Government of Meghalaya Budget Speech

2002 - 2003

By

Shri A. H. Scott Lyngdoh

Finance Minister, Meghalaya

26th March, 2002

 

Mr. Speaker Sir,

I rise to present the Budget Estimates for the year 2002-2003. This is the fourth Budget of this august House. It also reflects plan budget estimates for the first year of the Tenth Five Year Plan.

I.

INTRODUCTION

The State had submitted its Draft Tenth Plan proposals amount to Rs. 3,00,000 lakhs. This proposal is yet to be discussed and finalised by the Planning Commission.

The Draft Annual Plan proposals for 2002-03 amounting to Rs. 56,200 lakhs including Rs. 3,500 lakhs for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana had similarly been submitted to the Planning Commission. Since the budget estimates  had to be framed and printed adequately in advance for being placed before this august House, these estimates reflect annual plan provisions amount to Rs. 56,200 lakhs including Rs. 3,500 lakhs for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, subject  to adjustment, mutatis-mutandis, as and when the Planning Commission finalises the size and sectoral outlays  of our Annual Plan for 2002-2003.

In the meantime, Planning Commission held discussions with the State Government on Wednesday the 13th March, 2002 and finalized the size of the Annual Plan for the 2002-2003 at Rs. 54,500 lakhs besides Rs. 3,500 lakhs for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana which amount will be directly released to the DRDA's from next year onwards. This amount of Rs. 54,500 lakhs includes Rs. 1,800 lakhs as a one-time Additional Central Assistance for funding special projects, namely -

reconstruction of the State Assembly premises, and

construction of new premises for -

the Shillong Bench of the Gauhati High Court,

a State Convention Centre,

the Shillong Jail and

the Home Guards Head Quarter Complex.

Thus the approved size of the annual plan 2002-03, in absolute terms is over 19 percent above the approved level of the current years' annual plan. Sectoral Outlays, are, however, yet to be finalised by the Planning Commission.

In this connection, it needs to be reiterated that the Eleventh Finance Commission linked release of 15 per cent of the amount awarded to States to cover their revenue gap, to their adoption and implementation of fiscal reforms. Such as widening the tax base, increasing tax rates on a year to year basis, pricing services such as irrigation, water charges, bus charges, reducing subsidies, abolition of vacant posts in Government except those of Primary Teachers and Health Workers, resorting to contract appointments, redeployment of work-charged establishment for new capital works, moratorium on all new work-charge and casual appointments, phased reduction of non-plan expenditure, etc.

Our revenue gap grant for the year 2002-03 amounts to Rs. 32,620 lakhs. Thus 15 per cent  of this amount of Rs. 4,893 lakhs is reserved  and transferred to an Incentive Fund,  for subsequent release depending on our progress in implementing fiscal reforms.

In this connection, I wish to inform this august House that the Central Government ha snow specified that release of the share of any State from the Incentive Fund is based on a single monitor able fiscal objective,  namely,  each State is expected to achieve minimum improvement of 5  per cent in their revenue deficit or 3 per cent in their revenue surplus as a per cent age of their revenue receipts each year, till  2004-05, with 1999-2000 as the base year.

The actual budgetary surplus of our State for the year 1999-2000 as a percentage of revenue receipts, as verified by the Accountant General, Meghalaya was 1.6 per cent. The corresponding percentage for 200-01 was 4.6 per cent, reflecting a 3 per cent improvement in the actual revenue surplus as a percentage of revenue receipts. Meghalaya, has therefore qualified for releases of its share of Rs. 5,072 lakhs from the Incentive Fund for 2000-01, besides a bonus of Rs. 112 lakhs, totaling Rs. 5,184 lakhs. This fund will be released to the State as soon as it executes an MOU with the Central Government for further fiscal reforms such as downsizing of Government, power section reforms, PSU reforms, at all, in the State. The draft MOU is presently being finalised and will soon be submitted to the Central Government for consideration and execution. 

The State is required to achieve a revenue surplus of 7.6 per cent as a percentage of its revenue receipts during the current year, to qualify for release of its share form the Incentive Fund for 2001-02 amounting to Rs. 4,956 lakhs and a bonus of Rs. 194 lakhs, totaling Rs. 5,150 lakhs. Our ongoing economy measures are expected to result in the required 7.6 per cent surplus during the current year.

Similarly, the State is required to achieve a 10.6 per cent revenue surplus as a percentage of its revenue receipts during 2002-03. All possible efforts will be made to achieve this target and qualify for release of its next year's share from the Incentive fund amounting to Rs. 4,893 lakhs and a bonus of Rs. 210 lakhs totaling Rs. 5,103 lakhs.

Before, I present the Budget Estimates for 2002-03, I propose Mr. Speaker, Sir, briefly reflect on the National Economy and the State Economy, highlight some of the proposed programmes for the year and indicate the status of our present performance.

II

NATIONAL ECONOMY

2.1

The year 2001-2002- experienced certain unforeseen difficulties which slowed down the rate of economic growth. The average world economic growth during the year is estimated to stand around 2.4 per cent. The Union  Budget presented to Parliament by the Union Finance Minister on 28th February, 2002 indicates and expected growth rate of 5.4 per cent for the national economy, during the year 2001-02 , as against the targeted growth rate of 6 per cent.

The recession in economic growth, after seven consecutive years of higher growth rate, is to a great extent, the result of  a spurt in national and international terrorist activity and global economic slow down.

Not with standing these, our national economy performed relatively well. Normal monsoons during the year, after two years of irregular monsoon activity, resulted in considerable agricultural recovery. The higher national growth rate in the agricultural sector has however been set back by industrial slow down, but the country's food also are overflowing and its buffer food stock have risen to an all time high of over 60 million tonnes.

At the same time, while the country's inflation has fallen to an all time low of 1.1. per cent, our national foreign exchange reserves having exceeded 50 billion US Dollars.

It also needs to be retreated that the recent decrease of petroleum prices has provided considerable fillip to the economy as a whole.

