As the third session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly resumed yesterday, the annual Manipur budget of Rs 35022 crores for the fiscal year 2023-24 was presented by Chief Minister N Biren, who is also in charge of the Finance Department.
In presenting the budget, the Chief Minister mentioned that Rs 1.30 lakh crore were allocated for the Scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment (SACI) in the Manipur budget for 2023-24.
According to the budget presented on Tuesday, the Manipur budget deficit is estimated to be Rs 891 crore, compared to Rs 1230 crore last year. Compared to the fiscal deficit estimate of Rs 2760 crore, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) estimate for 2023-24 is Rs 45145 crore.
Using this special assistance, the state government intends to make capital investments in crucial areas.
Allocations under the scheme will also be tied to the scrapping of old government vehicles, urban planning reforms and actions, financing reforms in urban local bodies to make them creditworthy for municipal bonds, housing for police personnel above or within police stations, the construction of unity malls, children and adolescents libraries, and digital infrastructure, as well as the State’s share of capital expenditures for central schemes, CM Biren said.
The Chief Minister stated that the State Government has been attempting to raise funds to meet rising expenditure demands.
“Our efforts have paid off, as evidenced by the 28% increase in State GST and the 25% increase in overall State tax revenue in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21,” he said.
Education, health, sports, entrepreneurship and start-ups, tourism and culture, connectivity, agriculture, and associated sectors, security/policing, potable water and sanitation, inclusive development and public administration, forest, and environment are listed as the Manipur budget’s priority areas.
Regarding the education sector, the Chief Minister stated that the government has been working with the Ministry of DoNER and NESIDS to strengthen 120 High and Higher Secondary Schools across the state.
In addition, the government is launching the “College Fagathansi Mission” to enhance the infrastructure of government colleges.
He stated that the State Government would utilize the SACI to address infrastructure deficiencies in Government colleges.
Biren informed the House that the State Government has planned a capital expenditure of at least Rs 60 crore for the College Fagathansi Mission in the upcoming fiscal year.
With an allocation of Rs 4 crore, the government is also launching the “Chief Minister’s Scheme for Support to EWS Students Pursuing Professional Courses.”
Biren stated that the Manipur budget allocates Rs 3,292 crore to the education sector.
Regarding health, the Chief Minister informed the assembly that the budgetary allocation for the Central Mental Health Trust (CMHT) has been increased from Rs 20 crore to Rs 40 crore.
The budget’s total allocation for the health sector is Rs 1,919 crore.
Regarding sports, Biren stated that an allocation of Rs 1.5 crore has been made in the Manipur budget to hire foreign coaches to train State athletes.
To groom and develop young football talent in the state, the government is establishing the “Manipur State Football Academy” and funding its infrastructure through the SACI.
Biren stated that a budget allocation of Rs 2 crore has been made for the operation of the academy.
In two years, he said, the government plans to construct 10 natural grass football fields at a cost of approximately Rs 8 crore per field across the entire state under the SACI.
The Manipur budget allots 2 crore rupees for the Saikhom Mirabai Chanu Fitness Centre to be constructed in Nongpok Kakching.
This year, a budget of Rs. 7.2 crore has been allotted to the SACI for the construction of an Indigenous Sports Complex in Senapati to promote indigenous games.
The Manipur budget allocation for the development of indigenous games has also been increased to Rs 3 crore, he said.
Regarding entrepreneurship and start-ups, the Chief Minister informed the House that on November 12, 2022, the State Government launched a ‘Venture Fund’ with NEDFi to increase the number of funding avenues available to Start-Ups in the State.
The State Government will contribute Rs 15 crore, while NEDFi will raise an additional Rs 15 crore.
This venture capital fund will identify startups with the potential for long-term growth and provide the necessary support.
100 crore rupees are budgeted for entrepreneurship and new ventures.
Regarding tourism and culture, Biren stated that the government intends to finish the multipurpose cultural complex at the Manipur State Kala Academy this year and that 2 crore rupees have been budgeted for this purpose.
An additional Rs 3,5 crore has been allotted for the renovation of the auditorium at the INA complex in Moirang.
The Manipur budget for 2023-24 allocates Rs 377 crore for afforestation and Rs 30 crore for Loktak Lake conservation.
In addition, the Manipur budget for the Sangai Festival has been increased to Rs 15 crore.
Biren stated that the State Government has been collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism on a plan to expand Sangai Ethnic Park and that Rs. 25.50 crores have been allocated from State funds for this purpose.
Concerning connectivity, the Chief Minister stated that the Imphal-Kangchup-Tamenglong road, which is being funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at a cost of Rs 1,437 crore, is making good progress and the completion date has been pushed back to December 2023.
This road, once completed, would reduce the travel time between Imphal and Tamenglong from six to three hours.
According to him, Rs 419 billion has been allocated to the budget for this purpose.
The Imphal Ring Road, which will be constructed with ADB funding at a cost of Rs 1,660 crore, has been in the planning stages for some time, but its implementation has been delayed due to fluctuating costs.
Implementation of the project is anticipated to begin in the fiscal year 2023-24.
Biren stated that Rs 350 crore has been allocated for this purpose.
The cost estimate for the project to construct concrete roads in the city of Imphal is Rs 3,565 crores.
This project is funded by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and has been approved by the AIIB’s screening committee.
This project will encompass 522 kilometers of roads within the Greater Imphal area, he continued.
It is anticipated that implementation will begin before the end of 2023.
For this purpose, Rs.466 billion has been allocated.
Regarding agriculture and related industries, the Chief Minister stated that a special allocation of 2 crore rupees has been made for the promotion of millets in the state, in addition to the funding provided by various Centrally-sponsored programs.
In addition, the Manipur budget allocates 2 crore rupees for the promotion of organic farming.
Another 586 crore rupees are budgeted for agriculture and allied sectors overall.
Regarding security/policing, the Chief Minister stated that 40 crore rupees have been allocated for the upgrade of police equipment, vehicles, arms, and ammunition.
“The ‘war on drugs’ encompasses more than just arrests and punishment.
We initiated an ‘Alternative Livelihoods’ program for farmers in affected areas.
We are collaborating with the Department of Natural Resources to expand this project to all affected regions of the state.
In addition, we are launching a new initiative this year that will focus not only on alternative livelihoods but also on the protection and revitalization of degraded areas.
In the Manipur budget for the current year, Rs. 12 crores have been allocated “, Biren said.
Regarding potable water and sanitation, the Chief Minister stated that the State Government has initiated two major piped water supply projects.
One is the Centrally-funded Jal Jeevan Mission, and the other is the New Development Bank-funded “Manipur Water Supply Project.”
Despite numerous obstacles, the implementation of these projects is well underway.
A budget allocation of Rs 1,592 crore has been made for water supply.
Under inclusive development and public administration, Rs 540 crore have been allocated for the infrastructure development of Tamenglong College and Pettigrew College, as well as the construction of model residential schools in Kamjong, Kangpokpi, Senapati, Tamenglong, Ukhrul, Chandel, Churachandpur, and Tengnoupal.
At a total cost of Rs 16 crore, the government has begun construction of Ima Markets in Kamjong, Noney, Pherzawl, and Tengnoupal under the SACI.
He added that the government has also begun building amusement parks for children in Churachandpur, Senapati, Tamenglong, Ukhrul, Chandel, and Kangpokpi at a total cost of Rs 29 crore.