KOHIMA, Feb 25 (NEPS): Chief Minister and Minister-in-charge of Finance Neiphiu Rio presented a deficit budget of Rs. 1611.98 crore for the Year 2019-20 in the Assembly today.
Delivering the budget speech, Rio said the current financial year 2018-19 would close with an estimated deficit of Rs. 1,661.68 crore. The current year’s transaction is estimated to result in a positive balance of Rs. 49.70 crore, however, he said because of the negative opening balance of Rs. 1,661.68 crore, the year 2019-20 is estimated to close with a negative balance of Rs. 1,611.98 crore.
He said it has been a difficult year confronted with many outstanding liabilities and court cases in connection with many ongoing projects, which had been left unattended for several years. He further added that the Government will continue to make definite efforts to further bring down levels of deficit in the days ahead so that they will be able to devote more resources to developmental activities.
He also apprised the House of the reason for advancing the budget session in view of the approaching General Elections to the Lok Sabha which is expected to be announced by the early part of March 2019, and that the Model Code of Conduct would become operative during the month of March.
With regard to PDA Government’s agenda on the Naga political issue, Rio said the Government will take every possible measure to positively contribute towards facilitating the ongoing political dialogue so that they realize a “solution that is honorable and acceptable to the people.” He said the unresolved political issue has been one of the major factors behind the challenges that their people have faced in the past decades. Generations of their youth have been faced with hurdles in their quest to achieve their aspirations and their people have been denied opportunities at par with their counterparts in the rest of the country and the world, he said.
He added that the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Government carried out a consultative meeting with civil society organizations, tribal hohos, and NGOs on 11th May, 2018 and a resolution was adopted to reconstitute the Joint Legislators’ Forum (JLF) on the Naga political issue. He further said the JLF irrespective of party affiliations and political ideologies, they come unitedly under one banner to resolve the decades old issue in the greater interest of their people.
He called upon all sections of the people to come out in unison and create a congenial atmosphere that will strengthen and help their common cause so that the Naga aspiration for honorable peace is realized sooner than later, so that they collectively march towards a better future of rapid economic growth and all round progress.