Minister Thongam Biswajit on Monday presented the full Manipur State budget estimates for the financial year 2022-23 during the first sitting of the second session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.
As Chief Minister N Biren, who is in-charge of Finance took leave from the house on Monday, the minister, on behalf of the government presented the budget and proposed a total expenditure of Rs 34,930 crore out of the consolidated fund of the state for the financial year 2022-23.
He said that despite the recent increase in commodity prices and sudden spike in COVID-19 infection, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2022-23 is estimated at Rs 42,301 crore against GSDP of Rs 37,760 crore for 2021-22.
He exuded confidence that the state will continue to register good economic growth by taking all necessary steps in consultation with the Government of India.
According to the budget estimates, the total revenue expenditure for the year 2022-23 is estimated at Rs 17,914 crore and capital outlay is estimated at Rs 9,272 crore.
While the total receipts are estimated at Rs 33,700 crore, the revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 24,447 crores and capital receipts at Rs 9,252 crores. Interestingly, the state’s own tax and non-tax receipts are Rs 2,400 crore and Rs 400 crore respectively.
The minister also highlighted that the fiscal deficit during the year is estimated at Rs 2,748 crore, which is 6.5 per cent of the GSDP. During 2022-23, the total outstanding debt as a percentage of GSDP is projected at 37.92 per cent, he said while presenting the full Manipur State budget estimates.
Minister Biswajit pointed out that the pandemic which started towards the end of financial year 2019-20 had a massive impact on the state, and the period also witnessed a considerable reduction in resource receipts. The impact was felt during the financial year 2021-22 as well. The cumulative impact of these years has posed a serious challenge to the fiscal position of the state, he said.
Nevertheless, resource transfers from the Central government showed considerable improvement during the second half of financial year 2021-22 largely on account of good collection of Personal Income Tax and Corporate Tax, he further said, adding that in recent times, the state government has been taking steps to mobilize additional resources to meet the increasing expenditure needs.
In the last few years, the state’s own tax revenue has recorded a gradual growth. This is driven mainly by good collection of State GST, motor vehicle tax and Sales Tax. The state is taking additional steps to expand the tax base and reduce tax evasion. Any additional resource mobilized will assist the state to meet its various obligations. Various sources of resource mobilization are being explored, he stated.
He said that the Manipur State budget reflects the priorities of the government and its commitments to take up various developmental and social obligations. He explained that the government is prioritizing entrepreneurship, skilling, start-ups, connectivity, education, health among others.
He said that entrepreneurship, start-ups, innovation etc. are important to drive the economic growth of the state. These are essential for employment generation as well as livelihood creation. To support the Start-up ecosystem in the state, the government has allocated Rs 100 crore in the budget, he stated.
He also informed the house that the state government is setting up a Centre for Invention, Innovation and Incubation Training (CIIIT) on a PPP model, with the state government share being Rs 30 crore, and adequate allocation has been provided for this year in this budget.
Regarding connectivity, he said that the Capital Outlay on Roads and Bridges in the Financial Year 2022-23 is about Rs 2,700 crore by combining all sources of funding except projects implemented by Central Government Agencies.
Considering the advantage of concrete roads in significantly reducing the cost of maintenance, he said that the government had proposed the project for ‘Improvement of roads within Imphal City with rigid pavement including concrete lined drains’ with an estimated cost of Rs 3,303 crore as an Externally Aided Project.
The minister maintained that the flagship ‘School Fagathansi Mission’ has brought a change in the Education Sector by developing ‘model schools’ across the State. Two phases of the Mission have already been taken up. For completion of the second phase and to start the third phase of this mission, an amount of Rs 38 crore has been allocated in this budget, which is an increase of 52 per cent over last year’s allocation, he added.
He further stated that an allocation of about Rs 800 crore has been made for ‘Samagra Shiksha’ in the budget.
He said that the pandemic was a reminder to the whole world that one must continue to invest in the Health sector and improve it. He mentioned that the government is aiming to scale up the Chief Minister’s Health for All scheme to cover all 16 districts, cover 1,000 villages and screen 5 lakh people within this year for which an allocation of Rs 5 crore has been provided in the budget. Overall, an amount of Rs 1,480 crore was allocated for the health sector, he added.
He highlighted that agriculture with its associated sectors including horticulture, animal husbandry etc. have a huge potential to contribute to the economic growth of the state. As the streamlining of the fund flow under Centrally Sponsored Schemes will enable this sector to access more funds, an allocation of Rs 660 crore has been made in this budget for agriculture and its associated sectors.
Besides, an allocation of Rs 4 crore has been made for the conservation and development of the Manipur Pony. With the Government already initiating a pilot project to provide alternatives to poppy cultivation to the farmers, an allocation of Rs 4 crore has been made to expand this pilot project, he said.
The state government has been in touch with the DoNER and Agriculture Ministries of Government of India to prepare a consolidated project to stop plantation of poppy within the state, once and for all, he further said, adding that a total capital outlay of about Rs 600 crore has been allocated for irrigation.
He went on to inform that the Government of India had sanctioned the ‘Flood Management and Border Area Programme’ to take up flood management works in 10 river basins of the state. Works under this project have started and upon completion, any flood situation can be managed more effectively, he said adding that an allocation of Rs 411 crore has been made for this project in the budget.
He also said that the state government is planning to take up a massive upgradation drive of equipment available to the Police for which an amount of Rs. 36 crore has been allocated in this budget.
Currently, 72 per cent of the households in the state are provided with tap water supply and we are on track to achieve 100 per cent for which an amount of Rs 1715 crore has been allocated in the budget. Besides, for sanitation, an amount of Rs 445 crore has been allocated in the budget, he said.
Other key areas the government is prioritising in the Manipur State budget estimates as highlighted by the minister include inclusive development, tourism, forest and environment, and sports.