Mein places state-specific requirements at pre-budget meet

NEW DELHI, Jun 22: Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein sought a special budgetary support of Rs 1,349.13 crore from the Centre for development of infrastructure in the education sector in Arunachal.
Mein on Friday attended the pre-budget consultation meeting chaired by union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here, and placed state-specific requirements for incorporating in the upcoming union budget.
The DCM, who also holds the state’s finance portfolio, made a proposal before the union finance minister for “a fresh and special package of Rs 1,524.17 crore for Tirap, Changlang and Longding (TCL) districts, a composite package of Rs 4690.08 crore for border area development, and Rs 300 crore for construction of a permanent structure for the Itanagar bench of the Gauhati High Court,” and urged Sitharaman to retain the allocation of Rs 80 crore as LFY under the BADP, which he said “has been reduced to Rs 65 crore as tentative allocation in the CFY.”
The DCM sought the special package for the TCL region to generate employment for the local youths and develop their employability skills in order to wean them away from the path of violence and extortion.
He said an additional investment of Rs 6000 crore is required to upgrade and develop
the hospitals and health centres, health institutes, training centres, and hostel and accommodation facilities in the state, including at the Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (TRIHMS).
Informing that a tertiary care cancer centre is “proposed to be made operational” at the TRIHMS this year, Mein stressed the need for establishing an Ayurveda medical college and a pharmaceutical college in Arunachal, and also sought fund for establishing an autonomous institution like the AIIMS in the state.
Mein also urged the Centre to sanction the remaining Rs 645.66 crore for construction of the greenfield airport in Hollongi, and Rs 250 crore for management of various forms of waste.
He urged the union minister to allocate the share of central taxes as earmarked in the union budget, saying the state did not receive the share of central taxes as earmarked in the union budget and recommended by the 14th Finance Commission.
Speaking about the banking sector, the DCM said there are still 805 un-banked villages and 35 un-banked blocks (out of 114 blocks) which need to be brought under the banking services.
“Target-oriented directions have to be issued to all the financial institutions to increase the agriculture credits to the farmers and also increase the priority sector lending in order to benefit the unemployed youths and deprived people,” he said.
Mein also sought the Centre’s intervention to improve internet and mobile phone connectivity in the state.
The DCM further said the allocation under the NESIDS and NEC-sponsored schemes may also be enhanced for creation of infrastructure development in Arunachal in a time-bound manner.
Mein also suggested that the Centre keep a lump-sum amount for Arunachal in the 2019-20 budget, in view of the unavailability of externally-aided funds from international agencies to the state government.
The DCM also attended the 35th GST Council meeting here on Friday, and supported a uniform GST rate for both state-run and state-authorized lotteries.
He shared his views on myriad matters, ranging from the new return filing system to extension of dates of returns, and GST rates of various goods and services. (DCMO)