The Union budget for the year 2002-03 is based on the strategy of -

continuing emphasis on agriculture and food economy reforms,

enhancing public and private investment in infrastructure,

strengthening the financial sector and capital market,

accelerating structural reforms and generating industrial growth.

providing social security to the poor, and

continuing tax reforms and fiscal adjustments at the Central and State levels.

The Union Budget also underscores priority to State fiscal reforms. Twelve States have so far drawn up medium term fiscal reform programmes in consultation with the Central Government and have been received assistance from Incentive Fund.

The Union Budget also underlines the commitment of the Central Government to provide reform linked assistance to the States in a number of sectors like Accelerated Power Development & Reform Programme (APDRP), Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), Urban Reform Incentive Fund (URIF), and Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)  for which a total amount of Rs. 12,30,000 lakhs is provided in the Union budget.

The Union budget also provide a lumpsum amount of Rs. 2,50,000 lakhs for policy reforms in sectors which are constraining growth and development.

However, the Union Budget reflects the current year's net tax revenue collection by the Centre at Rs. 1,42,34,800 lakhs as against the estimated collected of Rs. 1,63,03,100 lakhs indicating a shortfall of 12.7 per cent, largely due to lower collection of custom and union excise duty as a consequence of national industrial slow down.

II.

STATE ECONOMY

3.1

The Gross State Domestic Product in terms of per capital income at current prices registered an increase from Rs. 7,743 during 1993-94 to Rs. 14,726 during 2000-2001. However the relative growth during the same period at constant prices i.e. 1993-94 prices is from Rs. 7,743 during 1993-94 to Rs. 9,522 during 2000-2001, as per quick estimates.

3.2 

The advance estimate of NSDP for the current year 2001-2002 is Rs. 14,510 per capita at current prices and Rs. 8,827 at constant prices, i.e. 1993-94 prices as compared to an all India advance estimate of Rs. 17,789 per capita at current prices and Rs. 10,618 at constant prices i.e. 1993-94. prices.

       Thus the estimated annual growth rate of the State during the current year is 4.34 per cent at constant prices and 10.65 per cent at current prices which is higher than the average all India growth rate of 3.5 per cent at constant prices and 4.9 per cent at current prices, during the same period.       

3.3.

The estimated Gross State Domestic Product, at factor cost, at current prices for the year 2001-2002 is Rs. 4,09,467 lakhs as per advance estimates which reflects a 12.9 per cent growth in GSDP over the GSDP for the year 2000-2001.

3.4

The tertiary sector of our economy continues to grow faster than other sectors. The share of the primary sector in GSDP, at current prices, has reduced from 31.46 per cent during 1993-94 to 29.82 per cent during 2001-2002. The share of the secondary sector similarly fell from 14.29 per cent to 13.37 per cent during the same period. This resulted in the continuing ascendancy of the tertiary sector whose share rose from 54.25 during 1993-94 to 56.25 per cent during 2001-2002.

IV

STATE FINANCES

4.1

The Annual Accounts of the State for the year 2000-2001 reflects the following position.

(a)

The year opened with an opening balance of Rs. 157 lakhs.

(b)

Against a total revenue receipt of Rs. 1,13,215 lakhs, the total revenue expenditure was Rs. 1,07,947 lakhs resulting in a revenue surplus of Rs. 5,268 lakhs.

(c)

Against the total revenue receipts, recoveries and other receipts amount to Rs. 1,14,486 lakhs, the total revenue and capital expenditure excluding public debt was Rs. 1,39,441 lakhs resulting in  fiscal deficit of Rs. 24,955 lakhs.

(d)

Against the fiscal deficit of Rs. 24,955 lakhs, there was an interest payment of Rs. 11,366 lakhs, resulting in primary deficit of Rs. 13,589 lakhs.

(e)

Against a total budgetary receipt of Rs. 17,36,650 lakhs, there was a total budgetary expenditure of Rs. 17,32,231 lakhs resulting in budgetary surplus of Rs. 4,419 lakhs which along with the opening balance of Rs. 157 lakhs resulted in a closing balance of Rs. 4,576 lakhs during the year 2000-01.

4.2

The emerging position reflects a marked improvement over the fiscal position reflected in the budget estimates for the same year, as presented to the State Legislature. This has been largely due to our continuing efforts to generate additional fiscal resources and to implement continuing economy measures.

4.3

Effort to generate additional resources and enforce economy in expenditure have resulted in the budget estimates for 2001-2002 being revised as follows.

(a)

The revised estimates for the year 2001-02 reflect an opening balance of Rs. 4,567 lakhs.

(b)

Against a revised revenue receipt of Rs. 1,35,787 lakhs the revised revenue expenditure is Rs. 1,35,585 lakhs resulting in a revenue surplus of Rs. 202 lakhs.

(c)

Against a revised total budgetary receipt of Rs. 15,94,759 lakhs, the revised budgetary expenditure is Rs. 15,95,778 lakhs resulting in a closing balance of Rs. 3357 lakhs after adjusting the opening balance of Rs. 4,576. lakhs.

4.4

It is proposed to continue with the economy measures currently in force besides resorting to additional resource mobilization in terms of fresh taxation proposals which I will make later today.  These are expected to result in further improvement of the State's fiscal health.

4.5

The Budget estimates being presented today for the year 2002-2003, propose as follows :-

(a)

An opening balance of Rs. 3,557 lakhs.

(b)

A total revenue receipt of Rs. 1,50,035 lakhs against a total revenue expenditure of Rs. 1,44,272 lakhs, resulting in a revenue surplus of Rs.5,763 lakhs which  will further improve with the anticipated release of Rs. 5,184 lakhs form the Incentive Fund for 2000-01 and Rs. 5,150 lakhs from the Incentive Fund for 2001-02 , as already indicated earlier in my address. Further additional resources generated and attendant economy measures will result in further savings and the year is expected to close with adequate revenue surpluses, to qualify for further releases form the Incentive Fund, during the following year.

(c)

The total budgetary receipt during the year are estimated at Rs. 16,35,346 lakhs against a total budgetary expenditure of Rs. 16,30,958 lakhs, resulting in an estimated closing balance of Rs. 4,388 lakhs which is likely to further improve as a consequence of the measures already indicated.

