NLA passes Rs 18315.76 crore budget for 2018-19

NLA passes Rs 18315.76 crore  budget for 2018-19
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Kohima, March 26: The 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) today passed the Rs 18315.76 crore budget for the fiscal 2018-19.
The budget was passed by voice vote following discussions on cut motions raised by the Opposition NPF as Nagaland Appropriation Bill (No. 2), 2018.
The budget was presented by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on March 23 last with a deficit of Rs 1630.67 crore.
This is the first budget of the newly formed Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP)-led People’s Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (PDA).
The Assembly also passed two other bills the Nagaland Road Safety Authority Act, 2013 (First Amendment) Bill, 2018 which was presented by Minister for Transport, P Paiwang Konyak on the third day of the House and Nagaland Appropriation Bill (No.1) 2018 presented by Rio were also passed during the day.
The No. 1 Bill passed a supplementary demand for the year 2017-18 authorizes payment of Rs 2074.48 crore out of the consolidated fund of the State to the services of the fiscal ending 31st of this month with regard to various government departments.
Earlier during the day, initiating the general discussion on the Budget for the year 2018-19, Opposition MLA Imkong L Imchen charged the BJP for the atrocities perpetrated upon the Christians in different parts of the country. Alleging that it is the RSS which has been committing such atrocities and since BJP is the political wing of RSS it is also part of it.
Imchen also lashed the government on deduction of one day wage of government employees for Chief Secretary’s Welfare Fund saying that the actual decision adopted by the Administrative Head of Departments and Head of Departments was voluntary contribution only from the gazetted officers and not the wages of the employees.
Stating that it was not a cabinet decision, he questioned if the AHoDs and HoDs are authorized for such collection.
Further Imchen stated that PDA government was still on honeymoon period and therefore opposition MALs have to restrain themselves to allow the government to function for the general welfare of the people.
MLA Chotisuh Sazo questioned the status of the 20 MLAs appointed as Advisors by the Chief Minister on March 21. He also supplemented Imchen saying that atrocities against Christians have increased only after BJP came at the Centre and they have declared Christmas Day as Good Governance Day and Good Friday as Digital India Day. He clarified that the previous government had raised the issue and wrote letter to the Centre.
Sazo while stating that the slogan chance is coming could be specially seen in the law and order front as three incidents in Zunheboto and Dimapur have already occurred after PDA took over. A government servant was murdered while two businessman have been shot at in Dimapur.
MLA C L John though appreciated the statement of the Chief Minister that the government would grant special attention towards the overall welfare and development of Eastern Nagaland, but he was critical in pointing out that the DAN-II government under Rio had promised special package of Rs 300 crore but it was never implemented till date. He expressed hope that with Rio coming back as the CM, the said fund would be granted specially towards the development of road sector in the Eastern Nagaland districts.
The Opposition also lamented that despite the claim of promoting the agri and allied sector and organic farming the budget provisions were meager. MLAs Yitachu, EE Pangteang, Y Vikheho Swu, Ngangshi K Ao and Dr Imtiwapang Aier also dwelled against the promises while expressing hope that the government would live upto it.
Minister G Kaito Aye however was of the view that members should take more time to discuss on issues confronting the welfare of the people of Nagaland and not issues of atrocities being committed beyond the State. Aye along with MLA Namri Nchang termed the budget 2017-18 as one of the best budget ever presented by any government. MLA K T Sukhalu while supporting the budget also appealed all the members to extend full support and cooperation towards reforming the School Education department.
Minister Jacob Zhimomi said last DAN government failed to perform to the expectation of the people specially because of the tussle for chair within the NPF party. But now, he asserted that the new PDA government under the leadership of Neiphiu Rio will bring reformation in all aspect and take the State toward development and progress.
The ruling members also appealed to the opposition members to join hands with government and extend constructive criticism.
Being the last day of the session, the members intensively continued with the discussions on the budgetary allocations for the financial year 2018-19 through out the day creating a record in the recent known history of the Assembly as it concluded after 12 hours. Assembly starts at 9:30 AM.
Subsequently, Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshü after announcement of the constitution of the various financial and non-financial committee and panel of chairmen for 2018-19 adjourned the first session of the 13th NLA sine die.(Page News Service)