August House without break for the last 25 years. They have led and enriched the public life and guided the polity with ability and vision. It is my honour to congratulate them on their success and dynamism.

LEADING ISSUES OF MANAGEMENT OF STATE FINANCE :- 

ACHIEVEMENTS AND PROSPECTS  :- There is an element of continuity in the twin task of governance and development as we build on the edifice left  by the previous administration and draw lessons from their experience, of constraints encountered, the challenges faced and the successes gained.

        Since the present term of the August House will come to end in February 1998, I consider it relevant to briefly apprise the House of the strategy, objectives and overall performance in dealing with the State's Finances and the  tasks ahead. I took over as Finance Minister one year ago and my approach and the parameters have been 'practical'  aimed at meeting the needs of regulatory as well as development Administration in a reasonable measure to ensure rapid and sustainable growth of the State economy with social justice and improvement of social and physical infrastructure. This would require First of all  a steady growth of Tax and Non-Tax revenues, by additional resource mobilisation and efficiency in collection of all  State revenues. Second  to meet the basic  and inescapable obligations of the State timely and in full measure such as interest payments and debt servicing, payments of Additional etc. to Govt. Servants. Third expenditure  management and control by enforcement   of economy measures to cut down the frills and non-essential items and particularly  on the Non-Plan  Revenue Expenditure within the Revenue Receipts of the Govt. The Hon'ble Members are aware that the Revenue Receipts include our share of Central Taxes and Grants-in-aid Govt. of India  as per the Award of the Tenth Finance Commission and our own Tax Non-Tax Revenues. Normal Central Assistance for the Plan etc. Fourth to provide adequate funds to social service and infrastructure sectors so that there is a continuing improvement in quality of life, in both rural and urban areas. capability of our people and the physical base for their development. Fifth  to provide resources for upgradation of  economic activities  as a whole by modernising agriculture, horticulture, plantation, crops development industries including Khadi and Village Industries, Tourism and Transport Sericulture, Livestock and Poultry development for generation of gainful employment . Sixth to support all efforts to involve the masses in the development process by providing  funds. to Non Governmental Organisations, taking up micro level development schemes touching upon all particularly the youth though MLAs  Schemes under Special Roads Works Programme and Construction of Rural Roads Programme , the Chief Minister's Youth Development Programme and assisting the District  Councils and Local Bodies to play a their rightful roles.

        I have to make a special mention that on an overall basis, the Government has achieved remarkable success in achieving these objectives. On the State's own receipt side the collection of our Revenues including Tax and Non-Tax Revenue have gone  up steadily from the level Rs. 72.05 crores in 1992-93 to Rs. 83.07 crores in 1993-94, Rs. 105.93 crores in 1994-95 Rs. 137,76 crores in 1995-96. In these years, we have exceeded the Budget Estimates for collection of States  own Receipts . When the State was formed, our total Receipts in 1972-73 were only Rs. 31.50 crores; our own receipts were Rs. 2.31 crores. Now after 25 years I am projecting the State total Receipts at Rs. 1149.56 crores and our own Receipts at Rs. 167.15 crores, in 1997-98. This quantum jump of Revenue Growth has been well appreciated by the Members of Planning Commission in Delhi on 4th February  1997 when we discussed and finalised the Plan size for 1997-98. This has been possible due to hard decision taken for enforcement of collection of enhanced  rates  or royalty on coal, commencement of State Lotteries  new Taxation measures, rationalisation of rate structures, streamlining of the functioning of the Earning Departments. These efforts will continue.

        As regards  Expenditure control, the task has been rendered extremely difficult due to increasing cost of maintenance of every asset, staff salaries, travel and office expenses and the fact that schemes once started under the Plan are allowed  to continue after expiry of plan period. Nevertheless, we succeeded in containing Non Plan revenue Expenditure which is evident from the fact that it stood at Rs.356.38 crores in 1993-94. Rs. 357.19 crores in 1994-95 Rs. 424.36 crores in 1995-96 and placed at Rs. 431.52 crores under Revised Estimate in 1996-97. I would like to stress that our success in limiting/freezing  the Non-Plan Revenue Expenditure in 1994-95 and subsequently by enforcement strict economy measure and financial discipline through a  package of measures really enable us to bring the State finances back to a reasonable shape. The increase  in the later years of 1995-96  and  1996-97  has been unavoidable due to payment of Arrear Dearness Allowance and Interim Relief to the tune of a total sum of Rs. 31.52 crores and Rs. 27.13 crores respectively. I have proposed Rs. 507.40 crores under Non Plan Revenue Expenditure  in 1997-98 I have  also provided Rs. 35.00  crores for implementing Revision  of Pay scales. The Members are aware that the  Third Meghalaya  Pay Commission has submitted  its recommendations are under  examination. I have proposed Rs. 63.72 crores under Police for efficient functioning of the Law and Order machinery including Rs. 7.10 crores for setting up of the Third MLP  Battalion as India Reserve Battalion. The creation of the Battalion will strengthen the State Police considerably.

