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Zoramthanga presents Mizoram Budget

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented the state Budget for 2002-03 amounting to Rs 12.24 billion in the state assembly in Aizwal on Thursday.

The Budget included Rs 4.30 billion under state plan, Rs 7.75 billion under non-plan, Rs 173 million and Rs 14 billion under North Eastern Council and Centrally Sponsored Scheme respectively.

The budgetary deficit at the end of the next fiscal was estimated at Rs 1.67 billion.

While no new taxes were announced in the Budget, Zoramthanga hinted in his Budget speech that new taxes and enhancement of rates of taxes would be implemented in the course of the year.

He also said all avoidable expenditure might have to be further pruned down, adding "one such measures for reduction of expenditure is to privatise to the extent possible the fleet of the government vehicles".

He expressed the hope that different austerity measures being taken up by the state administration would reduce government expenditure especially under non-plan sector.

Zoramthanga also presented supplementary demands for grants for regularisation of excess expenditure for 1998-99, supplementary demands for 2001-02 amounting to Rs 3.30 billion.

The Budget would be discussed in the next assembly session scheduled for June.

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