Saturday, December 9, 2023

Mizoram govt hopes to resolve financial crisis

The Mizoram government on Thursday said it is hopeful of improving and stabilising the poor financial condition of the state in the next three-four months.
The North-eastern state has been reeling under severe financial crisis due to several factors including the COVID-19 pandemic and non-release of the state’s share of taxes and grants by the central government.
Though the state’s treasuries were not closed, payments have been significantly reduced owing to the prevailing situation, a statement issued by the state finance department said.
“The bulk of the financial constraints are expected to be resolved after three or four months. Next instalments of Mizoram’s share of taxes are expected to be released soon by the Centre,” the statement said.
It said that the effects of the pandemic and non-release of Mizoram’s share of taxes and grants amounting to over Rs 2,630 crore for the later part of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 were strongly felt upon the state’s fiscal management.
Though the Centre provided nearly Rs 100 crore as COVID-19 assistance, it was not adequate to meet the state’s financial requirement to tackle the pandemic.
According to the statement, the state government is planning to release salaries to regular employees and pensions by August 10, while muster roll and work-charged employees would be paid by August 5. Only utmost necessary payments are being made from the state’s treasuries and Rs 17.84 crore was released between July 25 to July 28, it said.
The Mizoram government said that the Centre’s new procedure on the release of funds under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) has impacted not only Mizoram but also other states of the North-eastern region.
The Centre had last month directed all states to release all CSS funds, which were released before March 31, 2022, to disburse them to the single nodal agencies’ accounts on or before July 20.
“During the past two weeks, the Mizoram finance department has released CSS funds amounting to Rs 610.69 crore to implementing agencies by availing overdraft besides ways and means advance and special drawing facilities,” the statement said.
So, it is expected that the Centre will release more funds soon, it said.
Mizoram’s main opposition party Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) on Wednesday demanded that the state government convene a special session of the Assembly to review and ascertain the state’s financial situation. The Congress last week asked Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who also holds the finance portfolio, to release a white paper on the state’s fiscal condition.



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