Zeliang blames Rio for budget deficit

Zeliang blames Rio for budget deficit

Kohima, March 26: Former Chief Minister and Opposition Leader, TR Zeliang today claimed that the huge budgetary deficit of Rs 1630.37 crore is the creation of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
Participating in the Budget discussion for the fiscal 2018-19 in the Assembly today, Zeliang recollected the Rio as the Chief Minister of Nagaland in 2003 had got a generous grant of Rs 365 from the Centre and presented surplus budget of Rs 18.47 crores for 2003-2004.
But, Zeliang informed the House that, Rio while leaving for Delhi in 2014, the deficit of the State stood at Rs 1234 crore, which he inherited in May 2014.
He accused Governor P B Acharya in his address to the 13th NLA on March 22 and Rio in his budget presentation on March 23 of confusing the Naga people by providing “wrong and misleading figures” of projected budget deficits.
Quoting Governor’s speech, “Our budgetary deficit that stood at Rs 950.09 crores on 31st March 2014 has skyrocketed to Rs 1657.88 crore as on March 31st 2017, a jump of almost 75%. The figures at the end of March 2018 are likely to be higher”.
Zeliang also quoted Rio’s Budget speech, “The transaction for the financial year 2018-19 is estimated to result in a negative balance of Rs 22.94 Crores. As stated earlier, the main reason for the negative balance is on account of the implementation of the ROP 2017 which will have a huge additional burden. In addition, with the negative opening balance of RS 1607.73 Crores, the year 2018-2019 is estimated to close with a negative balance of 1630.67 crores.”
In this Zeliang said “It is most unfortunate that the two speeches had made wrong projections as if my tenure in the previous DAN Government was responsible for a huge deficit with a jump of almost 75%.
He said when the first DAN budget was presented in the year 2003-2004, in view of the generous grant of Rs 365 crores by the then NDA Government, it was a surplus budget of Rs 18.47 crores. The projected deficits for the year 2013-14 was Rs 950.09 crores.
“When the Vote on Account was presented on March 2014 for the year 2014-15, which was presented by the present Leader of the House, the actual deficit was 1234 crores,” he said, adding that it is important to inform this August house that the Finance Department over the years does not reconcile the projected deficits figures but waits for the actual reconciliation figures from the Reserve Bank of India.
Hence, it is totally wrong to consider the projected deficits figures presented by the Finance Department as final, until and unless it is finally reconciled by the RBI. When the full budget was presented in the month of July 2014, the projected deficit for the year 2014-15 was Rs 1252.45 crores.
As such it is factually wrong to say that our budgetary deficits which stood at 950.09 crores as on 31st March 2014 has skyrocketed to Rs 1657.88 crores as on 31st march 2017, he said.
He said if a detail analysis is taken, it will show that from a surplus budget of Rs 18.47 crores for the year 2003-04, the deficits had increased to Rs 1234 crores as on March 2014 – a yearly average deficits of Rs 112.18 crores. After I took over from the present leader of this August house, I had presented a deficit budget of Rs 1252.45 crores in the month of July 2014 since my government had inherited an accumulated deficit of 1234 crores. It is clearly mentioned at paragraph 50 of the budget speech, that for implementation of the ROP-2017 an additional amount of Rs 178.24 crores was provided. Therefore, from the negative opening balance of Rs 1607.73 crores for the year 2018-19, if we substract the accumulated deficits of Rs 1234 as on 31-03-2014 and the additional amount of Rs 178.24 crores for ROP 2017, the actual deficit of my government from 2014-15 till 2017-18, it is Rs 195.49 crores, with a yearly average deficits of Rs 48.97 crores.
“I am presenting the correct figures and a detail analysis in order to clarify the misleading and politically motivated statements about the deficit figures as given in the Governor’s speech as well as the budget speech delivered to this august house on 23rd March 2018 by Leader of the House, who is also the Finance Minister,” he said.
On PDA government top’s agenda which it said was resolution of the Indo-Naga political issue, Zeliang said the BJP party had even given the slogan of election for political solution when the people of Nagaland were calling for solution before election.
It is however, most unfortunate that the budget speech does not give any appreciations for coming together of the 6 NNPG, the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India. The budget speech also does not call upon the NSCN(K) to re-enter a new cease fire agreement with the GoI and joined the political negotiation.
Since the Naga people desires that the solution should be inclusive, the NNC (Adino) should also be requested to join the political negotiation.”
Stating that Nagaland has lots of potential for organic produce with a constantly growing market, Zeliang called upon PDA government to take appropriate policy decision to declare Nagaland as an organic producing State.
On attempted murder of Joy Chandra on 22-03-2018, Rekha Das on 23-03-2018 in Dimapur by armed miscreants, he said the attempted murder had sent shock waves in the business capital of Nagaland and directly affects the ease of doing business in Nagaland.
“It is the paramount duty of the state to protect the lives and liberty of the citizens. I call upon the law enforcing agency to immediately bring the culprits to justice. I request the leader of the House to ensure that the life securities of the citizens are protected,” he said.
On road connectivity referring to various road projects, he told the House not to dispute with who had brought sanctions but let us give more importance as to how the sanctioned projects should be implemented within the stipulated period and as per specifications laid down in the contract agreement.
“We will see a change on the face of road connectivity in our State within 2-3 years if the State Government and the People of the State co-operate with the implementing agencies while executing the projects which are sanctioned and also the projects approved in principle for sanction.” (Page News Service)