TODAY -

CM accepts State's low resource status, as Opp slams
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 12 2013: Responding to strong criticism from Opposition members during the debate on his budget estimate presentation, Chief Minister Okram ibobi today accepted that Manipur is a resource-starved State which mainly depends on revenues generated from levies on consumer items, sales tax and electricity consumers.

As the Finance Minister of the State, Ibobi also informed that House that low resource status of manipur had been one of the compelling factors impeding expeditious development works.

Earlier, Trinamool Congress MLA and Leader of the Opposition Dr I Ibohalbi dismissed the budget estimate presented by the Finance Minister (CM) O Ibobi Singh for the current fiscal as anti-development and anti-poor.

Joining the debate on the budget estimate placed before the house on June 10, Dr Ibohalbi noted that the financial policy for this fiscal gives main emphasis on employees' salary, pension and development of transport infrastructure (roads/bridges) while the vital focus to improve capital asset is missing in the CM's presentation.

Claiming that the budget estimate clearly reflects non-developmental activities, he observed that existent flaws is a testimony that pre-budget discussions were not held with social scientists, entrepreneurs or economists.

The Oinam AC representative also criticised the Government for the budget estimate having no reference about 'financial policy' and noted that major component of the budget has been devoted towards Dolaithabi and Thoubal dam projects.

Another Trinamool Congress legislator Th shyamkumar and lone NCP representative in the 10th assembly L Ibomcha also presented their viewpoints mainly picking flaws in the budget estimate.

having absorbed the Opposition flak, the CM hinting at the State exchequer deprived of substantial income due to prohibition on sale of liquor expressed doubt on whether or not the status is a reality at present.

Leaving the issue on dry State status for the public to debate on, he confided that present situation is constraining the Government to mull whether it would be more appropriate to entrust a competent agency for revamping or take over the revenue collection mechanism rather than continue to suffer loss.

Putting the special central assistance (SCA) amount provided to the State at Rs 800 crores, special plan assistance (SPA) amount at Rs 450 crores and normal plan amount at Rs 900 crores, the CM explained that it is mandatory to have the Planning Commission's approval on utilising SPA provision.

As the SCA amount is supposed to be utilised in the implementation of flagship programmes such as SSA, RMSA and NRHM projects according to requirements of the State Government, he solicited constructive suggestions from the members on judicious diversion of funds meant for the flagship programmes.

Insisting that budgetary allocation for non-purposeful projects do not arise in the budget estimate presentation, he clarified that significant allocation in AIBP fund is to facilitate early completion of pending works for Thoubal and Dolaithabi projects.

Moreover the AIBP fund also has substantial provision for rural electrification programme, he maintained.

Conveying that prepaid meter system has been introduced in Greater Imphal areas to ensure effective power revenue collection as 60 percent of the total power consumption is in these areas, the CM also in charge of the Power portfolio, announced that process is underway to launch similar system at Nambol, Bishnupur, Moirang, Lilong, Thoubal and Kakching areas.

Ibobi also suggested that departments concerned ensure there is no irregularities in proposing fund provision from the 14th Finance Commission.


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