Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma and deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong on Wednesday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum.
“Due to COVID-19 and the downturn in the economy state governments are receiving 30-35% less from their share of central taxes kitty. A request was therefore made to the Finance Minister to increase it. The state has already lost about Rs 400 cr from its share of central taxes in the last 6 months,” informed Conrad K Sangma.
The Union Minister was also apprised on the overall financial position of Meghalaya.
The state is heavily dependent on central government tax revenue sources, in fact, up to 85% as stated by the CM.
In March the state tabled a Rs 1,532-crore deficit budget for 2020-21. The state projected expenditure of Rs 17,432 crore, including Rs 8,616 crore developmental budget.
The other challenge for the state has been rural banking as it has not reached remote corners. A request was made to the Ministry of Finance to incentivise national banks and prioritise the setting up of new bank branches in rural areas.
CM and Dy CM also met Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur. They discussed on bringing externally funded World Bank & New Development Bank projects in the state. He was also apprised of the three externally aided projects that focus on Health, Tourism & Road Infrastructure development in the state.
Chief Minister and Dy CM also met Union Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairying Giriraj Singh. They discussed prospects and interventions to be taken up in the State to promote cattle breeding, piggery and fisheries for economic growth and sustainable development.
Later in the day, Sangma met Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi as part of his visit to the capital. In the meeting, Chief Minister expressed his gratitude to the Union Minister and the Ministry for funding the construction of P. A. Sangma Stadium in Tura. The Chief Minister intimated him about the progress of the project and stated that the tendering process has started and the construction work of the stadium will commence in a month and a half.
In the meeting, they discussed the proposal for setting up of a Training Centre for Paramedical Staff in Meghalaya, which will be a hub and a skill institute that will cater to the entire North East.
“Considering the situation of Covid-19 today and the need for skilled manpower, the institute will add value to our healthcare system in the region”, Sangma said. Apart from the Institute, the Chief Minister also discussed and requested for an auditorium to be set up in Tura.
Sangma informed that the meeting ended in a positive note with the Union Minister assuring to look into both the matters.