Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Friday said the state is reeling under a financial crisis due to COVID-19 coupled with multiple problems, including the outbreak of the African Swine Fever (ASF). Zoramthanga, who also holds the Finance portfolio, in a statement, said that the outbreak of COVID-19 has hit hard the state’s economy.
He said that a severe drop in the quantum of revenue collection at the Centre due to the outbreak of COVID-19 has led to a significant reduction in the state’s share of taxes, which inevitably let the state suffered a financial crunch. “I want you to be aware of the financial crisis faced by the state government. Though we have passed annual budget amounting to crores of rupees, the outbreak of COVID-19 has greatly reduced the quantum of revenue collection at the Central government, which in turn greatly affected our state’s share of taxes," the chief minister said.
He said that the state’s share of taxes has dropped by Rs 1,500 crore during the fiscal 2020-2021. The state’s financial crunch was aggravated by repayment of state’s liabilities amounting to Rs 150 crore and meeting the states matching share to the World Bank, he said.
He regretted that new development projects could not be executed from the state’s own source. However, development projects funded by the Centre are being carried out smoothly as such funds could not be diverted to other purposes, he said.
The chief minister also said that the state has also experienced multiples crises amid COVID-19 spread. He said that the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), a massive wildfire in different parts of the state, and influx of people from Myanmar due to military coup have also inconvenienced the state.
Zoramthanga thanked the people for their collective efforts against COVID-19. He lauded the medics, churches, NGOs, volunteers of village and local task forces and private doctors, nurses and medical experts, who volunteered to fight COVID-19, for extending invaluable help to the state government in its efforts to curtail the pandemic.