Government of Mizoram
Budget Speech: 1998-99
By J. Lalsangzuala
Mr Speaker, Sir,
In March, 1998 I had
sought the approval of this House and obtained "Vote on Account"
for expenditure to cover the period from 1st April, 1998
to July, 1998, I was constrained to present Vote on Account due to
the fact that the Central Government could not finalise the Plan allocation
for the State. I had prepared an Interim Budget for the yar 1998-99
at the level of 1997-98 allocation as per the advice of the Planning
Commission and the Budget was accordingly presented to this House
in March 1998. The size of the Annual Plan for the current year is
not expected to be finalised by the Central Government in the near
future and, therefore, I am compelled to commend to this House to
treat the Interim Budget presented by the earlier as the final and
regular Budget. I have reason to hop that the final size of the Annual
Plan for the State would be some-what bigger than the one presented
now and revision in the quantum of fund, if any, would again be brought
before this august House at the appropriate stage for obtaining Supplementary
Grants. The Budget documents now supplied to the Hon’ble Members of
this House are copies of the ones which were presented to this House
on 19th March, 1998 with minor modification, except Explanatory
Memorandum on the Budget for the year 1998-99 and Appendices of the
Budget for the year 1998-99.
Before I proceed further,
I would like to take this House into confidence about the severe financial
difficulties the State Government is passing through. Based on the
Revised Estimate 1997-98 presented by me earlier, the closing deficit
was estimated at Rs 85.77 crores. As against this, the actual deficit,
as per records of the Reserve Bank of India, was in the order of Rs
79.36 crores, implying an improvement of Rs 6.41 crores. Inspite of
this improvement, the opening deficit for the current year amounting
to Rs 79.36 crores is rather heavy for a State like Mizoram, which
has a very limited scope to mobilise meaningful resources to cover
such a huge gap. This is the main contributing factor for our over-drafts
and the State Government has to face suspension of payment order from
Reserve Bank of India on 3 (three) occasions during the current financial
yea. We approached the Central Government for assistance, and relief
used to be given by way of advance release of our further monthly
share of Central devolutions. These are merely temporary solutions.
Permanent solution of the acute perpetual financial problem of the
State Government can only be achieved by way of reducing the expenditure
drastically and at the same time mobilise additional resources in
whatever areas that can be identified. To make these measures successful.
I fervently appeal to all the hon’ble members of this House to extend
your full and whole-hearted support and cooperation, which is the
crying need of the hour. I would like to take the hon’ble members
into confidence regarding the measures being taken by the Government
to improve the finances of the State.
1. All the Departments
should make saving of 20% of their Annual Plan fund to supplement
the shortfall in the Non-Plan sector.
2. Reduction of expenditure
on salaries and wages of Government, workcharged and Muster Roll employees
so as to contain the expenditure within 25% of the budget.
3. Ban on creation of
posts, except unavoidable posts to man new office and against surrendered
posts of equivalent or higher posts.
4. Reduction of Office
expenses to 50%
5. Disposal of surplus/unnecessary
stock of stationery, construction materials, vehicles, furniture and
other items through open public auction; restricting to the minimum
required purchase of materials for store, even under stock suspense.
6. Restriction on purchase
of materials, which are not required for day to day running of the
office, and these should be made only with concurrence of Finance
7. Restriction of the
barest minimum of tours and training of Government servants.
8. Disposal of Departmental
buses by public auction.
9. Reduction of financial
assistance to the State Government-run Corporations by 25%.
10. Moratorium on purchase
of lands and buildings at least for two years, except cases where
lands and buildings are inevitable for implementing Project/Schemes.
11. Grounding of all
Government vehicles used by officers on all holidays and also one
working day in a week, and proportionate reduction of monthly POL
for local duties.
12. Complete ban on purchase
of vehicles for a period of one year.
13. Withdrawal of LTC,
except LTC for home town and medical reimbursement facilities other
than hospitalisation, referred cases and other serious cases falling
under fell diseases.
14. Application of all
the above measures to the Corporations/Boards and other Bodies funded
by the State Government.
The State is dependent,
almost fully, on the Central Government for funds required for running
the administration and for implementing various developmental schemes.
We have to do our mite to augment the funds received from the Centre.
Towards this objective, the Government decides to adopt the following
1. Introduction of sales
Tax on luxury and other items which are not likely to affect the common
2. Upward revision of
power tariff, water charges, petroleum tax, road tax and rates of
3. More systematic and
vigorous measures for enhanced collection of dues by Revenue Department.
4. Introduction of toll
tax from private vehicles on the State and District Highways, ferries
In my budget speech of
19th March, 1998, I had already highlighted some of the
significant achievements during the last year and a book-let containing
the achievements of plan schemes executed by various Departments during
1997-98 was circulated along with the budget documents and, therefore,
I do not now intend to repeat these achievements. However, I take
this opportunity to mention some other issues of considerable significance
and importance for the State. The Golden Jubilee of Independence of
the nation has been celebrated in a befitting manner by organising
various activities involving large sections of the population. We
are also observing the year of Mahatma’s Martyrdom for which various
programmes and activities have been planned, including preparation
of a Souvenir on the life, philosophy and achievements of Gandhiji,
particularly his contribution to secularism and communal harmony,
self-reliance and rural development in tune with the aspirations of
the local people. We recollect with pride and gratitude the rapid
progress made by the nation and also by the people of Mizoram who
enjoyed the fruits of freedom and independence during the last 50
years. I would like to convey our sincere thanks to the Central Government
for extending all kinds of help and assistance to bring about the
socio-economic development of the people living in this far corner
of the country. We have great hopes that the Central Government will
continue to extend special care and support for the continued development
of the people of this backward State.
I would like to emphasize
the point that all the schemes and projects undertaken by the Government
of Mizoram are aimed at poverty alleviation, particularly those who
live and work in the rural areas. The creation of two new Districts
should be viewed in this context. Creation of new Districts will not
only result in improvement of administration but would also usher
in faster development by bringing the administration at the door-steps
of the people, even in the remote areas of the State. I must also
mention another issue which is of great interest to all of us, particularly
to the Government employees. This is regarding implementation of the
recommendations of the 5th Pay Commission. As you all know
the recommendations were examined by the Haukhum Hauzel Committee
which made various recommendations of facilitate implementation of
the recommendations while at the same time minimising the pay anomalies
of various sections of employees to the greatest extent possible.
The Government has already accepted the recommendations in principle
but thought it necessary to consider the cases where standard pay
conversions were not recommended by the Committee. This review is
being undertaken by the Vanhela Committee whose report is expected
within a short period. While the Government is very keen to give higher
salaries to its employees, the financial burden that would result
weighs heavily in its consideration. Along with the other Chief Ministers
of the North-Eastern States, the Central Government has already been
approached to provide additional fund to meet the increased costs
which would inevitably result if the Commission’s recommendations
are to be implemented.
Before I end my speech,
I would like to draw the attention of the Members of this House that
within the next 19 months or so, we will be entering the new millennium.
I am sure the Hon’ble Members will share my hope that the 21st
Century would usher in a period of progress, prosperity and all-round
rapid development for all the people of Mizoram. With these words.
I commend the Budget for 1998-99 for the consideration and approval
of this august House.