4.6.

The Letter of Credit and Letter of Allotment system which had been introduced in all Departments of the State, except in relation to payments of Salaries and allowances, has improved the buoyancy of State Finances by appropriate regulation and control of expenditure from the public exchequer. These measures will continue.

V.

VOTE OF ACCOUNT

5.1

Along with the budget estimates for the current year, I shall also be presenting a Vote-on-Account for covering expenditure during the first three months of the year 2002-2003, for consideration of this august House. The full budget will be taken up for consideration during the re-assembled Budget Session which is likely to be held during June 2002.

VI.

NON-PLAN BUDGET 2002-2003

6.1

The Non-Plan budget Estimates for 2002-2003 envisage an outlay of Rs. 1,13,811 lakhs which is 3.7 per cent higher than the likely non-plan expenditure of Rs. 1,09,746 lakhs during the current year. All possible efforts have been made to adequately provide for normal maintenance and recurring expenses, amortization of debts and liabilities and critical maintenance cost of normalized projects. Fiscal measures to contain avoidable non-plan expenditure will continue, but critical and unavoidable segments of expenditure have been protected and sufficiently provided for.

VII.

PLAN BUDGET 2002-2003.

7.1

The approved Ninth-Plan outlay is Rs. 2,50,062 lakhs. The Plan expenditure  during 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 were Rs. 24,883 lakhs, Rs. 29,909 lakhs, Rs. 34,328 lakhs and Rs. 46,284 respectively. Although the approved core Plan size for the current year is Rs. 48,700 lakhs, the revised Plan estimates based on available resources is Rs. 49,150 lakhs. Thus the cumulative plan expenditure during the Ninth Plan period is likely to stand at Rs. 1,84,555 lakhs which is 73.8 per cent of the approved size of the Ninth Plan. The shortfall of 26.2 per cent is entirely due to non-materialization of allocated loans from financial institutions.

7.2

The approved Annual Plan size of Rs. 54,500 lakhs for the year 2002-2003 besides Rs. 3,500 lakhs for PMGSY  totaling Rs. 58,000 lakhs is over 19 per cent higher than the approved plan size for the current year.

VIII.

DEPARTMENTAL PROGRAMMES LAW & ORDER

The State remained free from communal disturbance during  the year. Some local militant outfits however continue to indulge in sporadic anti-social and criminal activities which terrorise the peaceful citizens of the State and generate an atmosphere of insecurity and fear. State Police continue their concerted efforts to effectively contain such activities. A number of armed skirmishes have taken place with resultant loss of lives on both sides. We salute the memory of the beloved members of the State Police Force who have laid down their lives in the discharge of their duties to the State and its people. We also place on record our sincerest sympathies and concern for the families of our fallen men. We will continue our efforts to rehabilitate them

Appeals continue to be made to all misguided groups to come over-ground for negotiations and joining the mainstream of public life Government accords the highest priority to the rehabilitation of surrendered militants and every effort will be made for their early rehabilitation. We look forward to proactive interventions form Church Leaders and responsible citizens in this regard.

8.1

AGRICULTURE INCLUDING HORTICULTURE

Agriculture continuous to play a predominant role in the State's economy. The current year is expected to end with a total food grain production of 2.23 lakhs tonnes. Rice which is the major crop, accounts for 1.51 lakh tonnes or 67 per cent of the total food grain production. The target foodgrain production for the next year has been fixed at 2.44 lakhs tonnes. Efforts will be made to bring more area under High Yielding Varieties of Seeds and to popularise cultivation of wheat, maize and pulses. Attempts will also be made for increasing the crop intensity and for scientific land development and management.

Of the commercial crops, potato accounts for almost 50 per cent of the total production. The production of potato is likely to increase form 2.20 lakhs tonnes during 2001-02 to 2.51 lakh tonnes during the next year, registering an increasing of 14 per cent during the period. The existing scheme of Potato Development will be  expanded to Tuber Crops Development to include other tuber crops like tapioca, sweet potato and yam, to enhance food security.

Horticultural production consisting mainly of Pineapple, Bananas and Oranges is likely to be 2.16 lakh tonnes during 2001-2002 and is targeted to increase to 2.42 lakh tonnes during the next year indicating an increase of 12 per cent over the period. The launching of the Technology Mission for development of Horticulture in the State is expected to result in accelerated improvement in horticultural production.

The two principal Regulated Markets established by the State Agricultural Marketing Board at Mawiong and Garobadha are expected to support the small farmers, in terms of cold storage, marketing facilities and auction platforms. Efforts will continue to pre-empt the practice of day-end distress sales of agricultural produce as well as to train the farmers in grading, post harvest storage, standardization etc.

The Plan investment  in the Agriculture Sector increased from Rs. 1,060.25 lakhs during 1996-97 to a revised level of Rs. 1,323 lakhs during the current year. An amount of Rs. 1,500 lakhs is proposed for this sector during 2002-03 reflecting an increase of 13.4 per cent.

8.2

SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION.

Our efforts during the last three decades for improved Soil & Water management have resulted in the increase of developed agricultural lands with assured irrigation form 1,500 hectares during 1972-73 to nearly 44,000 hectares during the current year and a corresponding increase in afforested degraded lands from approximately 1050 hectares to 30,300 hectares, over the same period. Similarly, the area under erosion-control and cash crop plantations rose form 102 hectares and 363 hectares to nearly 9,400 hectares and 10,300 hectares, respectively.

Our focus will continue to be on Jhum Control as well as Watershed Management Schemes. The activities of the Cash Crops Development Board will be expanded. A new scheme for reclamation of degraded land affected by mining operations will be undertaken during the year 2002-03.

The plan investment on this sector increased by 52.8 per cent form Rs. 556 lakhs during 1996-97 to the revised level of 850 lakhs during the year. An outlay of Rs. 900 lakhs is proposed for this sector during 2002-03.

8.3

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY AND DAIRY DEVELOPMENT.

