Government of Mizoram
Budget Speech: 1974-75
By Shri. Khawtinkhuma
Mr. Speaker, Sir,
1. I rise to present before the House the Annual
Financial Statement for the year 1974-75 of the Union Territory of
Mizoram as approved by the President and recommended by the Administrator.
As you are aware, the Financial Statement for the year will indicate
the channels in which the Administration proposes to carry out its
activities for the betterment of the people.
2. As we are all aware, the general law and order
situation in Mizoram did not show any marked improvement during the
past year. There was an attempt by some gunmen on the 10th
of March this year on the life of the Administrator, the Lt. Governor
of Mizoram. We deplore such act of violence and wish complete recovery
of Shri S.P. Mukherjee, the Administrator, from the wound inflicted
on him, and also the Security Officer who sustained injuries. Peace
and restoration of normalcy in law and order situation is a condition
for the economic development of this area. Those who wish well of
the people of Mizoram for the rapid development for providing food
and shelter to the poorer section of our people in particular, are
to refrain from any act of violence and help the Administration in
its effort to bring about peaceful condition.
3. We are now at the fag end of the last year of
the Fourth Five Year Plan and are now entering upon the first year
of the Fifth Plan. As the present status of Union Territory was attained
only towards the end of the Fourth Plan period and as it took some
time to set up and properly organise various Departments, we could
not make much progress during the last two years. I am confident that
we will be able to make better progress in development during the
Fifth Plan period which is just beginning.
4. While presenting the Budget for 1973-74 last year
I mentioned about the acute shortage of food supply in general and
the poor harvest caused by untimely drought in particular that year.
This year, too, the harvest was not too good and hardly better than
last year’s This fact only reminds us of the need and urgency to make
all-out efforts to improve our system of cultivation and to educate
the people in the right direction. Our development efforts and activities
have been greatly affected by the disturbed condition.
5. During the past year, the whole country was faced
with serious financial crisis mostly as a result of abnormal rise
in prices. The Government of India had to impose drastic cuts in the
budget provisions and adopt various economic measures. The international
situation, the Middle East war and the oil crisis also affected our
economy. We require much more foreign exchange to import petroleum
products and also food stuff and this affected the internal economy.
In spite of this, the Government of India continued to give us due
consideration. There was no cut in our Plan Budget in the Revised
6. It is heartening to know that the Government of
India would undertake measures to contain prices and made price stabilisation
one of its first aims. This general price rise in the country naturally
effects the price level in Mizoram. This is mainly due to the economic
situation prevailing in the country. But the problems brought about
by this situation can be overcome if we all cooperate to observe austerity,
avoid all unproductive expenditure, work unitedly to control price
rise, increase production and maintain constant and effective vigilance
against profiteers to ensure equitable distribution. The Government
of India has also accepted import substitutions including substitution
of imported liquid fuels with indigenous fuels as its basic strategy
even before the oil crisis came. The measures already initiated by
the Government of India to meet the oil crisis include further rising
of the targets for coal production fixed in the Plan, acceleration
of import substitution of liquid fuels, reduction of petrol consumption,
intensification of oil exploration in the country. Consumption of
petrol in the country has been greatly reduced in recent months by
25 to 27 percent.
7. The Honourable Members may be aware that from
the Financial Year 1974-75, a new system of accounts classification
and Budget Heads have been introduced. The Budget Estimates for 1974-75
and the Revised Estimates for 1973-74 have been prepared and are being
presented under the new system. I may mention that the new system
is being introduced on the basis of the report of an Expert Committee
appointed by the Government of India. The existing budget and accounts
classification is largely designed to secure the basic objective of
ensuring control over the appropriation made by the Legislature to
the Executive and allotments made by the Departments to the subordinate
authorities. The new system is introduced for more meaningful classification
and presentation of Government operations in terms of functions, programmes
and activities. The new system will thus give an over-all picture
of allocation among various sectors such as General services, Social
and Community Services, Economic Services etc. The outlay under each
sector are again allocated among a number of major heads which will
give an idea of the distribution of expenditure among functions which
represent major divisions of the Government such as Agriculture, Education
etc. There are further classifications which I may not explain at
this stage. The new classification, on the whole, will also facilitate
better control over expenditure.
8. We have a Consolidated Fund for Mizoram to which
the Grants and the Loans from the Central Government and our domestic
Revenue Receipts are credited. At the end of 1972-73 we had a minus
balance of Rs. 250 lakhs which is a very unhappy state of affairs.
