The Meghalaya Assembly on Friday passed the annual state Budget of over Rs 13,048 crore for the year 2017-2018 by a voice vote.
On March 15, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had presented a Rs 1,236-crore deficit Budget for 2017-18, which is around 3.8 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product.
Sangma had estimated the total expenditure at Rs 12,873 crore during 2017-18, of which revenue expenditure was estimated at Rs 10,648 crore and capital expenditure at Rs 2,225 crore. Excluding repayment of loans, the estimated total expenditure would be Rs 12,538 crore
The Budget also indicated that interest payment during 2017-18 was estimated at Rs 589 crore and pensions at Rs 730 crore.
For 2017-18, the total revenue has been projected at Rs 2,072 crore, of which the state's own tax revenue estimated at Rs 1,559 crore and state's own non-tax revenue estimated at Rs 513 crore.
Sangma, who presented the last Budget of the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance government as the state goes to polls next year, accorded the highest importance to community and rural development, allocating Rs 1,731.57 crore and earmarked a plan outlay of Rs 909.94 crore for the Education Department.
An amount of Rs 712.80 crore was allocated for infrastructure like roads and bridges, Rs 420.93 crore for Health and Family Welfare, and Rs 285.94 crore for Agriculture and Horticulture.
Pledging a development outlay of Rs 9.80 crore for Information and Public Relations, the Chief Minister proposed to constitute a Meghalaya Media Society to look into the welfare of journalists, besides proposing a new scheme to provide accommodation facility for the senior accredited journalists of the state.