Austerity measures helped Nagaland bring down accumulated deficit, says Neiphiu Rio

Kohima: Henceforth, Budgets will be presented and passed in February every year: CM Rio

BY | Thursday, 29 February, 2024

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the State was struggling with a very high accumulated deficit of Rs. 2363 crore during the year 2021-22 (RE) however, through various austerity measures like checks on filling up of vacant posts, steps to enhance state own revenues, as well as the increase in our share of central taxes, he said the State have now managed to bring it down substantially.

“As a result, during the current financial 2023-24 we have brought down the closing deficit to Rs. 885.94 crore, an improvement of Rs. 1477 crores,” added Rio.

The Chief Minister, delivering his concluding remarks to the general discussion on the budget for the year 2024-2025 on the third day, of the session, termed the Budget of 2024-25 as a real people-centric budget, keeping in mind the host of new initiatives introduced.

He informed the house that henceforth, Budgets will be presented and passed in the month of February every year. According to him, this will help departments to complete all formalities earlier than before, and issue work orders by April end before onset of monsoon so that UCs are submitted in time to help departments to avail the next instalment. This will increase the available time for the working season, he added.

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Rio also raised concerns of many departments delaying in issuing work orders and starting of works for which funds have been provided.

He pointed out that most departments are in the habit of moving for release of funds during the closing months of February/March of the financial year and issue work orders only after Drawal Authority is issued. Rio, was of the view that such practices slow down the pace of developmental activities and urge all concerned to note that once funds are reflected in the Demands for Grants, especially under State Resources, there should be no worry on the part of the department about not receiving the funds subsequently.

“Our finances are now more stable, and we have no difficulty in making releases to the departments subject to the condition that there is sufficient work progress,” said Rio.

On matters pertaining to oil exploration Rio, highlighted that in view of the importance of exploration and exploitation of the State’s mineral wealth, Nagaland has recently taken a senior officer expert in Mineral exploration on deputation

We will create a special cell in the Geology and Mining Department under his leadership to give much needed impetus to mineral exploration in the State, said Rio.

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