Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today attended the pre-budget meeting chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The budget session of the Parliament will commence on January 29. Sitharaman will present the budget on February 1. The budget session will be held in two parts — from January 29 to February 15 and March 8 to April 8.
During the meeting held through video-conference, Sangma urged the Union Finance Minister to increase the budgetary provision for the North East region.
Sangma also requested Sitharaman to continue the ‘Central Special Assistance for Capital Expenditure’ for the financial year 2021-2022 for Meghalaya.
It may be noted that Meghalaya was among the states that have availed benefits of ‘Special Assistance for Capital Expenditure’ from the Central government in the financial year 2020-2021.
The scheme is aimed at boosting capital expenditure by the state governments that are facing a difficult financial environment due to the shortfall in tax revenue arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the first installment of the scheme, Meghalaya has received Rs 100 crore out of the total approved amount of Rs 200 crore.
The scheme has three parts. The first part of the scheme covers the north-eastern region. Under this part, Rs 200 crores is allocated to seven north-eastern states (Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura). In view of higher population and geographical area, Assam has been allocated Rs.450 crores under the scheme.
The second part of the scheme is for all other states not included in the first part. An amount of Rs.7, 500 crores is earmarked for this part.
In addition, the third part of the scheme is aimed at pushing various citizen-centric reforms in the states.
Under this part, an amount of Rs 2,000 crores is earmarked. This amount will be available only to those states who carry out at least three out of the four reforms specified by the Ministry of Finance in May 2020 regarding reform linked additional borrowing permissions.
Accordingly, the four reforms are – ‘One Nation One Ration Card’, Ease of Doing Business Reform, Urban Local Body or Utility Reform and Power Sector Reform.