The major portion, say approximately Rs. 197 lakhs, was accounted
for by the short fall in the recovery in time on the State Trading
Account and a huge quantity of commodities lying as stock in trade
at the end of Financial Year. About Rs. 27 lakhs was accounted for
by the short fall in the domestic Revenue Receipts and the rest was
the result of excess expenditure by some Departments over the budget
provisions. At the initial stage of the setting up of a new government
it was, perhaps, due to non-receipt of information in time or due
to the failure of the spending Departments to follow the principles
of financial control over expenditure. The position has to be improved
by all the Departments of the Government. The need to take more serious
measures in collection and realisation of Revenues and to be more
prudent and to limit expenditure within the funds appropriated should
realised by all the Departments.
REVISED ESTIMATES 1973 – 74:
9. In the Revised Estimates for the current year
there is an over-all excess of Rs. 554 lakhs approximately over the
Budget Estimate. There are also decreases in the Demand for grants
in respect of some Departments. The increase is mainly due to inclusion
of the expenditure incurred by the BRTF for Border Roads in this Territory.
In accordance with the existing procedure the expenditure on Border
Roads is required to be reflected in the Budget of concerned State/Territory
for adjustment of the expenditure by the Accountant General. The decreases
are for lesser demand for funds by some Departments.
10. The gross budget provision under State Trading
(Supply Department) was reduced from Rs. 596 lakhs to Rs.388 lakhs
due to less demand by the Department. Similarly, the budget provision
in Budget Estimate under Agriculture Loan was reduced Rs. 40 lakhs
from original Rs. 80 lakhs due to less demand by the Department. There
was also a cut of about Rs. 7 lakhs under Loans due to economy measures
enforced by the Government of India. On the Non-Plan Revenue account
there is a net increase of Rs. 62.00 lakhs. This is attributable mainly
to the Central Interim Relief, Tools and Plans and Stock suspense
11. The original Plan allocation for 1973-74 was
Rs. 5.00 crores. As a result of further discussion by our Chief Minister
with the Planning Commission, additional sum of Rs. 1.00 crore was
allotted thus making the total Plan provision to Rs. 6.00 crores.
There is no cut in the Revised Estimates as the Departments assure
that they can spend the entire Plan provision during the year. There
are, however, some inter-sectoral adjustments within the over-all
Rs. 6.00 crores.
12. This Administration submitted to the Planning
Commission a proposal involving more than Rs. 110.00 crores for the
Fifth Five Year Plan. The Planning Commission have given a tentative
allotment of Rs. 40.00 crores only. The matter was taken up with the
Planning Commission and we were given to understand that an Outlay
of the Fifth Plan for Mizoram has been tentatively fixed at Rs. 45.59
crores subject to revision towards the upward side. To begin with,
in the first year of the Fifth Plan 1974-75 we have been allotted
Rs. 6.90 crores. The quantum of fund to be made available in subsequent
years will largely depend on Our Capacity to execute Our plan Schemes
and the final size of the Fifth Plan would therefore be fixed accordingly.
BUDGET ESTIMATES 1974-75
13. The broad picture of Budget Estimates for 1974-75
may be seen as follows :
Total : 16.16
Revenue Accounts. 9.52
Total : 12.04
There are some Centrally Sponsored Schemes which
cannot be incorporated in the Budget Estimates for 1974-75 due to
non-receipt of sanctions from Ministries concerned.
14. In the field of Agriculture, the policy of the
Government is to help the people to take up more permanent cultivation
and to give up gradually the system of shifting cultivation. The unsatisfactory
food production and the unsettled condition of living in the grouped
villages have hampered Agricultural Programmes. For more scientific
and intensive cultivation it shall be required that the farmers stay
in the farms or nearby areas.
15. Assam Transport Corporation with two or three
Buses. This Administration, I am glad to mention, have in a short
period of two years organised Passenger Road Transport System which
now serves various parts of the State. Passenger Bus Services have
been introduced between Aizawl and Champhai, between Aizawl and Lunglei
and in other places also. The Road Transport section has acquired
a fleet of about 20 Buses. The Bus services in the town of Aizawl
have also improved and extended to surrounding villages for the people
who have to cover more distances in their daily work. It is hoped
that the Government will open up Railway Out Agency at Aizawl in the
very near future which will facilitate transportation of goods from
outside to Mizoram and from Mizoram to outside. The improvement in
the Road Transport System has also added to the Revenue Receipt of
this Administration. Revenue Receipt from road transport is expected
to go up to Rs. 4.5 lakhs in the current year, and the estimated receipt
for next year is Rs. 10.00 lakhs.
