Meghalaya Assembly discusses Budget 2021, CM replies



Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, on Monday, claimed that the Government's overall spending, in terms of the budget, will be the "highest" in the history of the State.

"We have never spent more money than we have this year and, we are going to end up spending more money in the coming years. (This) is what our estimates are," Sangma said.

In his reply to the Budget discussion, Sangma said, the government is trying to ensure that developmental programmes are not limited to the city or towns.

"The maximum population of our State lives in the villages and rural areas and, we have to make sure to try and maintain regional balance and see that the rural areas are not neglected," he said.

While appreciating and welcoming the suggestions made by Members of the House during the budget discussion, the CM said that Meghalaya could be the only State that has completely utilised the entire budgeted amount from the Government of India, which was Rs 172 crore.

"And we might be the only State that might be eligible to get bonus money from the Government of India in terms of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) scheme," Sangma said.

Furthermore, he said that the present government doesn't undermine the work of the previous Government. "It is always a good practice to appreciate each other's work but we look at ways on how to improve them and make them better," he added.

He reiterated the government's target to make Meghalaya one of the top ten states in the next decade.

"We have started moving and focusing on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is a conservative effort to localise the SDGs and, (we) have created a system where the district will have to monitor it at their level and rankings at their districts," the CM said.

He further informed that starting the next financial year, the government will be giving financial support of Rs. 50 lakh per district, to work towards improving the SDGs.

Earlier, members who shared their suggestions include -- Leader of Opposition Dr Mukul Sangma, Congress MLAs -- Ampareen Lyngdoh, Zenith Sangma, PT Sawkmie, George B Lyngdoh, HM Shangpliang, Mohendro Rapsang, Kimfa Marbaniang besides others.

The members highlighted issues related to road connectivity, traffic management, health, education, strengthening of traditional institutions, tobacco-related issues, unemployment, animal husbandry and veterinary, agriculture, tourism and a host of other issues which they felt deserve the immediate attention of the government.

(Edited by Ladiangti Rani)


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