        Interest payments and meeting debt service obligations constitute an escapable liability of the Government. I have been noticing good deal of misconception and disinformation about the State Public Debt. It must be understood that in the scheme of Centre State financial relations, there is a loan component inevitably in most forms of assistance that we get from Government of India, for  example  the Normal Central Assistance for the Plan, contain 10% Loans, Similarly schemes under North Eastern Council and Central Sector, and Centrally Sponsored Schemes taken up under varying cost sharing patterns  have loan  components. Mover over, since inception, Government of India have been allowing the States to go for Market borrowing for financing of Annual Plan. Under this, Reserve  Bank of India has been floating Meghalaya Development Bonds which are subscribed  by Financial Institutions. In 1996-97 , we have mobilised Rs. 27.50 crores by way of market borrowing. In 1997 -98 Rs. 34.93 crores has been earmarked under Gross market borrowing. These Loans are taken every year and are to be repaid without fail with interest  and are included in the total loan/Debt Servicing liability of the Government. In addition there are loans taken by the Government from financial Institutions like the Life Insurance Corporation, General Insurance Corporations in the past for implementing Schemes in the Plan. There is thus a built in process of accumulation and repayment of Loans. Five years ago, our outstanding loans in 1991-92 chiefly Central Loans, were Rs. 210.97 crores and now in 1996-97, the total  outstanding  loans stand  at Rs. 419.41 crores. The Government is not merely a borrower, it is also a lender and investor. The Government's cumulative investment in the State Public Undertakings and Corporations upto 1995-096 stood at Rs. 87.01 crores. Besides this, loans amounting g  to Rs. 151.76 crores have been  advanced during 1991-92 to 1995-96 to Govt. Companies, Corporations , Local Bodies Cooperatives, Non- Govt. Institutions for developmental and other activities. In the same period, Rs. 32.15 lakhs were advanced to Govt. servants as Housing Building Advance. The outstanding loans and interest payable  to the Govt. by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board as on 31.12.96 are Rs. 142.57 crores and Rs. 99.77 crores respectively. In 1995-96 expenditure of Rs. 50.41 crores was incurred on interest  payment and Rs. 57.27 crores has been reflected under Revised Estimates in 1996-97 which cover all loans. For financing Plan and other development schemes the Govt. took Rs. 60.00 crores from M/s Peerless General Finance & investment Limited ,during 1993-94 to 1996-97. Of this , we have repaid Rs. 40.70 crores so far and the outstanding balance is Rs. 19.30 crores. I am providing Rs. 63.86  crores for Interest payments in 1997-98 , which is a major item in Non Plan revenue Expenditure. I would like to stress that what is important is not the total outstanding loan  in absolute terms which is staggered over a  number of years but whether the State has been able to service these loans and repay the Principal timely. On this score, I am happy to inform the House that at no stage in the last 4 years did the Govt.  face any difficulty in this regard. Likewise, the Government disbursed Additional Dearness Allowance and Interim Relief to the Employees and welfare  facilities like House Building Advance and  Motor Car and Scooter Advance. With the sanctioning of Rs. 6.80 crores in 1996-97 practically all the employees who applied for House Building Advance  upto 1993 would be covered. I hope that the backlog would be substantially reduced in 1997-98 for which I have kept a provision of Rs. 7.00 crores under House Building Advance to Govt. Servants.

        Infrastructure includes not only physical facilities like roads, telecom network, Power but also Social Sector Schemes in health, Education as well as programme for empowerment of the under privileged people living in areas bordering Bangladesh and the interior. While during 1992-93 and 1995-96 , the main strategy was to continue and complete the Schemes initiated in the 7th Plan and to take up new Schemes and to utilise the provisions under Minimum Needs Programmes for Roads, expansion of Drinking water supply, Health  and Education and Housing Sectors, the launching of the Basic Minimum Services programme  by the Government of India has given a much needed thrust to those areas. In the current year we will be receiving Rs. 37.03 crores as special Central Assistance. It is our endeavour to optimise utilisation of  the basic  Minimum Services funds. The Central Govt. has constituted a High power  Commission  under the chairmanship of Shri S.P. Shukla,  Member  Planning Commission to examine the Special problems and needs of infrastructure in North Eastern Region and to recommend additional Central Support/assistance to remove the backlog by an  expanded basic Minimum Services programme. The State has submitted its Memorandum to the High Power Commission. I would like to inform the House that when accepted, its recommendation will mean flow of additional Central assistance to the State over and above what is contained in the Approved Plan size of Rs. 382 crores for 1997-98. Keeping  this position in mind I propose to give Rs.66.20 crores to Public works Department Rs. 17.30 crores to Health Rs. 32.37 crores to Education Rs. 21.84 crores to Public Health Engineering Rs. 5.40 crores to Housing under the Annual Plan 1997-98. I have also raised their Non-Plan budget suitably for ensuring maintenance of assets created. Encouraged by the success and good response from the people, the plan allocations under special Rural Works Programme which is implemented through the MLA's have been increased by Rs. 300 lakhs in 1996-97 from the original level of Rs. 795 lakhs and may be further increased in 1997-98 . I seek kind cooperation from the Hon'ble Members towards proper implementation of Special Rural Works Programme. As per your suggestions, we have included wide ranging assets creating works under Special Rural Works Programme. The Government is seriously thinking of extending this approach to various individual beneficiary Oriented Programmes under Integrated Rural Development Programme, Indira Awas Yojana  and Jawahar Rozgar Yojana. I welcome suggestions from the Hon'ble Members, in this regard.

        There is no doubt that a large Section of our youth are getting restive and suffer from a sense of deprivation. Lack of gainful employment opportunities and the growing and widening disparity of income within the tribal society might have contributed to this feeling. While the entire development efforts seek to correct these imbalances,  there is also a need to channelise the energies of the youth to  constructive activities. With this aim , the Government launched the Chief Minister  Youth Development Programme in 1996-97 with an outlay of  Rs. 0.25 crores has been provided in 1996-97 . I propose Rs. 0.50 crores in 1997-98 . In the liberalised economy and the policy that we are striving fro, the role of the Non- Govt. Organisations is very important. We seek to associate the Non Government Organisations in the development process and to benefit  from their experience. To encourage the  Non Government Organisations we allocated Rs. 10 lakhs in 1995-96 and Rs. 15 lakhs in 1996-97 and covered 64 Nos. Non Government Organisations. I am providing  Rs. 25 lakhs in 1997-98 for supporting the Non Government Organisations in taking up constructive activities  in both urban and rural areas. Once again I look forward to the suggestions of the Hon'ble Members on these vital schemes. When I stress the role of the Non Government Organisations. I have at the back of my mind the role of the Autonomous District Councils. Municipalities and Town Committees and other traditional authorities. For the Autonomous District Councils  which have been our training Grounds  in public life. I intend to provide Rs. 300 lakhs for the Autonomous District Councils in 1997-98. To upgrade the quality of urban service, the New Municipalities have been constituted at Williamnagar, Baghmara, Jowai and Resubelpara. I propose to provide Rs. 7.32 crores  in 1997-98 for the Municipalities and Town Committee.

