Sikkim Assembly begins deliberations on annual budget

Sikkim Assembly begins deliberations on annual budget

(Photo: SNS)

The Seventh Session of the Tenth Assembly (Budget Session 2023-24) of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly began here today.

Addressing the House, Sikkim Governor Lakshman Prasad Acharya said that it was his privilege to address the Budget Session at a time when India had been steering towards an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.

“The state budget is a crucial financial planning tool that helps the government manage its finances, implement policies, allocate resources, and be accountable to the public for its pending decision,” the Governor said.


The Governor reiterated the words of the Reserve Bank of India, terming the current budget as “Sapth Rishi” or the “seventh horse in the chariot of the sun,” as it includes the seven principles of inclusive development, last mile connectivity, infrastructure development, employment generation, innovation, green growth and development.

The Governor highlighted some of the notable achievements of the state gover the past four years and lauded the efforts of the state in bringing in holistic development. He highlighted various initiatives undertaken by the state government in various sectors like farming, road and transport, IT, environment conservation, employment and women empowerment, among others.

He urged everyone to work tirelessly to address the challenges faced by the state and to build a brighter and more prosperous future for all. “I am confident that this budget will pave the way for brighter future for our state, and I look forward to working with all of you to make our vision a reality,” he said.

Chief Minister, also the Leader of the House, Prem Singh Tamang (Golay), moved the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address, while MLA Sonam Tshering Venchungpa seconded the motion.

The discussion and voting on the Governor’s address will be taken up tomorrow.

During the Financial Business, the Chief Minister, also the Minister-in-Charge of the Finance Department, presented the Annual General Budget for the financial year 2023-24, comprising of the Explanatory Memorandum of the Government of Sikkim, Annual Financial Statement, Estimates of Receipts, and Demands for Grants to the Annual Budget 2023-24.

Explaining the budgetary profile for the financial year 2023-24, the Chief Minister said, “Against a gross expenditure provision of Rs 12146.51 crore, the net outgo comes to Rs 11806.51 crore after taking into account recoveries amounting to Rs 340.00 crore.”

While presenting the Annual Budget for the financial year 2023-24, the CM highlighted some of the notable allocations of the state government in the budget.

The allocations included pending liabilities of the previous government like expenditure for fair weather roads, land compensation for airport, rural foot bridges, water supply.

The state government has also set aside a substantial amount for the resettlement of Pathing landslide victims, while it has enhanced the allocation for the purchase of medicines for the veterinary sector by four times.

The Sirijunga Sacred Cave, a place highly revered by the Limboo community, came under the proposed alignment of the NHIDCL. The State government, to save the Sirijunga Sacred Cave, and as a mark of respect to the Limboo community, has acquired the adjoining land for diverting the previous alignment so as to save the sacred Sirijunga Cave.

The government has also allocated adequate funds for the Skilled Youth Start-Up Scheme. For the maintenance and creation of new roads, the government has allocated Rs 60.00 crore in the budget, while for improving the Sikkim Nationalised Transport bus services, it has earmarked funds for the procurement of 10 AC buses and tankers.

With the aim to improve Home Stays in the state, the government has defrayed substantial funds in the last financial year and will further augment it in this budget.

Under the Chief Minister’s Rural Housing Mission, the government has successfully completed and closed the project. Moreover, under Sikkim Garib Awas Yojana, the State Government has defrayed substantial funds in the last financial year and will further augment it in this budget.

To engage youths and provide them better sports facilities, the government has earmarked Rs 30.00 cr for the construction of various playgrounds, while a considerable amount of funds has also been set aside to promote and encourage local talent and artists in the field of performing arts.

For the improvement of facilities in rural areas, the government has earmarked funds for the construction of crematoriums, samaj ghars and club houses.

For the project ‘Design and Development of Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo Centre’ at Simik Lingzey Rapen and Badong for Sikkim Buddhism and Buddhist Craft, substantial fund has been provisioned, the CM said.

“Let us re-dedicate ourselves to further peace and tranquility and ensure that the state grows to become an example of innovation and progress,” Mr Golay said.

The discussion on the General Budget will be taken up tomorrow