Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio (Photo Credit: File Photo)
The Nagaland government is presently facing "financial crunch" in the wake of the coronavirus-triggered lockdown and finding it difficult to pay salaries to its employees, an official said on Saturday.Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has recently written a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking a special dispensation to help the state tide over the crisis, Additional Chief Secretary and Finance Commissioner Sentiyanger Imchen said.
The state government has estimated that its current monthly receipt is at Rs 732.22 crore while total expenditure including salaries, pension, interest payments, power purchase and other recurring expenses amounts to Rs 811.84 crore, resulting in a shortfall of Rs 79.62 crore per month, Imchen said.
"With such huge shortfall in our revenue, I am concerned that we may struggle to pay even salaries and pensions," Rio said in the letter.He also urged the prime minister to "release the pending fund of Rs 529 crore under the Special Plan Assistance which the NITI Aayog has already cleared".
"It is clear that the shortfall in the coming months may be higher than what we have initially anticipated," Imchen said.One person from Nagaland had tested positive for COVID-19 in Assam but no coronavirus case has been reported in the state, the official said.
The finance commissioner said the state government has been taking several initiatives and spent Rs 30 crore from its own resources to tackle the outbreak.The state has so far received Rs 7.42 crore from the Centre and Rs 3 crore from the North Eastern Council to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.