        Coming to the core economic sectors their roles and performance, I suggest a serious review by all concerned in the State as the time series date for the last 10 years or so do not show any steady improvement in any sector except the exploitation of minerals and forest wealth. The Government had taken important steps by creating a separate Directorate of Horticulture and a Plantation Crops Development Board  the latter as an instrument for obtaining bulk loans from the financial institutions and passing on to the farmers. During the 9th Plan, agriculture and allied sectors like Forest Live Stock, Poultry and Fisheries have been accorded highest priority  along with Integrated Rural Development Programme and Irrigation development . I am therefore, providing under Annual Plans 1997-98 Rs. 40.37 crores for Agriculture and Allied sectors. In this connection, mention must be made about the creation of Rural Infrastructure  Development Fund by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development under direction of Government of India. Rural Infrastructure Development fund -I was launched in 1995-96. Due  to efforts made by our Chief Minister National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development  had agreed to cover rural roads in Meghalaya under RIDF-I in 1995-96  and sanctioned 19 Nos of roads at an outlay of Rs. 3.39 crores. This will be a loan from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. Under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund-II. NABARD has approved 29 Nos. of roads in 1996-97.We intend to take full advantage of the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund facility  as it will, inter alia, lead to improvement of Credit Deposit Ratio on an over all basis and to the investment climate. I have revived the State  Level Committee on Institutional finance and would activate this body to play its due role in reviewing investment Plans of Banks and in initiating steps for improvement of Credit Deposit Ratio of Banks.

NATIONAL  ECONOMY :- I will very briefly deal with the National economic scene and the State economy. There has been not only a remarkable recovery but a real turn around of the Indian economy in the last 5 years. The Union Finance  Minister has pointed out that the outstanding feature is that the Gross Domestic Product has been growing during the last 3 years at an average rate of 7%. In 1996-97 the rate of growth will be 6.89% indicating thereby that India has reach a high growth path . In 1996-97 agriculture has recovered and recorded  a growth of 3.7% and food grains output at 191Million MT. Manufacturing grew at 10.6%  and foreign Reserve from US$ 17 Billion  to US$ 19.5 Billion. By restricting  growth of Money supply, inflation has been contained below 8%. Most  significantly, the Revenue Deficit of the Centre has come down from 2.5% of Gross Domestic Product as estimated in the 1996-97 budget  to 2.3% of the Gross Domestic product. The Union Finance Minister has proposed wide ranging incentives in the form of tax cuts and allocations for the core sectors of the economy, including Poverty alleviation and Social Welfare and security Schemes. I share the optimism of Shri Chidambaram that these measures  will stabilise and hasten the growth momentum. As far as the States are concerned, there is a good news which some how has not been given its due importance in the Media and it is the much awaited statement of the Union Finance Minister that he proposes "to accept the recommendation of the Tenth Finance Commission to form a single Divisible Pool of Taxes to be shared between the Centre and the State". To begin  with Government of India will adopt the proportion of 29% recommended by the Tenth Finance Commission. This will be an improvement on the present share of the States. I would like to clarify that though the Award of the Tenth Finance Commission has removed some of the aberrations created under the Award of the Ninth Finance  Commission such as provisioning  of funds for meeting the Committed liability of maintaining the 8th Plan assets.,  by not providing any funds  for pay Revision  and payment of Additional Dearness Allowance and providing Non-Plan Deficit Grant on tapering basis., all States including even the developed States are still faced with serious financial problems  despite the Tenth  Finance  Commission's Award. In 1996-97  our share of Central Taxes is placed at 217 crores and during 1997-98, the finance  Ministry has  projected  Rs. 297 crores which includes Rs. 44.40 crores as our share of Income Tax. But this increase is offset by the fact that we will receive only Rs. 45.19 crores in 1997-98 as against Rs. 111.89 crores in 1996-97 , by way of Grant-in-aid. We have been urging Government of India for an early decision on the alternative scheme evolved by the Tenth  Finance Commission which will ensure a large devolution and share as it will include a number of Central Taxes  not being shared now and having strong  buoyancy and possibly a durable solution of the financial problems of Special Category States like Meghalaya. I request the  Hon'ble Members to join me in expressing our heartfelt thanks to Shri P. Chidambaram, Union  Finance Minister for this historic decision

STATE ECONOMY  :- The year 1995-96 was a difficult year for the State economy. The floods in  Garo Hills District  and uneven distribution of rainfall caused decline in agricultural output.  Foodgrains production is expected at a low level of 1.66 lakh MT. The production of potato, a major cash crops, also suffered and stagnated at 1.21 lakh MT. However, area and production of cotton and horticultural crops have been now showing a better trend. Since the  economy is predominantly agricultural, contributing about 32 % to State Domestic Product intensification of agricultural development is needed to raise the output and farm incomes which will be a major objective of the 9th Plan.

        In the field of industries, there has been some progress particularly in the small scale sector in terms  of increase in number of units from 1231 in 1988-89 to 2533 in 1995-96 investment in plant and machinery from Rs. 115.19 lakhs in 1994-95 to Rs. 173 lakhs in 1995-96 and employment  from 13483 in 1994-95 to 14791 persons in 1995-96.

       Estimates of State Domestic product for the year 1993-94 have been finalised at both current and constant prices. The Per Capita Income at current prices for the year 1993-94 was Rs. 5873 as against Rs. 5215 in 1992-93 indicating an increase of 12.62 percent. At current prices, the quick estimate (QE)  is of per capita income  for 1994-95 is arrived at Rs. 6136. The estimated net State domestic product (NSDP)  of Meghalaya (at current prices for 1993-94 was Rs. 112174 lakhs whereas in 1994-95(QE)  it is Rs. 120568 lakhs. At constant prices (1980-81) , the Net State Domestic product for 1994-95 (QE) is Rs. 36048 lakhs as against Rs. 32440 lakh in 1993-94.

