Assembly passes budget for 2023-’24 by voice vote

ITANAGAR, 11 Mar: The state assembly on Friday passed the budget for the 2023-’24 fiscal by voice vote.

The estimated receipts and expenditures for FY-’24 were presented in the House by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on 7 March.

Responding to the observations made by members of the House during the budget discussions, Mein said that the annual financial statement for 2023-’24 is prepared after in-depth studies and due consultation with the people and community-based organisations in a transparent manner, encompassing all strata of the society.

“This is an inclusive budget. It is based on the philosophy of trust with the motto of self-reliance by fulfilling the dreams of the youths,” Mein said.

Emphasis has been laid to make the youths self-reliant, so that they would be job providers instead of job seekers, the DCM said.

The state government is preparing a roadmap to make Arunachal Pradesh a developed state by 2047, in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.

“With double-engine government both at the Centre and the state, significant development is heralding in Arunachal. We should celebrate the process of development,” he said.

The share of central tax to Arunachal for 2023-’24 has been expected at Rs 17,947 crore, said Mein, who holds the portfolios of finance, planning and investment.

The revenue collection through VAT and GST in the state has “improved significantly,” he claimed.

Participating in the discussion, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that the budget was designed keeping the seven priorities of the union budget 2023-’24 in view.

“The vastness of the state, with its scattered population is a major challenge for the government,” he said, adding that “efforts are on to improve connectivity in road, railway and air and digital intervention.”

“Education and health are priority sectors of the government. The state has witnessed a revolution in the road sector with the addition of 10,000 kilometres of road in the last seven years,” he said.

Several road projects have been approved by the Centre, which would be completed in the next five years, he said.

Stating that the government attaches priority to resource generation, Khandu said that the state-owned resources crossed the Rs 3,000-crore mark this year, and the target is to go for Rs 3,500 crore in the next fiscal.

The chief minister also called for prioritising the development of villages, saying that the state cannot make progress without the development of the rural areas.

Leader of ppposition Lombo Tayeng, while taking part in the discussion, termed the budget “pro-people” and “pro-poor.”

“The budget is prepared in such a way that there is no scope to criticise or oppose,” Tayeng, the Congress MLA from Mebo constituency, said.

He, however, suggested that the government should allocate funds to projects of common interest, “instead of individualistic schemes.”

Tayeng also requested the government to ensure equitable distribution of funds to all districts for equal development.

During the discussion, former chief minister and senior Congress member Nabam Tuki suggested identifying vital roads, which are in bad shape, for maintenance.

He also urged the state government to look into the critical gaps in various sectors and to enhance the MLA local area development fund from the existing Rs 3 crore to Rs 5 crore.

Another Congress member, Ninong Ering, said that the unemployment problem has not been taken care of in the budget.

BJP member Phurpa Tsering called for more budgetary allocation in the Mukhya Mantri Swavalamban Yojana to help the unemployed educated youths of the state.

Tsering also appealed to the government to look into the welfare of the Auxiliary Labour Corps and other labourers of the state by giving them adequate facilities, keeping in view their contributions to the state.

The assembly passed the budget by voice vote before Speaker Pasang Dorjee Sona adjourned the House sine die. (PTI)