Plan investment increased form Rs. 546.14 lakhs during 1996-97 to Rs. 900 lakhs during the current year. This reflects the importance attached to the sector. Estimates indicate that over 25 per cent of the annual egg and meat requirement is imported from other States. Effort will continue to augment production  of meat and eggs to achieve self-sufficiency in this field. Egg and meat-production for 2002-03 is targeted at 90.2 million and 35,000 tonnes respectively.

Milk production has similarly registered an increase from 60,000 tonnes to 66,430 tonnes over the last four years. During the year, the focus will be on strengthening of infrastructure in all districts to improve breeding facilities and encourage adoption of modern technology in animal and animal produce production. Infrastructure for animal health coverage will be strengthened. Diagnostic Laboratories will be set up in the State, in a phased manner.

The Plan outlay for this sector for the year 2002-03 has been tentatively fixed at Rs. 1,025 lakhs

8.5

FISHERIES

Fish production in the State continues to account for not more than 20 per cent of our annual requirement. Efforts will continue to encourage fish culture in the private sector and to make better utilisation of available natural water bodies for increased fish production.

Inland fish production is likely to reach 5500 tonnes during current year and is targeted for the level of 6,500 tonnes during the next year.

During the year 2002-03, setting up of Fish Seed Hatcheries and Fish  Feed Mills in the private sector will be encouraged by providing training and financial assistance.

The sectoral outlay for this sector has been increased by 13.6 per cent over the current year's revised level and proposed at Rs. 125 lakhs during 2002-03.

8.5

COOPERATION

The Cooperative Movement in the State has grown over the years but a more proactive approach is required to involve this sector in the changing market scenario. As such, a balanced and need based approach is being worked out.

The Meghalaya Cooperative Apex Bank now has 39 branches, both in rural and urban areas. As a major agricultural credit institution, the Bank has achieved a fairly good Credit Deposit Ratio of 36 per cent as compared to the average level of 20 per cent for all Banks in the State.

Activities to be undertaken under this sector during 2002-03 continue to include revitalisation of cooperatives through effective cooperative education and training, strengthening of marketing cooperatives and supply of quality goods to consumers. In this regard, the Integrated Cooperative Development Project with assistance from National Cooperative Development Corporation is already under implementation in two districts namely, West Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills districts  and will be extended to two more district namely East Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills Districts during 2002-03. Efforts will be made to cover other districts in a phased manner.

As against a revised sectoral outlay of Rs. 300 lakhs during the current year, an outlay of Rs. 340 lakhs has been proposed for the year 2002-03.

8.6

FORESTRY & WILDLIFE

In accordance with the directives of the Supreme Court, Working Plans for the operation of State Forests have been approved by the Central Government, subject to the directions of the Apex Court. The Autonomous District Councils continue to be assisted in the preparation of Working Schemes for forests under their control. Their working schemes have since been conditionally approved by the Central  Government. Preparation of Felling Schemes for private plantations will also be assisted.

An Armed Forest Protection Force is being set up in the State, and an amount of Rs. 1000 lakhs has been provided under the Eleventh Finance Commission Award, for such purpose.

Government propose to set up a Bio-Diversity Research Centre and a State Zoological Park in the State. Suitable plots of land in Ri-Bhoi District have been acquired for such purpose. While State Government has provided land at its cost, the proposed Centre and Park will be funded by the Central Government.

With a view to provide alternative means of substance to the upland poor, particularly forest plantation workers who had been adversely affected by the implementation of Apex Court Orders regulating feeling of trees, efforts have been made to implement a project for the development of Forestry and Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) with particular emphasis on raising and utilisation of bamboo. For such purpose the matter had been taken up with the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD) and they have fielded a large number of exploratory missions. Based on their field funding, IFAD  is now processing project proposals for further consideration and sanction.

The proposed project funding from IFAD will be routed through the Government of India and is expected to flow to the State as 90% grant and 10% loan.

During the next year, the departmental focus will be on afforestation of catchment areas denuded by jhumming and on preservation of wild life by increase of protected areas. An outlay of Rs. 950 lakhs has been proposed for this sector for the year 2002-03.

8.7

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Major achievements during the current year under this sector which covers poverty alleviation, employment generation and creation of rural infrastructure, include -

(a)

Creation of durable community assets through utilisation of a sum of Rs. 266 lakhs under the centrally sponsored Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojuana (JGSY) Scheme.

(b)

Formation of 800 self-help Groups under the Centrally Sponsored Swarnjayanthi Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) Scheme.

(c)

Road connectivity to 40 villages under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

(d)

10000 families provided support  under the housing component of Prime Minister's Gramodaya Yojana.

(e)

Efforts to bridge critical gaps in rural infrastructure in selected sectors under the Employment Assurance Scheme. An amount of Rs. 248 lakhs has been utilised under the Scheme.

(f)

Under Indira Awaas Yojana, 4377 new shelters have been completed and 2173 shelters upgraded.

(g)

14,323 old and destitute citizens, 2883 mothers and 326 other beneficiaries are expected to be benefited under the National Assistance Programme.

8.8

RURAL EMPLOYMENT 

During 2000-01, 17,08,000 mandays of rural employment had been generated till February, 2002 under the different Centrally Sponsored Employment Generation Programmes. It is expected that a total of 20,81,000 mandays of employment will be generated during 2001-02.

8.9

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

The utility of a delivery system depends on the efficacy of development administration at the grass root level. The Community and Rural Development Blocks which constitute our grass root level institutions have been performing satisfactorily.

7 new Community and Rural Development Blocks were established during 2001-02 under the Eleventh Finance Commission Award, to enable benefits of development to reach the rural masses, more effectively. Work on construction of the new Block buildings will be undertaken during 2002-03.

An amount of Rs. 770 lakhs has been allocated for this sector, next year.

8.10

SPECIAL RURAL WORKS PROGRAMME [SRWP]

Allocation under this programme which has been found to be effective has been made at Rs. 24.00 lakhs per rural Assembly Constituency and Rs. 12.00 lakhs per semi-rural Assembly Constituency during 2002-03.

The programme has generated sustainable community assets and will continue as a major programme of the Rural Development Sector, during the year 2002-03.