PLANNING :- The approved Eighth Plan  outlay of Meghalaya (1992-97)  is Rs. 1029 crores. In the fourth year of the Plan 1995-96 the original outlay was fixed at Rs. 306.52 crores which was subsequently revised to Rs. 255.00 crores . Actual utilisation during 1995-96 was Rs. 231.00 crores. The State could not avail large components of loans. The  approved  outlay of Meghalaya Annual Plan for 1996-97 has been fixed at Rs. 370 crores. The main planks of the Annual Plan 1996-97 are (a) strengthening of State economy by giving high priority on agriculture and other rural development programmes and (b) expanding the Basic Minimum Services to achieve full courage in 2-3 years.

        The State Annual Plan for 1997-98 has been fixed at Rs. 382 crores and the inter sectoral allocation is indicated in Annexure - I 

AGRICULTURE  :- Since agriculture continues  to be the main stay of our population, development is the most critical factor in the economic development of the State. The target of food grains production  for1997-98 is 1.83 lakhs MT against the anticipated production of 1.74 lakhs MT for 1996-97. The target for potato production is  2.00 lakhs MT  during 1997-98. Development  of Commercial crops like  ginger, cotton, jute mesta and mushroom as well  as horticulture have been stressed. The National Watershed  Development Project for Rainfed  areas  (NWDPRA)  is being implemented  in 8 Micro-Watersheds in all districts under a Central Sector Scheme covering 4,100 hectares. The Meghalaya State  Agricultural marketing Board has set up two Principal Regulated markets at Mawiong and Garobadha. The transactions at Mawiong have begun in a promising manner. The Department has taken up construction of two cold storage godowns in the current year.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY & VETERINARY :- The department will continue to create infrastructure and conditions to increase production of milk, meat and eggs 30 new Veterinary dispensaries/Aid centres and proposed to be set up during 9th Plan of which 6 dispensaries/Aid centres will be set up in 1997-98. The  existing feed mills at Umsning and Tura will be provided with additional equipment and machinery to enhance their capacity . One few Feed Analytical Laboratory is proposed to be set up at Tura. To promote self employment the Department has been distributing Dairy, Piggery and poultry units to unemployed youth to set  up viable production units. These Schemes will be expanded in the  9th plan.

FISHERIES  :- In the field of Fishery development, our strategy is three  fold viz to expand production and distribution of Fish Seeds. To exploit the potential of water bodies  and to assist the fish farmers by supply of inputs, training in piscicultre. In 1996-97 it is expected that the Fish Seed production target will be achieved. The target for 1997-98 is 2  Million. New Schemes such as Fish-cum-piggery/duckery and poultry farming have been taken up. 260 nos of fish farmers have been trained. An Integrated Fishery Development Programme has been under implementation from 1994-95.

COOPERATION :- 52 new cooperatives of different types including 28 Women Cooperatives have been  registered during 1996-97. Meghalaya Cooperative Apex Bank has also opened 4(four) new branches during the year. The Meghalaya co-operative Apex Bank could achieve 39.08% of its loan recovery target in respect of its current dues., MECOFED has achieved a business turn over of Rs. 375 lakhs in this year upto 30th September 1996. In the 9th Plan the sustainable growth of cooperatives in priority sectors like, farm credit, marketing and processing, Dairy Handloom, Transport and in particular, expansion of Women's cooperatives will be stressed.

FOREST & ENVIRONMENT :- The department has created 2402 hectares of new plantations both inside the Reserve Forests and degraded jhum lands. The activities towards Wildlife conservation, Social Forestry Development/protection of Forest resources, maintenance of plantations  have been taken up. Under the Minimum Needs Programme Area  Oriented Fuel-wood fodder project is under implementation in West and South Garo Hills Districts and West Khasi Hills District. The proposed physical target is creation of 2600 hectares of these facilities and tending operation for 1788 hectares and advance  work for 3300 hectares. Development activities including protection of Wildlife in the National Parks and Sanctuaries will be intensified in 1997-98 with 100% Central funds.

SOIL CONSERVATION :-The main programme of the Department is to control the  rapid depletion of natural resources like soil, water and vegetation. Various Schemes for (1) Soil Conservation (2) Jhum control (3) Watershed management have been taken up. Afforestation of 2520 hectares, Cash  crop development works on 2100 hectares, land development works on 1845 hectares are targets for 1997-98 . An important Central Sector Scheme  for Watershed Management to deal with the problem of shifting cultivation has been launched in 12 different micro  watershed  areas in the State. The  Centre has released Rs. 151 lakhs in 1995-96 and 1996-97 Rs. 85 lakhs has been received.

COMMUNITY & RURAL DEVELOPMENT :- Under the Community & Rural Development Department, the important programmes are Integrated Rural Development Programme, Jawahar Rozgar Yojana, Employment Assurance Scheme, National Social Assistance Programme. Of these, Integrated Rural Development Programme has been given a high priority  with an Annual Plan outlay of Rs. 526.00 lakhs. A House hold Survey of families below poverty line is proposed to be conducted. During  the Ninth Five Year Plan, an outlay of Rs. 3909.00 lakhs has been proposed  for Integrated Rural Development Programme and allied Programmes.

        To generate additional gainful employment to the unemployed and underemployed persons in rural areas, besides Jawahar Rozgar Yojana, and Employment Assurance Scheme has been envisaged to provide 100 days of assured employment as casual labour to the poor. Construction of Rural Roads Programme which is being implemented as a MLA's Scheme as well as Special Rural Works Programme has been taken  up earnestly. The National Social Assistance Programme to provide old age Pension @100/- p.m. with Rs. 75% of the cost borne by the ? Central Government has been launched in 1996-97.

