TODAY -

NPF on Nagaland Budget Session on February 25, 2019

Kohima, 4th March 2019



OBSERVATION OF THE PRESS BUREAU, NPF CENTRAL.

The following issues are brought to public domain for knowledge of the general public as PDA Government under Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio failed to provide any clarification sought by former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition, TR Zeliang during the recently concluded Budget Session.

1. Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio who also hold the finance portfolio has failed to provide any answer to the queries of the Leader of Opposition (LoP), TR Zeliang related to Budget 2019-20 which was presented on February 25, 2019. The LoP during the debate on Budget 2019-20 had pointed out anomalies in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) where the growth rate of GST in the State had shown diminishing returns.

In 2017-18, it was 25% which decreased to 11.4% in 2018-19 and in 2019-20, it was estimated at 9.72%. Therefore, the LoP had questioned the Chief Minister on the floor of the Assembly as to how, GST in the State was projecting a trend of diminishing return.

The Chief Minister failed to come up with any answers on the floor of the Assembly and as such, he was asked by the LoP to publish his answers in the local dailies. However, nothing has been clarified in the local dailies till date. It is to be noted that before the introduction of GST, NPF led DAN Government had introduced online system on Central Sales Tax (CST) and the growth rate was 19.60% in 2017-18.

2. Additional Fund released from April 1, 2018 till date as replied by Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio on the floor was Rs. 735.84 Cr. which included re-imbursement amount of Rs. 220.09 Cr. On this, LoP, TR Zeliang sought to know how the remaining amount of Rs. 514.75 Cr. after deducting re-imbursement amount of Rs. 220.09 Cr. was spent and through which Department.

However, despite the request of the LoP to publish the same in the local dailies due to paucity of time during the debate, till date the Chief Minister has failed to clarify. LoP, TR Zeliang had also queried on why the Department had failed to specify the break-up amount or the scheme under which re-imbursement had taken place but the same remains unanswered as well.

3. In regard to Kiphire Aspirational District, the LoP had asked the Chief Minister to clarify on why the release of Rs. 1 Cr set up for taking up Projects to meet the developmental gaps in Kiphire District was delayed. The LoP also sought to know how much expenditure was incurred on the Cabinet Meeting held at Kiphire Dist HQ. on November 9, 2018. However, neither was the query answered on the floor of the Assembly nor has it been clarified in the local dailies till today.

Despite the Cabinet Meeting that took place at Kiphire Dist HQ. on November 9, 2018; there is nothing on the ground that has taken place till today. Even, the District Planning & Development Board (DP&DB) of Kiphire District during its monthly Meeting held on February 19, 2019 had clearly stated that no fund had been allotted to the District.

4. The Chief Minister in his Budget Speech stated that developmental activities of the State were being hindered since a huge amount of fund is used for payment of Government employees’ salary and that Government employees would be minimized. To this the LoP sought to know how the Government intended to cut down the number of Government employees. However, no answer was provided by Nneiphiu Rio.

5. Ex-gratia for Students announced since last year has failed to see the light of the day till date and there is nothing about Ex-Gratia mentioned in the Budget 2019-20. Therefore, the LoP sought to know under which Head of Account such expenditure would be listed which however remains unanswered till date.

Both the Governor and Chief Minister claimed timely release of Student Scholarship in the last concluded Session but however, the amount was received by the State Government only in December 2018. The Student community is yet to receive the final instalment of the backlog for 2017-2018 while payment against the year 2018-2019 is still pending which the Chief Minister, intentionally or otherwise, failed to clarify in his reply.

6. As per Budget 2019-20, an amount of Rs. 53.75 Cr. was released by Government of India under SPA during the early part of 2018. Another installment of Rs. 226.81 Cr. was released during January 2019 against the backlog of SPA. The Budget presented however failed to provide details on how it was utilized.

Therefore, the LoP had asked the Chief Minister to clarify on how the two releases were utilized against which Projects and where. However, like with rest of the questions, no answers were tendered by the Chief Minister.

In light of the above, the Naga Peoples’ Front strongly condemn the silence and utter failure of the Chief Minister to provide any answer to the queries of the LoP which was raised on the floor of the Assembly. Once again, the Chief Minister is asked to clarify to the above queries in the local dailies as the Government is answerable on any issue of public importance.

Issued by:
Press Bureau,
Naga People’s Front,
Central Headquarter,
Nagaland: Kohima.


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Naga People’s Front who can be contacted at npfpressbureau(AT)rediffmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on March 05 2019

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