Nagaland witnessing rise in revenue collection from coal, forest
Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio

Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has said that the State is witnessing a steady rise in revenue collection from State’s resources such as coal and forest.

Rio said that the State has witnessed positive GST growth as the GST revenue collection has increased from Rs 788.37 crore during the pre-pandemic year 2019-20 to Rs 1,092.21 crore during 2021- 22. 

The coal sector, he said, has also seen an increase in revenue from Rs 53 lakh during 2019-20 to Rs 2.03 crore during 2021-22.

During the current financial year, it has already reached Rs 5 crore as per the latest details furnished by the department, and this is expected to cross Rs 8 crore by the end of the current financial year. 

Besides, the forest sector has also seen a good increase in revenue from Rs 13.72 crore during 2019-20 to Rs 19.06 crore during 2021-22, he said.

But despite the increasing trend, he said that the State’s own revenue only accounts for 12.36% of the total revenue receipts, which is barely sufficient to cover the salary expenditure for two and half months. 

The chief minister, who also holds the finance portfolio, has appealed to the departments concerned to look into all potential areas of revenue generation and streamline collection systems.

Some measures that have already been taken and are in place, he said, include the Personal Information Management Systems (PIMS) and e-PayBill. 

“The e-PayBill has already put a huge check on ghost employees and illegal appointments that were rampant in the past. It has also put an end to the misuse of salary provisions in the budget by departments. Now unless an appointment goes through the proper process, no salary will be provided. This will also help the State Finance Department to be more accurate in providing salary provisions to each department,” he told the House.

Another important initiative in the pipeline, Rio informed, is the integration of the Grade-IV GPF with e-PayBill, which is nearing completion.

“Keeping the GPF accounts of Grade IV employees of the State Government were completely at the discretion of the DDOS as a result of which the State Government was unable to ascertain how much has been deposited, how much was withdrawn and what is the balance,” he said.

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“Once completed and linked with PIMS and e-PayBill, this element of uncertainty will be completely removed. We are also moving to computerise the State Pension Sector taking advantage of the registrations being made for the Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme. This will help to remove bogus and doubtful pension payments. This is urgently required considering the fact that the total pension expenditure for the year 2021-22 stands at Rs 2158.67 crore, which is a heavy burden on the State exchequer,” he added.

Also read | Kinship across border: How Nagas helped their Myanmar brethren

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