INDUSTRIES  :- To promote growth of industries, the State has adopted a policy of providing infrastructure and a package of incentives. A provision of Rs. 350 lakhs has been proposed for development of the industrial area at Umiam, the acquisition of land for the industrial area in  Jaintia Hills, the growth centre at Mendipathar and to provide a the State's  share in the Export Promotion Industrial Park at Byrnihat. The  Government of India has already released Rs. 2.34 crores for the Export  Promotion Industrial Park Scheme. A sum of Rs. 350 lakhs has been provided for share capital contribution  to Meghalaya  Industrial Development corporation. To reap the benefits of liberalisation and to attract  industries a single window Agency has been established to facilitate  quick decisions on all investment proposals. So far the Agency  has cleared 9 proposals involving investment of Rs. 25 crores. The Department is continuing with the promotion scheme such as Training of  entrepreneurs and Prime Minister  Rozgar Yojana which have received good response.

MINING AND GEOLOGY :- The Department efforts towards exploration of economic minerals are continuing. During 1996-97 , 9 exploration programmes have been taken up including exploration of ground water potential and geo-technical studies. Investigation on granite around Nongpoh under NEC  Scheme is also continuing. During 1997-98  an amount of Rs. 224.00 lakhs has been proposed including the provision of Rs. 50.00 lakhs as contribution to share capital  to Meghalaya Mineral Development corporation. Mineral Investigations under NEC  Sector during the 9th Plan period would include (i) Investigation of  High-grade Limestone of Nongkhlieh Ridge in Jaintia Hills at an estimated cost of Rs. 60.00 lakhs and (ii) Detailed Geological map printing of South Khasi Batholith in West Khasi Hills District for Dimensional Stone at a cost of Rs. 40.00 lakhs.

SERICULTURE AND WEAVING :- To develop Sericulture, 85 block plantations have been organised and 8 nos. of Chowki Rearing Centres and 6 nos. Eri Spinning have been set up to train the local spinners. 53 nos. of certificate course in sericulture have been arranged during the 8th Plan Period. Altogether 36 numbers of Pilot Handloom weaving  centres have been established. Training has been arranged in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, Guwahati for diploma course in Handloom weaving.

POWER :- The approved outlay of Meghalaya State Electricity Board for the year 1996-97 against the State Plan Schemes  was Rs. 3565 lakhs. However due to non-availability of loan from Financial  institutions, the plan size had to be pruned . Since only State Government loan of Rs. 700 lakhs was available for plan schemes Meghalaya State Electricity Board has prioritised the schemes and taken up 5 schemes. These are :-

(i) Umiam Umtrew Stage IV Hydel Electrical Project

(ii) Modification and augmentation of Grid Sub Station and power station switchyard.

(iii) Construction of North Eastern Hill University Sub Station.

(iv) Improvement of power supply system at Shillong City.

(v) Distribution Master Plan of Meghalaya.

        During the 9th Plan Meghalaya State Electricity Board proposed to take up renovation and modernisation of its existing generating units. construction of 2x18 MW Leishka Hydel Electrical Project will also be proposed. The construction of 132 KV S/C line from Umiam-Umtrew Stage  IV Hydel Electrical Project to State  border towards Guwahati has been practically  completed and may be commissioned by 1997-98.

TOURISM  :- During the year 1996-97 Schemes to promote tourism and develop Tourist Spots and improvement of Orchid Hotel, Pinewood Hotel, Tourist lodge at Siju had been taken up. Completion of Yatri Nivas at Shillong and Tura, Tourist Bungalow at Balpakram, Baghmara, Amusement park at Shillong will be achieved. The State has participated for the first time in the Berlin Festival to promote  foreign tourism in the State.

TRANSPORT :- At present Meghalaya Transport Corporation is operating on 56 routes covering a distance of 8084 Kms  with a fleet of 191 buses. All the Sub-Divisional headquarters have been connected to the Districts headquarters and the State Capital. The corporation has carried16.03 lakhs of passengers and has performed 48.439 lakhs  Kms and earned a revenue of Rs. 366.94 lakhs, during 1995-96. An amount of Rs. 20.00 lakhs has been proposed to renovate 10 (ten) bus bodies.

PUBLIC WORKS :- Construction and improvement of roads and bridges have been given a high priority by the Government. By the end of the  Eight Five Year Plan, it is expected that the road density will reach 29.00  Km/100 Sq.Km. and the Department's  target is to connect 2476  villages by roads, by 1996-97 when the total road length will be 6707 Km.  It has  become necessary to strengthen the pavement of some roads due to increased traffic and load particularly in coal mining areas. For the road sector, an amount of Rs. 537.37 crores has been proposed in the Ninth Plan to raise the road density to 33.693 KM/100 Sq.Km.

        Under the building wing 565 Schemes have been taken up in 1996-97 including 97 Residential buildings. In the Medium Irrigation Sector, works for construction of Barrage under  Rongai Valley project is in progress. The project is expected to be completed by 1998-99. 4 flood protection works covering 900 hectares are  under implementation in 1996-97. In the 9th Plan, the Department has proposed construction  of Embankment of 8 Kms length and 32 protection works which will benefit 4568 hectares.

PUBLIC HEALTH ENGINEERING :- Provision of safe and potable drinking  waster supply to the population is an extremely important ingredient in the quality of life. Public Health Engineering Department is responsible for implementing schemes in this sector for Rural and Urban areas. During 1996-97  our target has been to cover 274  main habitations and 256 other habitations benefiting a population of Rs. 0.90 lakhs.  Under the Basic Minimum Services Programme, Rs. 17.00 crores has been earmarked for Rural Waster Supply to achieve the above coverage. It is proposed to start construction of a dam during 1996-97  at an approximate cost of Rs. 36.00 crores to stablise the Greater Shillong Waster Supply Scheme. Augmentation of water supply schemes have been  taken up in Tura and Jowai. Under sanitation programme, it is proposed to construct 1850 units during 1995-97 to deal  with the problem of excess iron. Under Rural Sanitation Programme, Construction of low cost  latrines have been taken up. In 1996-97 , it is proposed to construct 1850 such units.

