Gangtok, July 30 :
Reiterating the need for increasing the state's revenue, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today called for 'collective responsibility' among all to cut down unnecessary expenditure even as a major chunk of the state's annual budget goes in paying salaries to government employees.
In the last financial year alone, the state government had spent Rs 514 crore in paying salaries which is a big burden for the state, Mr Chamling while presenting his vote of thanks on the concluding day of the budget session in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.''Further, we are projecting that the sum in paying government salaries will increase this time due to arrears and we are estimating that Rs 828 crore will be spent this time in salaries,'' Mr Chamling said. The House must take this seriously, he added.''We must balance the present rate of increase of government expenditure and salaries with a proportionate increase in the revenue generation, besides instituting stringent policies towards curtailing non-plan expenditure and maintaining austerity measures in government expenditure,'' the Chief Minister said.He added that the state government is already working on key revenue areas like hydro power, tourism and industries. Sikkim is assured of minimum Rs 150 crore annually from the Teesta Stage V hydro electric plant which has started its operations,'' Mr Chamling said.He added that Sikkim will get around Rs 1000 crore annually from the power sector by 2015 and sought support from all sections of the society towards the hydro power projects.Earlier, the annual budget of 2009-10 was passed today in the House.