16. During 1973-74, three Units of Saw Mills and
five Units of mechnised Carpentry Workshop have been established with
the assistance from the Government. Knitting and Tailoring Centres
have been established in 25 villages 30 Sugarcane Crushers have been
distributed and 5 Units of khansari Machines, complete with power
operated crushers will also be distributed. Industrial loans are distributed
to selected Industrialists both in cash and in the form of hire purchase
of machineries. The Government took steps to get a feasibility study
for setting up Paper and Paper Pulp Mill in Mizoram. The Planning
Commission have approved such a study which is being undertaken by
a reputed consultancy firm approved by the Government of India.
17. Schemes for setting up Saw Mills, barbed wire
and wire nails manufacturing units are also being taken up by local
entrepreneurs. It is proposed to establish a farm for cultivation
of Cintronella and a plan for extraction of its oil. It is also proposed
to establish during 1974- 75 three Small Scale Units in manufacturing
Mizo Hats and other cane and bamboo articles. It is proposed to create
a Consultancy Bureau which will provide expertise for the entrepreneurs
in various fields.
18. Under the provision of the NEAR Act, 1971, the
Assam State Electricity Board was to continue to take up Generation
and supply of Electric Power for 2 years from the date Mizoram became
Union Territory. This term has been extended by another year i.e.
upto the 21st January, 1975 after which date the Mizoram
Govt. will take over the work. The 66 K.V. Line to be drawn from the
Umiam Project source to Aizawl was scheduled to be completed in April,
1974. The A.S.E.B. did not make satisfactory progress mainly due to
difficulties to procure sufficient quantity of materials. The tempo
of execution of this Scheme is expected to be faster during 1974-75.
During the past years the Assam State Electricity Board made some
improvements by increasing the capacity of the existing power supply
sets in Aizawl, Lunglei and Kolasib. Apart from the Scheme to bring
the 66 K.V. Transmission Line to Aizawl, the A.S.E.B. is also expected
to take up some new Schemes to give Power Supply in a few other places
19. During the past year the Government took up Road
Construction works in various parts of the State. Considerable progress
was made in Road Construction, particularly in Khawzawl-Lungdar Section
and Aizawl-Thenzawl Section. The Department has been given a sum of
Rs. 25 lakhs in addition to Rs. 182 lakhs in the Plan under Road Construction
for 1973-74. The tempo will be kept up with the allotment of about
Rs.2 Crores during 1974-75. Attempts are being made to make the beginning
towards construction of bridges over some rivers so that the roads
may be used all the year round. In addition to Road Construction Schemes
under this Government, proposals were also sent for taking up construction
of some sections of road in the north and north-western areas of Mizoram
under N.E.C. Schemes.
20. Mizoram was covered by 9 Community Development
Blocks in the past.The Administration with the approval of the Government
of India decided to organise them into 20 Community Development Blocks.
But decisions on the patterns of the Blocks and financial implications
thereof took a long time. Therefore, the 20 Community Development
Blocks as Stage I Blocks were recently inaugurated in January, 1974.
Appointments and posting of Officers and other staff are being processed.
21. The Annual Plan outlay during the year is Rs.
21.20 lakhs, of which Rs. 19.21 lakhs is proposed for a few selected
feasible simple Schemes like (a) purchase of Jeeps and Office Equipments,
Power Tillers, Pigs and Birds, roofing materials for Community Halls
(b) Construction of Agricultural Godowns, approach roads, Inter-Village
paths, bridges and water tanks and (c) Land reclamation for Wet Rice
Cultivation. In view of shortage of time normal Plan Schemes cannot,
at the moment, be attempted.
22. For the next financial year, (1974-75) Plan financial
outlay under Community Development Programme is Rs. 22.00 lakhs for
which detailed break-up is yet to be finalised.
23. Government of Mizoram have decided in principle
to amalgamet Junior and Senior Gram Sevaks with Agricultural Demonstrators
and Assistant Agriculture Inspectors respectively so that Gram Sevak
with Agricultural Training and minimum period of services may now
have scope of future promotion in Agriculture Department which they
never had so long.