8.11

BORDER AREAS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

Border areas in the State account for a total of 1523 villages located within 10 kilometers of the international boundary with Bangladesh and cover an area of approximately 4230 sq. Kms. Border Area Development Schemes are implemented through different departments, aimed at improving the economic condition of the border inhabitants.

During the current year, over 15,000 border area students benefited from the Border Areas Scholarship Scheme. It is proposed to increase coverage to 20,000 students during 2002-03.

Border Area Programmes during 2002-03 will continue to focus on rural electrification, construction of School buildings, market stalls, ropeways, community halls, footpaths and footbridges.

An amount of Rs. 895 lakhs is proposed to be provided for the programme during 2002-03.

8.12

MEDIUM IRRIGATION & FLOOD CONTROL

The Rongai Valley Irrigation Project sanctioned at a cost of Rs.1,630 lakhs which is the only Medium Irrigation Project in the State continues to be implemented and is expected to be completed during 2003-04.

Survey and investigation works in Pynthorwah, Kodaldhowa, Pynthornein and Mawrambah Valley Medium Irrigation Projects are in progress.

The plan allocation under this sector is proposed to be increased from the revised level of Rs. 450 lakhs during the current year to Rs. 495 lakhs during 2002-03.

8.13

MINOR IRRIGATION & COMMAND AREA DEVELOPMENT

An additional area of approximately 7000 hectares is expected to be brought under Minor Irrigation by the end of the Ninth Five Year Plan Period bringing the total areas under irrigation to over 28000 hectares. However this represents around 13 per cent of the total irrigation potential of the State.

Government has created a separate Directorate of Irrigation which has become functional during the year 2001-2002. It is expected that the Irrigation potential of the State will be more fully tapped by the new Directorate of Irrigation.

During the next year, emphasis will be on creation of irrigation potential from surface and ground water sources. In certain areas, drip and sprinkler irrigation system will also be developed. The provision for Minor Irrigation Sector has been increased form the revised level of Rs. 1,000 lakhs during the current year to Rs. 1,100 lakhs during 2002-03. A provision of Rs. 35 lakhs has also been made for the Command Area Development programme during 2002-03.

8.14

POWER

During the current year, the Central Government released Rs. 600 lakhs for improvement of Power Supply in Tura, Rs. 400 lakhs for improvement of Power Supply in Shillong and Rs. 75 lakhs for electrification of 10 tribal villages, from the Non-Lapsable Pool of Central Resources. Work on these projects is in progress.

Environmental clearance has been given for the 2 x 42 MW Myntdu-Leishka Project estimated to cost Rs. 36,308 lakhs at 1991 prices. It is expected to be funded by the North Eastern Council for completion during the Tenth Plan Period.

The Renovation and Modernisation of Umiam State-I Power Station, with assistance from the Japan Bank of International Cooperation is in an advance stage of progress. One unit has been commissioned during February, 2002 and the remaining three units are likely to be completed by December, 2002.

In the next year, thrust will be on strengthening Transmission & Distribution infrastructure and Rural Electrification within the proposed allocation of Rs. 10,000 lakhs under plan.

8.15

NON CONVENTIONAL SOURCES OF ENERGY/IREP

The Meghalaya Non-Conventional and Rural Energy Development Agency (MNREDA) is implementing Solar Thermal and Solar Photovoltaic schemes which include the installation and distribution of Solar Cookers, Solar Centralised Power Packs and Solar Lanterns.

As a low cost alternative with the advantage of short gestation of period, some Micro Hydel Projects are proposed to be taken up during 2002-2003, for which an outlay of Rs. 250 lakhs is proposed.

8.16

INDUSTRIES

The incentives available to industrial entrepreneurs under the State Industrial Policy, 1997, the excise concessions extended by the Government of India and the establishment of the Export Promotion Industrial Park at Byrnihat have created a favourable atmosphere for the development of Industries in the State. The Single-Window Agency has cleared a total of 131 applications with an estimated investment of Rs. 45,000 lakhs and an employment potential of about 8000 persons. State Government has, so far, approved the establishment of 26 industrial units at the EPIP, Byrnihat.

Industrial Promotional activities include strengthening of the Growth Centre at Mendipathar, the Industrial Area at Umiam and the Industrial Estates located at Shillong. Jowai, Tura, Nongstoin, Williamnagar and Mendipathar.

Industrial training Schemes include entrepreneur development programme, man-power training and training of artisans and entrepreneurs, inside and outside the State. Students will be sponsored by MIDC for specialised courses in engineering, computer science, chartered accountancy, management and other professional courses.

To encourage trade and commerce with neighbouring countries through industrial activities a Special Economic Zone is being formulated. It is also proposed to set up a separate industrial are - Food Park- for the food processing sector.

The Khadi & Village Industries Board continues to implement Rural Employment Generation Programmes, Block Development Schemes and Consortium lending. During the current year, 50 beneficiaries were sponsored under the KVIB Margin Money Scheme.

The proposed plan outlay for Village & Small Industries Rs. 250 lakhs and for Industries other than Village & Small Scale Industries is Rs. 1,900 lakhs, next year.

8.17 

SERICULTURE & WEAVING

The focus of this sector is for increased production of silk-cocoons and handloom fabrics through mobilisation of existing resources and infrastructure.

Besides implementation of the NEC funded project for the Integrated Development of Muga, the Department continues to implement the Catalytic Development Programme of the Central Silk Board and the UNDP- assisted sub-programme for development of Eri and Muga. Schemes under the Deen Dayal Hathkargha Protshahan Yojana will also be implemented during 2002-03.

The Production of handloom fabric is expected to increased to 67,60,000 square metres during the current year form the level of 33,58,000 square metres during 1996-97.

Additional plantation coverage of 699 Hectares under Mulberry, Eri and Muga is proposed to be taken up during 2002-03 within the proposed outlay of Rs. 250 lakhs.

8.18 

MINING & GEOLOGY

The Department will continue its efforts to tap the States mineral resources, besides intensifying mineral investigation.

During the next year stress will be on strengthening infrastructure facilities, effective decentralisation and resource mobilisation, and development of mining industries.

