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Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma Presents Annual Budget, Allocates 15% To Climate Action, Sustainability

A Climate Action Budget has been presented for the first time this year. The overall allocation towards climate action for 2023-24 is Rs 3,412 crore, which corresponds to about 15 per cent of the State’s budget

Photo Credit : ANI


The newly elected chief minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma, presented the annual budget of the north eastern state on Thursday. As per the budget, the government expenditure has more than doubled from Rs 9,528 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 20,729 crore in 2022-23. This signifies improved governance and implementation capability of the state.  

Termed as the People’s budget, this is Sangma’s gift to Meghalaya, which is being pegged to become a $ 10 Billion Economy by 2027-28. 

According to the budget speech of the CM Sangma, the GSDP of Meghalaya is estimated at Rs 41,779 crore for the current financial year. For the next financial year, GSDP is expected to increase to Rs 46,600 crore with an expected growth rate of 11.5 per cent. The projected capital outlay for 2023-24 is an increase of 14 per cent over the year 2022-23 and 38.5 per cent over the year 2021-22. 

The budget focuses extensively on sustainability and building climate resilience. Conrad remarked that the state is implementing the country’s largest ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ project called ‘Green Meghalaya.’ Under this program, communities are being incentivised to conserve forests. About 50,000 hectares of forests will be protected under this program and Rs 250 crore will be transferred to the communities over the next five years.  

A Climate Action Budget has been presented for the first time this year. The overall allocation towards climate action for 2023-24 is Rs 3,412 crore, which corresponds to about 15 per cent of the State’s budget. 

An allocation of Rs 50 crore has been made for the continued implementation of mission mode projects in agriculture and horticulture sectors, Rs 11.3 crore for investment in fruit development with particular emphasis on improving the value chains and Rs 5.6 crore for vegetable development.  

Rs 40 crore will be spent on project PROGRESS - Prosperity of Grassroot Families through Livestock Interventions, Rs 44.7 crore for the fisheries sector and Rs 25 crore for the ambitious program ‘Meghalaya State Organic and Natural Farming Policy 2023’, that will make Meghalaya the national leader in organic cultivation.  

The budget also allocates a big chunk for infrastructure development of the state. To address the last mile connectivity issues in rural areas, the budget introduces the ‘Chief Minister’s Rural Connectivity Scheme’. Through this scheme, villages which are not covered under the PMGSY will be connected. An ‘Integrated Transport Network Development Plan’ and ‘Road Asset Management System’ in collaboration with the World Bank is being developed, while Rs 15.5 crore is allocated towards improving air connectivity in the state. 

The state also focuses extensively on Information Technology and Digital infrastructure and it was visible in the budget. A whopping Rs 191 crore has been allocated towards various initiatives in the IT sector.  

Tourism is one of the biggest revenue generators for the state and the budget announced sops for the sector too. The Tourism Policy 2023 has been approved. Public investments of around Rs 2,000 Cr have been committed in the Tourism Sector for the next five-year period.  

The CM Sangma also doled out gifts for the youth of Meghalaya. He said that 74 per cent of Meghalaya is under the age of 35 years. The State’s future depends on investments for the youth.  Dedicated skills parks will be constructed at Shillong and Tura with investments of Rs 50 crore each.  

Rs 20 crore has been allocated for ASPIRE Meghalaya Soft Skills Programme. Youth Development Scheme and YESS Meghalaya will be expanded and Rs 25 crore earmarked for these projects. To support entrepreneurs further, the upper limit of the Startup grant increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh per entrepreneur. The size of the zero-interest scale-up loans has increased from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.  

Sangma also announced that his government is committed to improving the education scenario by investing in physical infrastructure as well as human resources. New infrastructure is being constructed at 208 schools at a cost of Rs 109 crore. Major upgradation of infrastructure is being taken up at 111 schools at a cost of Rs 97 crore.