Deputy Chief Minister, Chowna Mein also Minister in charge for Finance, attended the Pre-Budget consultation meeting for the Union Budget 2020-21 chaired by Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman here today. DCM was accompanied by Secretary Planning, Himanshu Gupta.
While placing the state specific requirements to be incorporated in Union Budget 2020, DCM highlighted on the financial inclusion, development of border areas, share of central taxes, disaster, high cost, externally aided projects besides also dwelling on other relevant issues of the state.
On the development of border areas, Mein said that the state is of great strategic importance which share international borders with China and Myanmar, the border areas need rapid development and connectivity has to be improved to stop migration of indigenous people of state from border areas and also to check against the foreign misadventure in the state. The DCM called for early release of the special package for development of Indo-China border areas in the State..
While raising concern on the wide gap created between the recommendation of 14th Finance commission and actual realisation of share of central taxes, Mein said that this would eventually lead to huge infrastructural gap thereby adversely affecting the momentum of state’s development process.
While informing that there are still 805 unbanked villages and 37 unbanked blocks out of 114 blocks which need to be brought under the banking services, Mein laid emphasis for covering all the beneficiaries through social security schemes, restoring good connectivity throughout the state for delivering services and opening new bank branches to solve the financial need of the people.
He also deliberated for increasing the priority sector lending needs of the state to benefit the needy people and generate employment in the state.
He also called for providing necessary infrastructures and manpower for opening up more customer service point’s outlets in the rural areas.
On disaster, Mein said that due to relentless monsoons, state witnesses’ annual devastation, the currents norms of SDRF/NDRF guidelines are too meagre for the state to restore the damaged infrastructures. He mentioned that current allocation to the state under disaster relief operations does not have any specific bias and thus he requested the finance ministry for allocation of resources based upon critically and vulnerability of the areas.
He also impressed upon for giving due weightage to Cost Disability Index while allocating resources among the states. He said that due to inadequacy of resources coupled with high cost per unit of development, have been important factors for the backwardness of the state.
In the non-availability of external aided funds from the international Agencies to the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, he appealed the finance ministry for making suitable arrangements for the state to compensate the great loss and meet up the development activities of the state.
Mein also called for enhancing the devolution formula of weightage to forest cover of the state keeping with the economic opportunity lost to keep the forest cover intake amidst rapid urbanisation. He cited that criteria for ecosystem services should only be based upon absolute forest area in the state.
Mein hoped that the Finance ministry will consider the resolution of the Indian Himalayan State and the recommendation will be incorporated while devising the formula for devolution of central taxes for the next five years.