Biren hopes positive outcomes from 15th Finance Commission team’s visit

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, November 30, 2018:  Manipur chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh today said the state government has appraised the 15th Finance Commission team led by its chairman N.K. Singh of fiscal deficits of Manipur in a meeting held in Imphal.

 “We hope for positive outcomes as assured to us to help the government at the maximum level,” Biren told reporters after holding a meeting with the finance commission team.

The finance commission team interacted with the chief minister, deputy chief minister Y. Joykumar who is also the finance minister, council of ministers and bureaucrats.

Biren said the meeting was fruitful.

The state government presented a detailed memorandum to the finance commission and also submitted 25 projects for state’s specific funding for infrastructure and social infrastructure.

In a news conference held at the old secretariat conference hall, N.K. Singh said the state has passed through enormous financial difficulties in the past. It has sought to put the economy on a better trajectory. It has avoided taken difficult decisions to avoid into ways and means to deficit inspite of meeting the obligations of the 7th Pay Commission.

On the 7th Pay Commission the government said that the 7th central pay constitutes a major additional lieu financial liability and making projections in regarding to the pattern of expenditure and particularly in terms of revenue expenditure. They have fact that the liability on account of the 7th Finance Commission in making a projection for the likely revenue deficit in the pre-devolution period, he added.

Singh said inspite of Manipur getting close to reasonably high rate of economic growth, it still has number of important steps that need to be taken up for putting  the state’s economy in better trajectory.

The fiscal deficit is well below 3 percent.  “The fiscal deficit trajectory seems to be well within the acceptable limit”, he added.

The steps are like harnessing the solar and wind power, strengthening human resource and keeping transparency of accounting system, he added.

First step is harnessing Solar Power and it is now available in the state as renewable sources along with Wind Power, which can be gainfully utilized by Manipur. In pertain to strengthening of its rich human resource, particularly for increasing the quality of education sector, establishment of more medical, nurses training and paramedic institutions are required as there is still short supply of the same in India and other parts of the world. By improving the quality of technical education like engineering institutions, youths and people of Manipur does not have to travel long distance for securing educational opportunities, N. K. added.

He said the third step is improving the overall matrix of its finances, moving away from the era of depositing to public accounts.

Making the accounting system more transparent and aligning the fiscal deficit management trajectory within a time frame, say the next five years is really needed, added the chairman.

He assured to the government for double digit growth of the economy by improving the per capita income of the state and for decreasing the poverty number in the coming years and to make Manipur best among the special category states of the country.

It is in view of the importance of state’s economy and the critical location for promoting the Act East policy and also the overall profile of the place, he added.

The finance commission chairman said “yesterday on our arrival we have interacted with the representatives of different political parties with the representatives of rural and urban local bodies and representatives of trade, commerce and industries”.

The political parties lamented about the fact that the full economic potential of Manipur has not been realised and they sought much better devolution of resources from the 15th finance commission and they felt that the devolution made by earlier commissions particularly by the 14th finance commission was not adequate. They pleaded that the economy of Manipur needed a new boost by way of additional financial resources, he added.

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