Mizoram Cong accuses CM of asserting himself as a ‘financial dictator’


Aizawl: The opposition Mizoram Congress on Saturday accused the state’s annual budget of being ‘finance minister centric’ and accused Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who holds the finance portfolio, of asserting himself as a “financial dictator”.

Congress Media chairman and party spokesperson Dr Lallianchhunga told a press conference on Saturday that the chief minister had allocated more funds in his department (finance) compared to other departments in the annual state budget which he presented recently.

He said CM Zoramthanga had allocated more than Rs 1,312.49 crore for major works under the finance department. Of the total Rs 1,312.49 crore, Rs 962.49 crore is expected from the state and the remaining Rs 350 crore from the centre-sponsored programs, he said.

No funds are allocated for major works to important departments like planning, local government, school education, agriculture, horticulture, rural development, transport, tourism department, among others , for development work and the creation of public goods, the Congress leader said.

“The 2022-2023 budget is not a people’s budget but a budget centered on the Minister of Finance. The chief minister and finance minister are posing as a financial dictator,” Lallianchhunga said.

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Zoramthanga had on Thursday presented the state’s annual budget for the financial year 2022-2023 with a total expenditure of Rs. 14,008.15 crores and with particular focus on the state’s flagship program – Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP). Rs 700 crore has been allocated for the implementation of the state flagship scheme. Of this amount, Rs 350 crore has been earmarked exclusively for family development projects.

The Zoramthanga government plans to implement the burgeoning flagship program from the new fiscal year.

The Chief Minister has also earmarked Rs 1,312.49 Crore for major works under the Department of Finance.

Lallianchhunga of the Congress said the medical bill in the amount of Rs 40 crore to be paid to the beneficiaries under the Mizoram state healthcare scheme is still pending as the government has not allocated sufficient funds under the program in fiscal year 2021-2022.

The state government is likely to face the same crisis in the new fiscal year as it has not allocated higher funds than in previous years, he said.

While the government has allocated Rs 3,785.48 crore under the state healthcare scheme in 2021-2022, it has only allocated Rs 3,615.66 crore for the financial year 2022- 2023 with a depreciation of Rs 169.82 crore, he said.

The Congress leader added that many retired employees faced serious problems in 2021-2022 following the government’s failure to release pensions as it allocated less funds.

According to Lallianchhunga, state liabilities have increased to 58% since the MNF came to power in December 2018.

He alleged that the MNF government borrowed money from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through ways and means on at least 101 occasions during his three years of rule due to financial mismanagement.

An attempt to contact Chief Minister Zoramthanga proved futile, while a senior Finance Ministry official declined to comment on the matter.

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