URBAN AFFAIRS  :- I am glad to inform the House that some of the major works of the department such as Parking lots  at Mawlong Hat, Polo Ground, Prinche Road and Old Jail  Complex at Tura, Commercial Complexes like Laban Market , Williamnagar Market, Shopping complex at Baghmara have been already commissioned. Construction of a modern Market at Tura at an estimated cost of Rs. 607.00 lakhs is likely to be completed by March, 1997. Urban Poverty Alleviation Programmes such as the Nehru Rozgar Yojana, Urban  Basic Service for poor and Environmental Improvement of Urban Slum are being implemented through these Municipal Boards and Meghalaya Urban Development Authority. So far 77340 man days of works have been created benefiting about 6000 persons. Under the Slum Improvement Programmes 1730 dry latrines have been converted into sanitary units.

HOUSING :- Under the Prime Minister's Basic Minimum Service Programme, a provision  of Rs. 175 lakhs  has been made in 1996-97 to assist the poorer sections  of the Rural population. The Government has been providing Grant-in-Aid under Minimum Needs Programme in the from of three bundles of Corrugated Galvanized Iron Sheets to the very poor rural houseless. Such assistance has  also provided  under Special Rural Works Programme, implemented as MLA's Schemes.

HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE :- The State is continuing its efforts to upgrade and expand rural health care facilities. Construction of 25 new Primary Health Centres in rural areas has been sanctioned under Basic Minimum Services Programme  during 1996-97. These are expected  to be completed within the next 18 months. During 1996-97  efforts are being made to complete the continuing schemes  for establishment  of 13 Community Health Centres and 19 Primary Health Centres. The department  has also created 112 additional posts of Auxiliary Nurses/Midwife for sub-centres and 143 posts of sub-centres chowkidars which will render these centres functional. Resurgence of malaria in the North Eastern Region has emerged as a major problem. The existing anti-malaria programme has been strengthened. Programme for controlling during and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome has been launched.

SOCIAL WELFARE :- Implementation of schemes for welfare of women, children physically handicapped, Juvenile delinquents, aged and infirm are the main activities of the Social Welfare Department. There are 30 Integrated Child Development Service Projects located in 30 Community Development blocks and 2101 Anganwadi centres. Two   more projects at Ranikor and Trikrikilla blocks have been sanctioned by Government of India. 835 needy children are provided with food, clothing, shelter and education through 24 voluntary organisations. Three  training centres for self-employment of women at Shillong, Tura and  Jowai continue to impart training to 105 women in various trades. Under  Integrated Child Development Service  Schemes 96,000 beneficiaries have been covered under Special Nutrition  Programme. These Schemes will be intensified in 1997-98.

EDUCATION :- Education will continue to receive highest priority of the government. So far 1621 Primary School teachers were appointed under the operation Black Board Scheme  and the Departments Nutritional Programme covered over 2.50 lakhs of children 17 Secondary Schools were upgraded by opening of Second and Streams of Science/Arts. To  achieve reduction in the school drop out ratio will be a major objective. Under the Basic Minimum Services, Programme, the department has drawn up a scheme for opening of new schools to cover all school-less villages with 200 population. The facilities for Upper Primary Education will be enlarged so that  the ratio of primary to upper primary schools is raised to 2:1 from the current level of 5:1. In the field of higher education optimum utilisastion of existing facility will be attempted. Delinking the +2 stage from the Colleges will be intensified.

        The sanction of National Literacy Mission for implementation of Total Literacy Campaign in East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills has been received.

SPORTS & YOUTH AFFAIRS  :- The main activities of the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs are the development of Sports and Games from village  to State level and construction of Sports infrastructures in the  State.

        The Department have schemes for promotion of sports and games through assistance  in cash and kind. During 1996-97 150 Nos. of Sports Associations/Clubs etc. have received financial assistance (i) to conduct sports of different types and events (ii) for improvement of playfields in the Districts and (iii) for participation in the National, Regional and State Level Competition.

        There are 34 Nos. of on-going  projects for development of sports infrastructure. The Department have completed 15 Nos. of Projects during 8th Plan  Period.

ARTS AND CULTURE :- Preservation of rich culture of the  ethnic tribes of the state and promotion of art and cultural  activities are the functions of the Department. Besides organising dance, drama, music and painting in different parts of the State, the Department held exhibition of Book published in local languages. A Seminars on the Demographic Study of the lesser known Tribes of the State and Matrilineal System was organised with participation of scholars from Meghalaya  and outside. The Archaeological site at Phaitbari has been declared as protected  monument. Construction of District Museum-cum-cultural complex at Dakopgre. Tura and  District  Library-cum-Auditorium  at Williamnagar are expected to be taken up in the Ninth Plan Period.

DISTRICT COUNCIL AFFAIRS :- As per  recommendation  of the State Planning Board, an outlay of Rs. 1710.00 lakhs  was allocated during the 8th Plan for the Schemes under Aid to District Councils for construction of village roads. footpaths, councils own office, bridges, markets etc. A total amount of Rs. 3420.00 lakhs has been proposed for Ninth Plan (1997-2002)  period out of which an amount of  Rs. 390.00 lakhs has been earmarked for 1997-98.

BORDER AREA DEVELOPMENT :- To improve the economic conditions of the people residing  in the border areas, who have been facing  hardships  due to disruption of traditional trade  with Bangladesh, several schemes through different department have been taken up. Under Agriculture, Loan-cum-Subsidy Schemes for an amount of Rs.19.00 lakhs have been proposed in 1997-98 for supply of Small tractors, Power tillers and Power pumps. A drip irrigation project for horticulture at an estimated cost of Rs. 15.00 lakhs during 1997-98  will be implemented. In additional to this a  substantial amount has been projected  under Education, Cooperation, Roads, Bridges for overall improvement of social and physical infrastructure of the Boarder areas.

