Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today said the state budget will set a new “benchmark” for progress and prosperity. “This budget will set a new benchmark for the right kind of environment that the state requires for overall transformation and changes in the socio-economic landscape of the state,” Sangma said in his reply to the budget discussion in the state Assembly here.
Terming the budget as “balanced”, he said it was realistic for meeting the aspirations and expectations of the people and would also take care of development disparities and gaps.
Claiming that the fiscal health of the state would continue to remain healthy, the Chief Minister said “We will be in a position to absorb all available funds provided through various funding agencies.” Pointing out at various initiatives taken up by his government in strengthening manpower in different departments, Sangma said the government would carry on creating job opportunities.
Admitting that there has a disruption in the state’s revenue generation, he said it was due to the NGT ban on coal mining and other issues. The Chief Minister, however, said there has been a steady increase in revenue receipts of the state and a task force was entrusted to ensure resource mobilisation.
On the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), he said in 2015-16 it was Rs 26,745 crore and in 2016-17 it was estimated at Rs 88,497 crore, which was an increase of 9.82 per cent.
On school teachers salary, the Chief Minister said their salary would be increased by 100 per cent as it was last revised in 2013. Urging all for developing high-end tourism in the state, Sangma said a conducive environment for tourists in the state has been created after the period of 2013, when bandhs and agitations were a regular feature.