24. Co-operative movement is assuming an important
role in public distribution system as well as in other sectors of
development programmes. During the current financial year, it is proposed
to spend Rs. 7.00 lakhs for implementation of Plan Schemes in the
form of grant-in-aid, loan etc. to 84 Co-operative Societies including
One State Level Apex Marketing Co-operative and a Collective Farming
25. At present there is no organised Agency for Marketing
of Agricultural produce. The Apex Marketing Co-operative will take
up this important function besides supplying Agricultural inputs and
essential requisites to the Agriculturists. The Collective Farming
Co-operative will have to be organised yet which will usher a new
era in the agrarian reforms of the Territory. The Mizo Wholesale Co-operative
Stores Ltd., which started its business last year with a financial
assistance of Rs. 3.60 lakhs has made considerable progress. A new
branch is being opened at Lunglei shortly. Provision has been made
to strengthen this Store during the year. To provide marketing and
processing facilities to the Oil seed growers of South Western Region,
an oil seed growers Co-operative has been organised.
26. During the Fifth Plan period, Co operative Sector
will play an important role in development of national economy. The
peculiar condition of Mizoram calls for greater involvement in Co-operative
Sector to ensure economic development of weaker section of the community.
During the year 1974-75, it is proposed to spend an amount of Rs.
20.00 lakhs for development of this important sector. At present there
is no organised public Agency for helping to spread the Co-operative
education in Mizoram. A State Co-operative Union is therefore proposed
to be organised during the year to take up this important task. Besides
this, one processing Unit, 2 Collective Farmings and 16 other types
of societies are proposed to be organised. Altogether 104 Co-operative
Societies are proposed to be assisted financially during the year.
Success of Co-operatives depends largely upon supervision. With this
end in view an adequate provision has been made for strengthening
of its administration.
27. During the current financial year the Government
have sanctioned Rs. 20 lakhs as Grant-in-aid to the three District
Councils of Pawi, Lakher and Chakma as normal grants apart from Rs.
1.90 lakhs for urban Development and Rs. 3.08 lakhs for water supply
Rs. 30 lakhs has been provided in the Fifth Five Year Plan for development
programme in the District Council areas.
28. Two posts of district level Information and Public
Relations Officer have been created by upgrading the two Sub-Divisional
Information and Public Relations Offices at Lunglei and Saiha. The
two District towns of Lunglei and Saiha have been provided with Fixed
Loud Speaker Systems. Serchhip, Kolasib centres are being provided
with the same facility during the current year. Champhai, Hnahthial,
Mamit, Kawnpui, Lawngtlai and Demagiri are earmarked for fixed Loud
Speaker system during the coming year. 131 community Listening Sets
have been distributed to Grouped Centres and other important villages.
More such Sets will be distributed during the year 1974-75. Establishment
of three district level Mobile Information Units to be equiped with
Mobile Van, Engine Projectors and P.A. Equipments are proposed to
be established during 1974-75.
29. The most serious problem in Health Services is
dearth of qualified Doctors to serve in Mizoram. There is general
reluctance on the part of doctors from outside the State to come and
serve here and we have not got sufficient number of doctors from the
Mizo community. In spite of this serious handicap, the Government
have, during the past year, improved the Health Services to some extent.
The Directorate of Health Services was strengthened, The Offices of
Civil Surgeon, Lunglei and Sub-divisional Medical Officer, Saiha,
were opened during the last year and the Officers have taken positions.The
existing hospitals and dispensaries have been strengthened by adding
altogether 104 beds during the past year. There was also improvement
in the supply of Hospital equipments and medicines compared to the
30. There were 600 cases of fell-diseases like T.B.
Leprosy, Cancer etc., and a grant-in-aid to the tune of Rs. 60,000/-
was given to them. Under the Malaria Eradication programme, more than
50,000 houses and more than 3,000 cattle sheds were sprayed with D.D.T.
during the year. Blood smear were collected from more than 46,000
persons and about 8,000 cases of Malaria were detected.
31. The Plan provision for 1974-75 has been increased
to Rs. 40.00 lakhs. Besides strengthening the existing hospitals and
dispensaries a number of new Schemes will be taken up.
32. There has been substantial increase in the enrolment
figure of students at all stages. The pupil teacher ratio at Primary
stage which was 46:1 has been brought to 41:1. A number of schools
were brought under the deficit system of Grant-in-Aid. There was a
serious set back in education due to disturbances. In some places
buildings were destroyed and in many places schools have to function
without having proper buildings as a result of grouping of villages.
