Nagaland CM presents deficit budget

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio presents deficit budget, imposes new tax on heavy machinery

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday presented a Rs 2,358.81 crore deficit budget for fiscal 2020-21, proposing to impose a new tax on heavy machinery and equipment, besides raising duty on petroleum products.

Rio, who also holds the finance portfolio, said the budget proposed to take up innovative steps in various sectors to meet the challenges of the changing times.

The expenditure for the coming fiscal is estimated at Rs 21,049.87 crore and the gross receipt is projected at Rs 20,826.02 crore, the chief minister said.

He said because of the negative opening balance of Rs 2,234.85 crore, the year 2020-21 is estimated to close with a negative balance of Rs 2,358.81 crore.

Rio said new taxes on heavy machinery and equipment and increased duty on petroleum products would generate an additional revenue of Rs 33 crore annually.

He proposed to levy a one-time registration fee at the rate of 3 per cent of the original cost of heavy machinery, such as an earthmover, for the first 10 years if it was purchased in the state.

For the next five years, those machinery and equipment would be required to pay a tax at the rate of 1.5 per cent of their original cost.

However, Rio said, machinery used for personal use shall be excluded from this tax.

For vehicles registered outside the state, the budget proposed to levy an annual entry fee at the rate of one per cent of the original cost of the vehicle.

Rio also proposed to enhance duty on diesel from 10 per cent to 14.5 per cent and petrol from 20.28 per cent to 25 per cent.

He also proposed to raise the rate of road maintenance cess on petroleum products from Rs 1.50 per litre to Rs 2 per litre.

For a state facing a resource crunch which depends on funds from the Centre, the chief minister said, the Nagaland government is actively examining a few options to generate more resources for funding developmental activities.

Rio said the current financial year was estimated to end at a deficit of Rs 1,611.68 crore. However, since the tax collection by the central government has fallen, the state's share of central taxes also got reduced and the deficit jumped to Rs 2234.85 crore.

Addressing a press conference later, Rio said special emphasis is being laid on sports and related infrastructure, besides promoting music as an industry.

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