To mobilise additional revenue and check evasion thereof, the Department proposes to install electronic weigh-bridges at key places in the State.

An amount of Rs.4,993.74 lakhs was collected as revenue form mineral resources during 2000-01 and the expected collection during 2001-02 is Rs. 5,024 lakhs.

8.19

ROADS & BRIDGES

Since road transport is the principal means of communication, development and strengthening of road infrastructure occupies a central place in the overall development strategy of the State. This sector was allocated Rs. 10,000 lakhs or 17.8 per cent of the plan outlay during the current year and will get a similar allocation during 2002-03.

The total road length of the State at the end of 2000-01 was 7328 Kilometers, resulting in a road density of 32.67 kms per 100 Square Kilometer which is belong the national norm of 40 Kms per 100 Square Kilometer. Ongoing efforts are likely to result in 7488 Kilometres of road-length by the end of 2001-02.

Rural road connectivity is an important aspects of rural development. 2571 villages have been connected by roads so far. 70 villages are expected to be connected with roads during the current year. It is also proposed to continue to avail loan funds for this sector form the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) of NABARD.

8.20

ROAD TRANSPORT & OTHER TRANSPORT SERVICES

Government continues to pursue a liberal policy in issuing road permits for operation of transport services. The enforcement machinery is being streamlined to curb evasion of motor vehicle tax and plying of illegal and unauthorised vehicles. A phased programme for computerisation of all the offices of DTOs has been undertaken. This will not only streamline public service facilities but will facilitate issue and maintenance of computerised Driving Licence and Registration Certificate records. Smart card based driving and registration documents are proposed to be introduced during the year.

The construction of Baljek Airport at a cost of Rs. 1,221 lakhs is nearly completion. Steps are being taken to operationalise the airport at the earliest.

The programme for establishing wayside amenities, motor driving schools and assisting unemployed youth to purchase vehicles for commercial purposes, will continue.

Helicopter Services between Shillong, Guwahati and Tura will continue during 2002-03. Expansion of such services to other district headquarters is under consideration.

The Meghalaya Transport Corporation operates 32 routes covering 4422 kilometres. It is continuing with huge financial losses. Ways and means to revitalise the Corporation are under consideration.

8.21

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Introduction of Appropriate Technologies and Science Popularisation which constitute the main thrust of Science and Technology programmes, emphasise generation of awareness and training of appropriate technologies. The Technology Institution Programme launched recently will continue. Programme for popularisation of Science & Technology involving Science Exhibition Workshop and Environmental Fairs will also continue.

During the next year, the thrust will be on promotion of Centres for Development of Science and Technology, for which an outlay of Rs. 100 lakhs is proposed.

8.22

TOURISM

Meghalaya which is endowed with rich natural beauty is also blessed with a salubrious climate, resulting in enormous potential for Eco-Tourism.

The State's Tourism Policy was announced last year. Efforts will continue to promote tourism through activities such as water sports, wildlife, adventure tourism, eco-tourism and popularisation of historical places and monuments. These initiatives are expected to result in the State emerging as preferred tourists destination of the region.

An outlay of Rs. 330 lakhs is proposed for this sector for 2002-03.

8.23

CIVIL SUPPLIES

The Public Distribution System is serviced through a network of Fair Price Shop in urban as well as rural areas. It is proposed to strengthen Mobile Fair Price Shops to ensure better coverage in rural areas. The operation of the Fair Price Shops will be closely supervised and monitored to ensure they serve public interest.

The Central Sector Scheme of Antyodaya Anna Yojana will be implemented to cover 28,100 poorest families. The Scheme envisages provision of 25 Kg rice per family, per month, at a rate of Rs. 3/- per kg. Identification of beneficiaries as well as issue of ration cards under this scheme has been completed.

'Annapurna', another Central Sector scheme under  which persons above 65 years and not covered by old age pension scheme are provided with 10 kg of rice, free of cost per month, will also be implanted.

8.24

AUTONOMOUS DISTRICT COUNCILS

State Government will continue to work closely with the Autonomous District Councils. The programme for providing grants-in-aid to the Councils for construction of village, roads, footpaths, bridges, playgrounds, Councils own office buildings and improvement of rural markets will continue. An amount of Rs. 500 lakhs is proposed for this sector during 2002-03.

8.25

EDUCATION [GENERAL & TECHNICAL EDUCATION]

Education continues to receive high priority. About 9.7 per cent of the Plan outlay is earmarked for this sector. The State will continue its efforts to improve educational standards including facilities and service conditions of teachers.

To achieve the goal of universalisation of elementary education, it has been decided to form a Society for the smooth implementation of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Under this programme all children in the age group of 6-14 years should complete 5 years of schooling by 2007.

Construction of Primary School buildings will be undertaken during 2002-2003 under the Eleventh Finance Commission Award, as well as under the Prime Minister's Gramodaya Yojana.

Large percentage of Primary School Teachers and Upper Primary Teachers in the State have not been trained. As such, the District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET) at Thadlaskein, Sohra and Resubelpara have been made operational, to improvement the quality of Elementary Education. Three more DIETs at Nongpoh, Nongstoin and Baghmara are proposed to be made functional during 2002-03. The infrastructure facilities in these DIETs will be strengthened in a phased manner.

There are about 900 single teacher primary schools, in the State. Efforts will be made to ensure that none of these schools remain as single teacher school and additional posts will be created for single teacher schools in a phased manner.

Actions has already been initiated for introduction of two new courses, namely, 3-year Diploma in Computer Science Engineering and 2 years post-Diploma in Information Technology in the Shillong Polytechnic. The setting up of new Polytechnics at Jowai and Tura under the World Bank Assisted Technician Education Project-III will be expedited.

Access to secondary education will be widened to cover uncovered areas. Efforts will also be made to improve quality of education. In this connection steps have been initiated for restructuring the Secondary School Curriculum. Information Technology education is being encouraged and a programme will be undertaken for phased computerization of schools.

An amount of Rs. 5,470 lakhs has been proposed for this sector during 2002-03.

