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Meghalaya presents deficit budget

Posted on Mar 19 2014 | IANS

Shillong, March 19 : Announcing levy of export fee on forest products in Meghalaya, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Wednesday presented a Rs.527 crore deficit budget for the 2014-15 fiscal.

Sangma, who holds the finance portfolio, said the government was exploring the feasibility of increasing the tax slab for liquor and also to bring into the tax net the admissible textile products.

He said the government was examining a proposal for upward revision of rates on sand and stone.

Sangma said the overall expenditure in fiscal 2014-15 would be Rs.11,893 crore, of which revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs.9,903 crore and capital expenditure at Rs.1,990 crore.

The plan expenditure has been pegged at Rs.7,434 crore while the total non-plan expenditure has been estimated at Rs.4,249 crore for 2014-15.

He said the government's approach to development was comprehensive and promoted inclusive growth, and that it was committed to ensuring that the benefits of growth reach all sections of society.

There has been significant increase in allocation in the last four years in crucial sectors like agriculture, roads and education and health, he said.

Expressing concern over the security situation posed by militants in certain pockets of the state, Sangma said the government has decided to raise a full-fledged commando force to be known as "Special Force 10", with a total strength of 1,795 personnel.

The chief minister said a USD 125 million project agreement was signed between India and the Asian Development Bank Jan 23 to improve the quality, delivery and access to secondary and higher secondary school education and facilitate result-oriented technical and vocational skill training in the state, especially for women.

The ADB's loan will be USD 100 million and the state government's contribution will be USD 25 million. Out of the USD 100 million, 90 percent would be as grant to the state government and 10 percent as loan by the union government, he said.

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