Shillong: Describing the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting a “forward looking and futuristic budget”, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday said he is glad that the Central Government’s vision for Amrit Kaal is aligned with our vision for ‘The Meghalayan Decade’.
“The special impetus for holistic development of youth, women, and farmers is in line with our focus and approach towards our vision of being among the top 10 states in 10 years,” Sangma said.
Expressing happiness on the PM-DevINE (Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East,) the Chief Minister said it will be implemented through the North-Eastern Council and it aims to enable livelihood activities for youth and women by filling the gaps in various sectors with an initial allocation of Rs 1,500 crore.
“I express my gratitude towards the Government of India for giving special attention to the North Eastern States and their aspirations. As part of this initiative, we have plans to propose a project for the construction of a new administrative city in Shillong,” he said.
Sangma, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said that in the union budget for 2022-23, the estimated expenditure is Rs 39.45 lakh crore and an estimated receipt is Rs 24.84 lakh crore will enable the GDP to grow at 9.2 per cent.
“I am happy that our suggestions during the budget discussion meeting in last December to increase outlay under the Scheme for Financial Assistance to the States has been well accepted, now Meghalaya would benefit by Rs 100 crore more in this year itself,” he added. Moreover, the states have been allotted Rs 1 lakh crore to assist through fifty-year interest-free loans over and above the normal borrowings.
“This will drive the economy of Meghalaya along with the national economy at an accelerated pace in these tough pandemic times,” Sangma said.
He further appreciated the initiatives like Mission Shakti, Mission Vatsalya, SakshamAnganwadi and Poshan 2.0 launched by the central government to provide integrated benefits to women and children. “I appreciate the steps taken to construct 2 Lakh Saksham Anganwadis with improved infrastructure for early child development and the National Digital Health Ecosystem which will further streamline the health service in our country,” the Chief Minister said.
Sangma said that the budget has also laid special allocation for the farmers to leverage digital and hi-tech services, including the use of Kisan drones and comprehensive packages in the horticulture sector. “I am hopeful that our farmers would be greatly benefitted through these programmes,” the Chief Minister said, even as praised the Union government for the initiatives undertaken in the budget on skill development of youth and creation of a digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood, digital university and digital courses.