8.26

ARTS AND CULTURE

Efforts will continue to preserve and protect the rich cultural heritage of the State. Research and documentation of indigenous forms of art will be undertaken. Art consciousness and promotion of creative arts will be encouraged. Preservation of traditional forms of art will continue under the 'Living Heritage' Scheme.

The Schemes for providing financial assistance to voluntary cultural organisations and festivals will continue. The Intensive Art and Cultural Development Programme will be strengthened.

A new scheme for development of traditional and folk music will be undertaken. It is also proposed to strengthen and develop the State Achieves during the year.

The construction of Phase-I of the State Cultural Complex is near completion and will be commissioned during 2002-03.

An amount of Rs. 500 lakhs is proposed for the sector next year.

9.29

SPORTS & YOUTH AFFAIRS

Endeavour to promote Sports & Games will continue. Development of sports infrastructure at Village, Block and State level will be encouraged. Various Youth and State Level will be encouraged. Various Youths Welfare programmes like organising youth and youth training camps, trekking and mountaineering and youth festivals will continue during the next year.

Schemes for development and upgradation of Sports infrastructure will also be undertaken. Assistance will be given for improvement of play fields and training of coaches.

Implementation of Intensive Sports and Youth Development Programme will be accelerated.

An amount of Rs. 750 lakhs has been proposed in the Budget Estimates for this sector during 2002-03.

8.28

HEALTH & FAMILY WELFARE 

The Health sector will continue to receive priority. During the current year, emphasis has been given on upgradation, extension and consolidation of the urban and rural health infrastructure. These efforts will continue during the next year.

Upgradation of the Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Centre at the Shillong Civil Hospital is being implemented under NEC funding.

The Government will stress on completion of spill over scheme  for completion of Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres and Health Sub-Centres during 2002-03. 

The Centrally Sponsored National Programmes for eradication of Malaria, TB, Leprosy and Control of Blindness will continue. Thrust will also be given on implementation of National Aids Control Programmes to achieve the targeted results.

The Shillong Civil Hospital will be upgraded to a 600 bedded hospital. The Tura and Jowai Civil Hospitals will also be upgraded to the level of 200-bedded hospitals. Construction of 100-bedded hospital at Nongpoh, Sohra, Baghmara and Nongstoin are being taken up.

A State Resources Centre and District Rehabilitation Centre for assisting physically handicapped persons under financial assistance of the Ministry of Welfare and Empowerment, Government of India has been set up in Shillong Civil Hospital and will be strengthened as a part of upgrading the Shillong Civil Hospital to a State General Hospital.

An amount of Rs. 3,520 lakhs has been proposed in the Budget Estimates for this sector.

8.29

WATER SUPPLY & SANITATION

Central Government has fixed 2004 A.D. as the year within which all segments of population should be provided with safe drinking water.

The programme for provision of safe drinking water to all human habitations will continue to be taken up under the PMGY and the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme, to achieve the aforesaid target set for the year 2004. 

During the current year, 150 uncovered habitations, 210 partially covered habitations and 35 iron-affected habitations are expected to be provided with safe drinking water supply.

All Urban Centres in the State are provided with safe drinking water. Water Supply augmentation schemes are under implementation at Shillong, Williamnagar, Nongstoin and Cherrapunjee to cater to the increased demand for water. The Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme is partially complete. The Central Government has released Rs. 1,000 lakhs for this project under the non-lapsable pool of Central Resources, during the current year. The construction of the Mass Gravity Concrete Dam over River Umiew at Mawphlang has progressed according to schedule and the remaining work will be completed by December 2002. Work on augmentation of Jowai and Tura Urban Water Supply Schemes will also be taken up during the next year.

Ri-Bhoi District has been selected for implementation of a pilot Sector Reform Project, at an estimated cost of Rs. 975 lakhs and Central Government have released Rs. 270 lakhs during the current year for the project which involves participation of the community for its implementation as well as future maintenance. The project will be implemented during 2002-03.

The Shillong Environmental Health Improvement project is likely to be taken up with the Assistance of Aus AID, next year.

An amount of Rs. 3,675 lakhs is allocated in the Budget Estimates, for this sector.

8.30

URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Efforts to provide adequate infrastructure and basic civic amenities in all the urban areas of the State will continue. 

The construction of a Parking Lot near the District Council premises at Shillong is in progress and is expected to be completed during 2002-2003. Construction of the Parking Lot near the Shopping Complex at Nongstoin has been taken up. Construction of a bus Terminal at Madanriting will be undertaken next year.

The establishment of the Shillong Solid Waste Disposal Project is likely to be completed during 2002-03.

Setting up of the new Shillong Township will be expedited. Land acquisition for the second phase of the Township will be initiated shortly.

Construction o the Nongpoh Super Market has been initiated. The project is expected to be completed next year. In order to ease the present congestion of traffic in Shillong, a multi-level parking-cum-commercial facility called the Shillong Central Complex is being set up a Police Bazar. Construction works of the Complex will commence shortly

An amount of Rs. 2,130 lakhs ahs been provided in the budget Estimates for this sector.

8.31

SPECIAL URBAN WORKS PROGRAMME (SUWP)

Like the SRWP in rural areas, the SUWP has generated sustainable community assets and will continue as a major programme under the Urban Development Sector.

8.32 LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT

Steps will be taken for phased computerization of all the employment exchanges in the State. Existing ITIs will be modernized to meet the changing requirement of skilled manpower.

The new Industrial Training Institute at Baghmara is expected to be made operational during the current year. An allocation of Rs. 180.00 lakhs is proposed for this sector.

8.33

SOCIAL WELFARE & NUTRITION

63 physically-handicapped persons have been provided with prosthetic aid, and 211 physically-handicapped students supported with scholarships during 2001-02. The Department proposes to assist physically-handicapped students with Uniforms and Book Grants, Conveyance and Unemployment allowance, next year.

Anganwadi workers and helpers, representative from NGOs and Community leaders will continue to be trained under the World Bank sponsored project "UDISHA".

The Supplementary Nutrition Programme for Children and Expectant and Nursing Mothers will continue to be implemented in all Community and Rural Development Blocks. Under PGY scheme, 86,200 malnourished children in ICDS areas and 10,580 in Urban areas, will be covered next year.