FOOD AND CIVIL SUPPLIES :- Government has fulfilled its promise of supplying  subsidised foodgrains to the people of Meghalaya. At present Rice, Wheat (Atta) and Levy Sugar are distributed  through 603  Fair Price Shops on monthly basis to all consumers in the State while Special Kerosene Oil is distributed by agents appointed by Oil Companies and Sub-dealers appointed by Deputy Commissioners. The Department also monitors regularly the procurement of other essential commodities like pulses, edible oils etc., from outside the State. In accordance with the policy of the Government of India the department has purchased 12 vans which are used as Mobile Shops for distribution of essential commodities in the interior. Steps have been taken to introduce family Identity Card System in all Sub-Divisional Headquarters.  30 cases of consumer Disputes have been registered with the  State Commission and 137 cases  with the District Forum . Of these 12 and 99 cases have been decided by these bodies respectively.

POLITICAL AND HOME POLICE :- During the current year, the Law  and Order situation remained largely peaceful, barring a few agitational programmes by some organisations, and some cases of violence. Due to prompt and firm action by the Magistracy and the Police, normalcy was quickly restored. The Government will continue its effort to  maintain social harmony and prevent  breach of peace. A monthly review of anti-infiltration work is being carried out which yielded a good result. Over 3200 foreign nationals were detected and pushed back during the year. A modernisastion programme  of the Police has been envisaged and a sum of Rs. 1 crore was spent for modernisation of Police weapons, Forensic Science  Laboratory, Special Branch, Criminal Investigation  Department  and Meghalaya Police Radio Organisation. Government of India have sanctioned a fleet of vehicles as a component of National Highway Patrolling scheme during the year 1996-97 for preventing Highway  Patrolling scheme during the year 1996-97 for preventing Highway crimes. Government of India has sanctioned Rs. 600 lakhs in this year on 50% Grant and 50% Interest  free Loan basis for raising of the third Meghalaya Police Battalion.

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION :- General Administration Department has taken steps to provide Office and residential accommodation in the  State Capital as well as in the Districts and Sub-Divisions. The II Phase of the IIIrd Secretariat Building  is likely to be completed during the Current Financial  Year. Meghalaya  House Guwahati has started functioning and works are likely  to be taken up shortly for the Second Meghalaya House in Calcutta.

        As per the recommendation of the State Level Committee for Silver Jubilee Celebration of State-hood, proposals have been included in the annual plan of 1997-98 for creating necessary infrastructure in the Districts/Sub-Divisions and Administrative headquarters.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE MOBILISATION :- In view of the commitment made by the Government to raise an additional resource to Finance Annual Plan 1997-98 it has become necessary to adopt some new Taxation measures. These are likely to bring an incremental Revenue of about Rs. 31.00 lakhs per annum. Some of these important measures proposed are as follows :-

        (1) Supari (dried betel-nuts)  and betelnuts for conversion  to supari be brought under Meghalaya Purchase Tax Act at the rate of tax of 8 paise in a rupee.

        (2) The existing Purchase Tax on Broom sticks be increased from 5 paise in the rupee to 6 paise in the rupee.

        (3) To revise the definitions and rates of some items mentioned in the schedule of Sub-Section (i)  of Section 3 of the Meghalaya Finance  (Sales Tax) Act to make the definitions more comprehensive and to make the assessment more clear and purposeful in the context of the changing economy and tax on certain items are proposed to be enhanced.

        (4) The Sales  Tax on Motor Vehicles is proposed to be reduced to 3 paise in the rupee from the existing rate of 5 paise in the rupee which would prevent diversion of business from our State  to the neighboring States on this account.

ACTUALS 1995-96 :- During 1995-96 receipt on all accounts were Rs. 3911.88 crores while the expenditure were of the order of Rs. 3903.37 crores resulting in the surplus of Rs. 8.51 crores, together with the negative cash balance of Rs. 79.38 crores, the year closed with a deficit of Rs. 790.87 crores.

REVISED ESTIMATES 1996-97 :- The year 1996-97 opened with a negative cash balance of Rs. 70.87 crores. The Revised Estimates for 1996-97 shows a total receipts of Rs. 4302.24 crores on all accounts and total expenditure of Rs. 4273.80 crores leaving a surplus of Rs.28.44 crores and together  with a negative opening balance of Rs. 70.87 crores, the year is estimated to close with a negative balance of Rs. 42.43 crores.

BUDGET ESTIMATES  1997-98 :- I now come to the Budget estimates for 1997-98 . The year 1997-98 is expected to open  with a  negative  cash balance of Rs. 42.43 crores. The Revenue Receipts are placed at Rs. 962.58 crores and the Revenue Expenditure is estimated at Rs. 781.00 cores, thus leaving a surplus of Rs. 181.58 crores. Outside the revenue account, the receipts are estimated at Rs. 3710.36 crores and the expenditure is estimated at Rs. 3880.96 crores  resulting in a deficit  of Rs. 170.60 crores and thus the surplus of Rs. 181.58 crores on the  revenue account will  stand reduced to Rs. 10.98 crores. However taking into account the negative opening cash balance  of Rs. 42.43  crores, the year will close with the estimated deficit of Rs. 31.45 crores. The broad details are indicated at Annexure -II

        With these words, Sir I present the Budget Estimates for 1997-98 before this august House for consideration and approval . However, to enable the Government to carry on with its duties and defray expenditure from the first day  of financial year 1997-98., I propose that the House may grant a Vote-On-Account.

