People-oriented Assam budget presented in Assembly
Guwahati: Assam’s first woman finance minister Ajanta Neog on Friday
presented rupees 566.20 crore deficit budget in the State
legislative assembly. The first full-fledged 2021-22 budget of Dr
Himanta Biswa Sarma led Bhartiya Janata Party’s coalition government
in Dispur maintained its focus on sustained development and growth
even without levying any new tax burden on the public.
Speaking about the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Neog admitted that it has
severely affected the State economy in the last financial year
reducing the tax collection to rupees 14,645 crore (from 14,967 crore
in 2020-21 fiscal year). The aggregate government income is estimated
to be rupees 2,89,770.68 crore (for 2021-22), where the total
expenditure for the financial year has been calculated to be rupees
2,89,367.10 crore, stated the finance minister.
In her budget speech, Ms Neog reflected the electoral promises of BJP
with one lakh jobs in various government departments. She added that
maximum manpower will be absorbed in education, health, home, animal
husbandry, panchayat & rural development, environment & forest
transformation, etc. The government will procure necessary handloom
items directly from indigenous weavers. The rural weavers will be
trained for skill upgradation and counters to be raised in Assam
Bhawans and other places.
She also emphasized on new mechanisms for ensuring Guwahati hills
encroachment-free and open public places for the benefit of citizens.
New wildlife safari and rescue centers are proposed in Dibrugarh and
Silchar. Azgar reserve forest in Goalpara district is to declared as a
wildlife sanctuary. Moreover, the expansion of Orang National Park
areas is also proposed in the budget.
Five new medical colleges in Bongaigaon, Tamulpur, Golaghat, Morigaon
and Dhemaji have been proposed where as cancer hospitals are coming
up in Guwahati, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Mangaldoi, Tezpur, Lakhimpur,
Jorhat, Diphu, Dibrugarh and Silchar by 2022. A State university has
been proposed in Karbi Anglong district. It also proposes to offer
financial aids to Goalpara Sainik School along with other reputed and
century old educational institutions.
The finance minister proposed rupees one lakh aid to each
corona-victim family of Assam. Moreover, 1000 health sub-centers are
expected to be converted to hospitals. To minimize the learning loss,
the budget proposed to offer smart phones to 8 lakh class IX and X
students in government schools. Similarly, 1000 model Anganwadi
centers with child care facility would be established. Provisions for
a flood-free Assam by constructing 1000 km embankment-roads and an
Agriculture Commission to focus on various agri-issues have also been
CM Sarma termed the budget as a public welfare oriented documents. He
congratulated the finance minister her for placing 1.07 lakh crore
budget proposal without imposing any additional tax over the people.
Underlining the finance minister’s budget proposals for waiving
micro-finance loans to eligible beneficiaries, jobs for
unemployed youth, increase in the number of
beneficiaries and monthly financial assistance of Arunodoi scheme,
Sama stated those as very significant.
The budget gives a glimpse of the revolution envisioned by the
government in fields of agriculture, horticulture, dairy and
veterinary sector, commented Sarma. The proposals made for electricity
connection in every Anganwadi centre, setting up around 1000 hospitals
in rural areas apart from construction of five new medical colleges
were revolutionary, he asserted adding that with an aim to reduce the
digital divide in the Covid-19 induced situation, the budget proposal
for offering smart phones to students is also praiseworthy.
Non-residents Assamese families also appreciated the budget proposal.
FASS International termed it a progressive budget for the ongoing
financial year. As Assam is an agriculture-based State and enough
importance has been given for this sector in the budget is
commendable, said a statement of the organization adding that it also
gives good focus on the tea industry and the plantation families.
Finally, they describe it as a balanced budget focusing on a strong
foundation and also growths for both public and private sectors.