Fiscal deficit now below 3 pc: CM

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma said that the Government would explore the possibilities of partnering with people by creating a platform to integrate ideas for the overall growth of the State.

Addressing the second leg of the ‘pre-budget consultation on budget allocation’ here, the Chief Minister said, “the State government has been able to bring down the fiscal deficit to below 3 per cent.”

He said the Government is aiming to create sustainable opportunities for the citizens through the ambitious Integrated Basin Development & Livelihood Programme.

While giving a detailed account of the ambitious and comprehensive programme of the Government, he said that under the programme, various interventions under mission mode will be undertaken in the areas of horticulture, animal husbandry, aquaculture, apiculture, energy, water and natural resource management.

The programme’s core objective is to facilitate sustainable livelihoods for the people by leveraging upon the strengths of the state in terms of availability of abundant natural resources, Dr Sangma said.

He also informed that the Government will look to invest in renewable sectors during the 12th Five-Year Plan period while also stressing on utilization of renewable resources which are abundant in the state thereby enabling the youth to become job providers not job seekers.

The Chief Minister also informed that that the State Government has been able to increase its resources from Rs 518 crores in 2007-08 to Rs 1037 crores in 2011-12.

“We have managed to bring down the fiscal deficit to below 3 percent and also reduce debt -GSDP ratio to below 30 percent which is in conformity of the FRBM Act,” Dr Mukul said. He also asserted that the state needs a strategized and structured investment so as to achieve sustainable development as well as providing opportunities for the youth while adding that there is a huge deficit in terms of skill, knowledge and employability.

“The State requires to boost its per capita income to bring it at par with the national per capita. We also have to grow at the rate of 11% to catch up with the rest of the country,” the Chief Minister said. Dr Mukul also informed that the Government intends to create opportunities in the Education sector to bridge the supply and demand gap so that the youth resource of the State can find employment in the education sector. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also informed that the Government would introduce the Universal Health Insurance programme in 2013. To address the problem of migration of people from rural to urban areas, Dr Sangma said the Government is preparing a strategy to ensure that the income generation of the people will not be less than Rs 3 lakh per annum. To improve the condition of roads across the State, Dr Sangma said the Government would soon work out a rehabilitation package work for highway roads, urban roads and rural roads to make all of them sustainable. “We will integrate the ideas gathered from today’s gathering and translate them into action. I hope that a year from now when we meet again, the government will be in a position to provide answers to your queries,” Sangma said before concluding the pre-budget consultation which was the first of its kind in the state.