The programme for de-addiction and rehabilitation of drug addicts will be intensified.

The erstwhile scheme of Indira Mahila Yojna is being recast as Integrated Women Empowerment Programme (IWEP) and will be implemented in selected blocks next year. The Centrally Sponsored Balika Samridhi Yojana will also continue during 2002-03.

8.34

POLICE

74 units of Police Housing are proposed to be constructed during 2002-03. An amount of Rs.142 lakhs has been proposed in the Budget Estimates for the purpose which include amounts available under the award of the Eleventh Finance Commission.

The State Fie Service and the Forensic Science Laboratory will continue to be strengthened. Mobile Forensic Laboratory Units will be set up in all the Districts of the State.

Central Government continue to extend financial assistance under the scheme of Modernisation of the State Police Force besides providing vehicles, arms, ammunitions and communication equipments.

8.35

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

Construction of the Second Meghalaya House on land allotted by the Government of India at Vasant Vihar, New Delhi will be taken up next year.

Construction of the new Meghalaya House at Kolkata has been completed and made functional during 2001-02. Government is in the process of acquiring 10 residential houses at Vellore from the Tamil Nadu Housing Board for establishing a Guest House for the convenience of Meghalayans.

Construction of Yojana Bhavan as an extension of the Main Secretariat is expected to be completed next year. Construction of Circuit Houses at Khliehriat and Mawkyrwat is in progress.

The Meghalaya Legislative Building which will long be remembered for its artistic beauty was gutted down by fire on January 9, 2001. Construction of the new building will be taken up next year.

8.36.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Information Technology is a sector of the Indian economy capable of generating large-scale employment. The State Government will tap this promising sector for the benefit of the educated unemployed.

Government has created a Department of Information Technology and will ensure that this  sector receives adequate support for its growth and development. Computerisation of the State Secretariat has been strengthened and a local area network has been established in three Secretariat Building.

Government is making serious efforts to establish and Software Technology Park at Shillong to give a boost to software development in the State as well as to develop IT enabled services. The matter has already been taken up with STPI and the Union Ministry of IT has sanctioned Rs. 50 lakhs towards High-speed Data Communication facilities, STPI is in the  process of preparation of a feasibility report for ST Park at Shillong.

8.37

INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY

The Information and Publicity sector will continue to create better public awareness in the various developmental programmes of the Government through proper dissemination of information.

With a view to improve the information network and to create better awareness amongst the public, the Department has procured and operationalsied seven mobile audio-visual units, one for each district, during the current year.

8.38

PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKING REFORMS 

Proposals for reforms of Some State Public Sector Undertakings have been formulated and are under finalisation. These proposals will be a part of the State's Medium Term Fiscal Reforms Programme to be included in the proposed Fiscal Reforms MOU with the Central Government.

IX

BUDGET ACTUALS 2000-2001

The year 2000-2001 opened with a surplus balance of Rs. 157 lakhs. While the total receipts during the year including receipts under Public Accounts amounted to Rs. 17,36,650 lakhs, the corresponding expenditure was Rs. 17,32,231 lakhs, resulting in a closing balance of Rs. 4,567 lakhs.

X.

REVISED ESTIMATES 2001-2003

The revised estimates for the current year reflects an opening surplus balance of Rs. 4576 lakhs. While the revised estimated receipts during the year including receipts under Public Accounts are likely to amount to Rs. 15,94,759 lakhs, the corresponding expenditure is expected to amount to Rs. 15,95,778 lakhs, resulting in an anticipated closing balance of Rs. 3,557 lakhs.

XI.

BUDGET ESTIMATES 2002-203

The estimates envisage an opening balance of Rs.3,557 lakhs and a total receipt including receipts under Public Accounts of Rs. 16,35,346 lakhs against a corresponding expenditure including expenditure under Public Accounts of Rs. 16,30,958 lakhs, resulting in an estimated closing balance of Rs. 7,945 lakhs.

XII.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES MOBILISATION

12.1

Keeping in view our increasing revenue expenditure as a consequence of debt service burden and spiralling establishment cost due to ever increasing market-price related emoluments of Government employees, it is necessary for the State to generate additional resources. I therefore propose to give immediate effect to the under mentioned additional taxation measures-

(a)

Increase the rate of surcharge on all items under the Meghalaya Sales Tax Act, Meghalaya Purchase Tax Act and Meghalaya Finance Sales Tax Act, excluding Motor vehicles (including motor cars, omni buses, motor vans, motor trucks, chassis of motor vehicles, bodies of motor vehicles, bodies of motor vehicles and all varieties of trailer by whatever name known) and tyres (including pneumatic tyres, flab and tubes ordinarily used for motor vehicles and trailers),  from 10 per cent to 20 per cent.

(b)

Increase the Amusement & Betting Tax on 'Teer' from 40 per cent to 50 per cent, and 

(c)

Increase the Meghalaya Purchase Tax on timber (converted & unconverted) excluding fire wood, from 8 per cent to 20 per cent.

12.2

These measures are expected to generate additional resources of Rs. 1,000 lakhs for the State during 2002-03.

12.3

However, keeping in view the dependency of the people of the State on road-transport, I propose to reduce the rate of surcharge on tax in respect of motor vehicles (including motor cars, omni buses, motor vans, motor trucks, chassis of motor vehicles, bodies of motor vehicles, bodies of motor vehicles and all varieties of trailer by whatever name known) and tyres (including Pneumatic tyres, flab and tubes ordinarily used for motor vehicles and trailers),  from the existing rate of 10 per cent to zero per cent with immediate effect.

XII

CONCLUSION.

In conclusion, I sincerely expect that with the spontaneous support of all Hon'ble Members of this august House, the Budget proposals and I have presented today, are unanimously carried and effectively implemented, for generating conditions conducive to rapid and harmonious growth of the State economy, to meet the ever rising expectations of every Meghalayan.

With these few words , may I Mr. Speaker, Sir, commend the budget proposals for the consideration of this august House.

KHUBLEI, MITHELA, JAI HIND.

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