Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio (file photo)

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is holding the finance portfolio, on February 13 presented a tax-free deficit budget at the tune of Rs 123.96 crore for the year 2020-21, but with the accumulated deficits, the year ended with Rs 2,358.81 crores deficit.

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Presenting the annual budget for the year 2020-21 on the fourth day of the fifth session of the thirteen Nagaland Legislative Assembly, Rio said that the deficit budget in the union government due to fall in tax collections and reduction in the union government’s the share of taxes for Nagaland, which was earlier estimates projected at Rs 4,206 crores came down to Rs 3,267 crores, a reduction of Rs 939 crores.

As a result, for the state budget of Nagaland for the year 2020-21 estimated gross receipts was

Rs 20,826.02 crores, while the expenditure was estimated at Rs 21,049. 87 crores. With the Public Account (NET) of Rs 99.89 crores, the estimated negative balance was Rs 123.96 crores. However, because of the negative opening balance of Rs 2,234.85 crores, the year 2020-21 is estimated to close with a negative balance of Rs 2,358.81 crores.

Rio said that the coming financial year 2020-21 is important for the state because it marks commencement of the fifteenth finance commission award period, as the tenure of the fifteenth finance commission has been extended by another year up to October 2020 and the submission of the final report was delayed.

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The commission has submitted its report for the current financial year and the commission will submit a separate report for five years for the period of 2021-22 to 2025-26 by October this year.

Later, addressing a press conference Rio said that huge deficit in the central budget, reduction of huge amount from the share of taxes for Nagaland at the tune of Rs 959 crores has increased the budget deficit for the coming financial year.

He also informed that the state government is trying utmost for saving and bring down the deficit in the budget, but the increasing expenditures, including payment of salaries for huge number of government employees, which consumes 70 per cent of total budgeted amount, has not allowed for saving.

Rio was hopeful that the union government will come out to help the state to reduce the huge budgetary deficits with more grants.

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