During the past one year substantial fund was released for construction
of school buildings and the fund released have been used to the satisfaction
of the education authorities. For the first time the UNICEF extended
their assistance to Science education in Mizoram during the past year.
The Government College at Aizawl has also started Science teaching
in the Pre-University Classes from the present academic session. The
quantum of grants from the Central Government for Post Matric Scholarship
and Stipend was increased from Rs. 7.5 lakhs in the previous year
to Rs. 11.5 lakhs during the current year. Technical education is
yet to make a head-way and in this regard considerable progress is
made to complete the construction of I.T.I. buildings
33. The Aizawl Water Supply Scheme costing about
Rs. 72 lakhs started by the Assam Government was completed in the
past year. The Water Supply Scheme is yet too small to meet the requirement
of water for the increased population in the town and during the dry
season it is still necessary to supplement the water supply by other
sources. In addition to this, the Government started water supply
schemes in various places like Kolasib, Kawnpui, Lungdai, Durtlang,
Thingsulthliah and other places. This scheme together with additional
new schemes will be followed up.
34. Housing has been a serious problem particularly
in the Aizawl town where the increase in population was very rapid.
During the past year a number of houses were constructed on the loan
assistance extended by the Government under the low and Middle Income
Group Housing Loan Scheme. The scheme is being continued for next
35. As Honourable Members are aware the shops and
buildings in the main trade centre of Aizawl town was destroyed by
fire during 1966. Through the effort made by the Government, Rehabilitation
Loans have been arranged and reconstruction of houses and shops is
in full progress.
36. During the past year the Revenue Department made
a study of land allotment made in the past. It was found that large
portion of land all over the State are under passes held by individuals.
In most cases such lands have not been utilised. After very careful
consideration, the Government decided that such pass holders should
be given One year time to develop and make use of the land allotted
failing which the passes were to be cancelled. The decision was made
in public interest and to encourage better utilisation of land. Individual
cases will be examined from April 1974 with the help of the village
councils concerned and the Government decision will be implemented
after careful consideration for each individual case.
37. Though we have no Land Ceiling Law in Mizoram,
the policy of the Government is not to allow individuals to hold lands
more than they can utilise, Land Ceiling Law also may be considered
premature as no land settlement is yet given in the State except in
a few town areas. The Government will however, be ready to take up
the question of having Land Ceiling Law as and when circumstances
demand. A beginning has been made to survey and demarcate individual
holdings in rural areas where permanent cultivation has been taken
up. It is proposed to introduce Land Settlement giving right of Ownership
and title to individuals in such places where permanent cultivation
is in practice and after survey of the land.
38. The Third Pay Commission set up by the Government
of India in April, 1970 submitted its final report to the Government
during the year now ending. The Central Government have accepted part
of the recommendations. As the Honourable Members are aware, Mizoram
was a part of Assam till 21.1.1972, and with the separation from Assam,
the cases of many employees are yet to be decided in regard to final
allocation as required under Section 64 of the NEAR Act.
39. The Govt. of India decided for the present, that
we were to follow Assam pay structure. This is perhaps due to the
fact that our organisation and staffing pattern is in line with Assam.
However, we make it clear to the Central Pay Commission that we would
like to reserve the right to exercise option between Central Pay Scales
and Assam Pay Scales and accept whichever may be more advantageous.
Accordingly, the Central Pay Commission have not recommended any pay
structures for Mizoram Union Territory employees; but left the matter
to be taken up by a Committee appointed by the Home Ministry where
we will also be represented and when the Assam Govt. finalise the
question of Pay revision for their employees. Until then, in the opinion
of the Pay Commission, no meaningful comparison can be made between
Assam pay scales and Central pay scales. It may be noted that the
Assam Pay Commission have already submitted their report and a final
decision is expected soon. It is to be hoped, therefore, that the
employees under Mizoram Government will soon have the chance to study
the Assam pay scales and Central pay scales for making their choice
and so that the Central Government can make a final decision. Meantime,
the Central Government have allowed Interim Relief to the Mizoram
Government employees and to others when their final allocation is
40. This Budget Session is unique in the sense that
it is the first Session of the Assembly after the merger of Mizo Union
Party with the Congress Party and without an opposition party. With
unity and co-operation, I am confident we shall be in a better position
to achieve faster economic development of our land. I invite the co-operation
of Honourable Members towards this end.
With these few words, Sir, I present the Revised
Estimate for 1973-74 and the Budget Estimate for 1974-75.