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K L Chishi attacks ‘cunning’ budget
Correspondent KOHIMA, JUL 9 (NPN):
Published on 10 Jul. 2009 1:02 AM IST
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The state Budget for 2009-10 presented on Tuesday by chief minister Neiphiu Rio, drew flak from former chief minister and Congress member K.L.Chishi on Thursday who described it as a “real cunning budget, with many skeletons hidden in the cupboard.” On Tuesday, State chief minister, Neiphiu Rio presented the Rs 494.23 crores deficit budget for the year 2009-2010. The chief minister said that the current year’s transaction was estimated to result in a deficit of Rs. 22.92 crore. However, because of the estimate negative opening balance of Rs. 471.31 crore, the year 2009-10 was estimated to close with a negative balance of Rs. 494.23 crore. Leading the opposition attack on the budget Chishi slammed the chief minister on the Rs.494.23 crore deficit budget presented on Tuesday by describing it as a ‘fallacious and misleading budget’ . On the financial statement which showed a negative balance of Rs.22 crore, Chishi said the actual figure as indicated by the government’s own statement showed that Rs.425(projected) – Rs.471(revised) resulted in Rs.46 crore and not Rs.22 crore negative balance. Charging the DAN government of overspending by Rs.46 crore during the three months(April, May and June),Chishi said this amount including the ways and means advance estimated at Rs.1315 crore would have serious impact on the Rs.1500 crore annual plan for the current financial year. He predicted that the entire scenario pointed to the actual deficit crossing Rs.1000 crore by financial year ending, March 2010 and landing the state in a dire financial straits. He explained that the cause for an impending massive deficit was the fall out of “ a real cunning budget, hidden with many skeletons in the cupboard.”Chishi asked when reconciliation of around Rs.1200 crore with the RBI for the financial year 2008-09 was not done, how could the government present its budget for 2009-10? Referring to the rejoinder issued by the finance commissioner on his statement, Chishi said the government had denied it resorted to ways and means advance to tide over its financial crisis but the document clearly admitted that the state had resorted to ways and means advance to the tune of around Rs.2000 crore. Chishi alleged that after the vote on account in March 2009, the DAN government misappropriated Civil Deposits to the tune of several hundred crore rupees meant for payment of government bills including pending payment to contractors and suppliers. Chishi alleged that the DAN government used the money for election expenses. Slamming the chief minister’s statement of a “tax free budget for 2009-2010” , Chishi while the chief minister was took pains to stress on improvement of revenue mobilization etc, yet on the same document, claimed it was a tax free budget. He said the implication also meant that there would be no revenue mobilization in 81 departments except expenditure. Taking a dig at the tax free budget, the former chief minister pointed out that present collection of taxes by so many governments had also already caused great burden on all sections of society. He asserted that collection of taxes had become a menace and wondered as to which government would control the menace. “Is this the equi-closeness policy of the government,” Chishi questioned, drawing the attention of the house. Making a special reference on the food and civil supplies Annual Administrative Report, Chishi called it a very unique report and pointed out that the logo of year of capacity building looked like “a person running away with a suitcase”. He reminded the house of a response to a question he asked in the concerned department in March this year regarding the BPL beneficiaries in Dimapur. Chishi said he got the beneficiaries list of 2001 signed by then DC Dimapur AS Bhatia and nothing of 2007-08. “Are we sitting for 2001 budget or 2009 budget?” he asked. On the liquor prohibition in the state, the Congress MLA said the government should lift the prohibition as earning revenue was important. He told the government not to panic and called for facing the situation together. Congress MLA Tokheho regretted that the industry department which was considered to be biggest department had failed to provide or generate employment opportunities to the youth. Pointing that around Rs 78 crores were already allocated to 828 Small and Medium Industries (SME) through transport subsidy over the years, he said these 828 SME could generate 8280 jobs if these industries could provide at least 10 employments each. He wondered whether the transaction took place on paper and was also doubtful if genuine people got it. On the school education department’s issue of bogus teachers appointment, Tokheho accused the minister of sleeping over it, after admitting the bogus appointments. He said that the school education minister should hold moral responsibility for the fiasco and that the chief minister should also replace the minister. Drawing serious attention on health sector, Congress MLA Joshua said that the union government program National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) which was meant for rural people had not benefited the people, though sufficient fund was allocated. He said that doctors posted in rural areas do not remain in their place of posting and alleged that employing proxy nurses have also started in the state. Langpha and S. K. Sangtam, both Congress MLAs also took part in the budget discussion. The discussion would continue on July10.

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