Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Thursday presented a tax-free budget for 2019-20, laying emphasis on implementation of the Socio- Economic Development Policy (SEDP) and creation of three new districts.
Presenting the Rs 10,692.30 crore budget in Mizo language, Zoramthanga, who also holds the finance portfolio, allocated a token provision of Rs 750 crore for the SEDP. The SEDP, a flagship programme of the Mizo National Front (MNF) government, aims at accelerating progress in key sectors and transforming Mizoram into a welfare state.
The chief minister allocated Rs 50 crore under the SEDP for recruitment of doctors and nurses in the health department to ease an acute manpower shortage. Implementation of the MNF's 2008 announcement of the creation of Hnahthial, Khawzawl and Saitual districts was another top priority of his government, he said. Zoramthanga said the Congress, during its 10-year-long rule, had not implemented the decision of the MNF government in 2008. "I allocated Rs 450 lakh for construction of deputy commissioners' offices in the three districts and Rs 195 lakh each for construction of district superintendents of police offices," he said.
An additional Rs 855 lakh was allotted for the initial establishment expenses of the new districts, Zoramthanga said. An amount of Rs 50 crore was allocated as a health care corpus fund for implementation of improved healthcare scheme as formulated by the MNF government earlier. He also said Rs 30 crore was allocated for recruitment of teachers at the elementary education level to solve the shortage of manpower. "Rs 159.34 crore was also allocated for establishment of Lok Ayukta which was increased this fiscal and I allocated Rs 371.06 crore for the expenses on the Lok Ayukta," he said. He said the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was projected to be Rs 25,869.14 crore at current price at a growth rate of 16.15 per cent. "The projected growth rate is considered remarkable as compared to the national growth rate of 12.33 per cent in 2018-19," Zoramthanga said.
The chief minister said the total liabilities (debt) of the state was estimated at Rs 8,447.92 crore which is 32.66 per cent of the projected GSDP. The state government's targets would be privatisation, mechanisation and large-scale production to boost the economy, he told reporters after presenting the budget. He added that the state government would make detailed project reports to avail huge financial assistance from the Centre under the SEDP.