State may witness highest deficit this current fiscal

State may witness highest deficit this current fiscal
Correspondent KOHIMA, FEB 7 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/7/2021 12:11:20 PM IST

Nagaland may witness its highest ever budget deficit this current financial year as additional expenditures outside of the budget were incurred during the period 2020-21 in addition to a dip in revenue. This was indicated by sources in the finance department when Nagaland Post asked about the current financial position of the State. The sources told this newspaper, that since Nagaland was a resource-crunch State the COVID-19 pandemic had only made the financial position more precarious. The sources said the estimated deficit for 2020-21 is Rs 2,358.81 crore.

To respond to COVID-19, the State had spent Rs 157.73 crore, out of which Rs 27.84 crore was received from the Central government and North Eastern Council, while Rs 129.90 crore was from the State’s own resources as on February 6, 2021. Further, from the cess imposed on petroleum products in the State from April to December last year, the State was able to garner Rs 123.22 crore as revenue.

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio had in November last year, hinted that the State was losing around Rs. 108 crore every month. 

It may also be mentioned that the 15th Finance Commission (15th FC) in its report ‘Finance Commission in COVID times’ mentioned that Nagaland had the second highest debt in the country. In this regard, the FC said that the debt should be consolidated in line with the new Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM Act), 2003 and the recommendations of FC-XV.

On the 15th FC’s advice to the State to take measures to reduce the burden of committed expenditures to free up resources for development, the sources admitted that the State needed to tighten non-plan expenditure and increase revenue collection, though its scope was very limited. It was also learnt that the pending salaries for RMSA and SSA employees would be cleared up to February “very soon”.


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