Jai Hind/Khublei/Mitela

ANNEXURE - I

STATEMENT SHOWING THE TENTATIVE  SECTORAL ALLOCATION UNDER 'STATE PLAN FOR 1997-98     

  (Rs. in Lakhs)   

NAME OF SECTOR

 OUTLAY 1997-98

                                                                1

2

Agriculture and Allied Services -

 1.Crop Husbandry

1202.00

 2.  Soil and Water Conservation

680.00

 3. Animal Husbandry

625.00

 4. Dairy Development

76.00

 5. Fisheries 

155.00

 6.Forestry and Wildlife

750.00

 7. Storage and Warehousing

30.00

 8.Agricultural Research and Education

28.00

 9.  Agriculture Financial Institutions

1.00

10  Marketing and Quality Control

215.00

11. Co-operation :

275.00

 TOTAL - I- Agriculture and Allied Services

4037.00

II  Rural Development 

1. Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)

350.00

2. Integrated Rural Energy Programme (IREP)

100.00

3.Jawahar Rozgar Yojana

125.00

4.Land Reforms

100.00

5.Community Development 

400.00

6. Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS)

140.00

7. Special Rural Work Programme

927.00

8..Research and Training in Rural Development.

15.00

TOTAL -II- Rural Development

2157.50

III. Special Area Programme

     Border Area Development Programme

328.00

     Total - III - Border Area Development

328.00

IV. Irrigation and Flood Control

 1. Major & Medium Irrigation 

300.00

 2.  Minor Irrigation

1200.00

 3.  Command Area Development

70.00

  4. Flood Control Projects

200.00

Total -IV -Irrigation and Flood Control

1770.00

V. Energy -

 1. Power

9166.00

 2. Non-Conventional sources of Energy (NRSE)

100.00

 Total -V- Energy

9266.00

VI. Industry and Minerals :-

 1.Village and Small Industries

175.00

 2.Sericulture and Weaving

215.00

 3.Industries (other than village and Small Industries)

820.00

 4.Mining 

174.00

Total - VI- Industries and Minerals

1384.00

VII. Transport

     1.    Roads and Bridges

6620.00

     2.    Roads Transport

250.00

     3.   Other Transport Services

85.00

 Total - VII-Transport

6955.00

VIII. Science, Technology and Environment

1.Scientific Research including  Science and Technology

70.00

2.Ecology and Environment

50.00

Total-VIII- Science, Technology and Environment

120.00

IX. General Economic Services

1. Secretariat Economic Services

138.00

2. Tourism

420.00

3. Survey and Statistics

50.00

4. Civil Supplies

40.00

5.  Aids to District Councils

450.00

6. Weights and Measures

19.00

7. Voluntary Action Fund.

25.00

8. Intensive Area Development Programme

300.00

Total -IX- General Economic Services

1442.00

X. SOCIAL SERVICES INCLUDING EDUCATION :-

   1. General Education

3177.00

   2. Technical Education

60.00

   3. Sports and Youth Services

461.00

   4. Art and Culture 

124.00

    SUB TOTAL-EDUCATION 

3822.00

   5. Medical and Public Health

1730.00

   6.  Water Supply and Sanitation

2184.00

   7. Housing 

540.00

   8. Urban Development

732.50

   9.  Information and Publicity

90.00

  10. Welfare of Schedule Castes Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes.

7.00

  11. Labour &  Labour Welfare

17.00

  12. Training and Employment

110.00

  13. Social Security and Welfare

190.00

  14. Nutrition (M.N.P.)

238.00

TOTAL - X SOCIAL SERVICES

9660.50

XI General Services :-

   1. Jails

150.00

   2. Stationery and Printing

50.00

   3. Public Works (G.A.D. Buildings)

540.00

4.. Other  Administrative  Services

        (i) Meghalaya Administrative Training Institute

40.00

        (ii) Fire Protection services

50.00

        (iii) Police Housing

200.00

        (iv) Judiciary Buildings

50.00

Total - XI - General Services

1080.00

GRAND TOTAL

382,00.00

ANNEXURE -II

THE FINANCIAL POSITION FOR THE YEAR 1997-98  WITH THOSE OF THE  PREVIOUS YEARS.                                                

 Rs. in lakhs

Heads

Actuals

Actuals

Budget

Budgets

1994-95

1995-96

1996-97

1996-97

1997-98

1

2

3

4

5

6

Opening Balance

(-)75,90.51

(-)79,38,06

(-)78,27.73

(-)70,87.47

(-)42,43.05

Revenue Receipt

530,30.14

683,89.00

775,80.19

791,53.89

962,58.33

Capital under the Consolidated Fund

301,48.04

81,59.56

144,24.82

123,43.60

186,98.00

Capital Receipt under the Contingency Fund

9,01.07

13,86.58

5,99.85

50,90.90

6,00.00

Capital Receipt under the Public Account

21,48,54.53

31,32,53.29

26,30,55.21

33,39,36.19

35,17,37.70

TOTAL RECEIPT

29,89,33.78

39,11,88.43

35,56,60.07

43,02,24.58

46,72,94.08

GRAND TOTAL

29,13,43.27

38,32,50.37

34,78,32.34

42,31,37.11

46,30,50.98

Revenue Expenditure

456,95.19

580,39.35

650,20.46

647,18.30

780,99.85

Capital Expenditure under the Consolidate Fund

339,24.32

216,01.50

251,08.83

258,34.77

294,62.78

Capital Expenditure under the Contingency Fund

9,01.07

13,86.43

5,99.85

50,90.90

6,00.00

Capital Expenditure under the Public Account

21,87,60.75

30,93,10.56

26,20,46.41

33,17,36.19

35,80,33.50

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

29,92,81.33

39,03,37.84

35,27,75.55

42,73,80.16

46,61,96.13

Closing Balance

(-)79,38.06

(-)70,87.47

(-)49,43.20

(-)42,43.05

(-)31,45.15

GRAND TOTAL

29,13,43.27

38,32,50.37

34,78.32.34

42,31,37.11

46,30,50.98

Net Result :-

(a) In Revenue Account

(+)73,34.95

(+)103,49.65

(+)125,59.73

(+)144,35.59

(+)181,58.48

(b) Outside Revenue Account

(-)76,82.50

(-)94,99.06

(-)96,75.20

(-)115,91.17

(-)170,60.58

(c) All Accounts excluding the opening and closing Balance

(-)347,55

(+)8,50.59

(+)28,84.53

(+)28,44.42

(+)10,97.90