TODAY -

SEASON OF BUDGETS

Robert Lanky *





"The endurance of any nation, to my mind, is determined primarily by its economic stability. A responsible society with sound economy and inquisitive mind is behind humanity's greatest achievement in any field. Nations possessing these three essential elements are recognized instantly for they are the masters in their own affairs". 'Speech given by Yaruiwo, Isak Chishi swu at Annual Budget Session 2007-08, on 4th - 5th April 2007' (webcasted on line).





In the context of Annual Budget by any country which goes on presenting financial budget to its house or to the people of the country always sees the things for future development and the development of socio economic status of it's people and accordingly outlay of the budget is planned. Recently, Rail Minister Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav on 13th Feb 09, had gone on presenting his Rail Budget where, he emphasised about the profit of 90 thousand crore to the railways in the current financial year. He said the source of revenues generation would be - Freight Loading & Gross Tarrif Receipts. Estimated Expenditure ie :
Working Expenses, VI Pay Commission Arrears & Dividend Payable to General Revenue, Establishment of New Rail Coach Factories, New Rail Links, Up-gradation of tracks, Introduction of new trains and Improved train operations.

Similarly Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherji had presented his budget on 16th Feb 09 in which he stated that: All efforts made to deliver on commitments. Highlights were - Infrastructure projects worth Rs 70,000 crore between Aug 08 - Jan 09, Growth drivers; Agriculture, Services, Manufacturing and Construction. He went on record and mentioned that, its 'people oriented budget'. He further said, that during the present economic recession, India would stand on its own because, the economic fundamental of our country is strong.

Author wants to bring out here, for the public is that: any organization, department, state or country which goes on presenting its budget makes it public for the consumption of the people with complete outlay of revenue collection , sources of revenue generation and expenditure on which it plans. Here in Nagaland our 'Propagator of Nagalim' are also having their budget outlay plan. It has been learnt from reliable sources that budget session of this year for both the factions are likely to be held at the end of this month or in the first week of April. But before that we have to look into the budgets of last two years of one of the faction.

As per sources, if we look into the budgets of last two years of one of the faction, in the year of 2007-08 budget was of approx Rs 62 crore 79 lacs and in year 2008-09 was also on the similar line approximately Rs 63 crore and 50 lacs. Though source of revenues were never informed but could be asserted as : Import/Export, in that (i) Lorry Challan (ii) Dilai gate & NH-39(iii) NH-53 Money (iv) NH Pallel. Commercial (i) Railway (ii) Other commercials, shop tax, loan and earnings from various districs/Regions like - AO Region, Khiamnumgan, Komrem Region, Lotha Region, Maram, Thangal & UT-1. Major revenue being collected by Naga Army in which Employee Tax, Ration tax, Vehicle tax, Lottery, Medicals, Commercial (NC Hills) etc. Expenditure under various heads are like - Central Expenditure in which sub heads are : Coordinating offices, Arms projects, Civil stipend, Common fund, Camp construction, Medical treatment for cadres, Meetings, Military Operations, Office Equipments, Rations, Telephone bills for CFMC, Vehicle repairing, Vehicle purchase etc. Regional Expenditure - For all 26 Regions. Naga Army Expenditure - Operation Command, Office Management, Relief, Arms/Armory, Security Mission, Signal Communication, Camp Construction, U/clothing, Vehicle Maintenance and Vehicle Purchases etc.

The first thing that would come to any body's mind : If revenue collected from people in various forms and expended towards only organizational development or for survival, then, where and what are these organizations (factions) doing for the development of the various regions in the interest of the people?

It's very interesting to know that both factions or so called 'People's Government' are trying to take control over the areas which are known as commercial hubs and are not bothered about the rural areas development. There are many places in Phek, Mon, Kiphre and Mokokchung where villagers have to walk more than a kilometer to fetch water, even for drinking. Electricity have become scarced commodity for them. If, elected government of the state has failed to provide the basic necessity then why don't our Naga leaders of both factions do something and put some funds in their budget for social infrastructural development like: Roads, Electricity, Health care, Water and Agriculture? This was the question asked by many people when author was visiting rural areas in the state.

As, these self styled People's Government budget depends on the contribution made by people of the state, hence it is their moral responsibility also to effectively reflect transparency in their financial transactions. The emotional attachment between NSCN and the people must not be diminished owing to selfish and individualistic pursuits. Author would like to request, both the factions in the state that; while formulating the policies, due consideration must be given to the overall economic status of the Nagas. Nagas have an agrarian economy and therefore they must have Pro People Policies (PPP).

First and far most important things of today is to provide Roads, Electricity, Healthcare and Agricultural development to the 'poorest of the poor' in the rural areas. This will never be possible until both Self Styled People's Government take the initiative by keeping few crores for the people of the rural areas. The Season of Budgets can only be celebrated when the Democratically Elected Government and the factions start working together for the development of the people of the state.


* Robert Lanky is freelancer based in North East India and writes on generic topics, which pertains to social issues of various states of the region. He contributes regularly to e-pao.net. All views are the author's and He can be contacted at www [dot] robertlanky [AT] gmail [DOT] com. This article was webcasted on March 23rd, 2009.






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