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Developing Guwahati

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  14 March 2018 12:00 AM GMT

There are quite few things worth cheering about in Assam’s Budget for the fincial year 2018-19. One of them is the fact that the deficit of Rs 2,149 crore is more a notiol deficit than a real one. The actual position is that the estimated receipts for fiscal 2018-19 are Rs 381,688.26 crore and the estimated expenditures Rs 380,688.27 crore, leaving a surplus of Rs 999.90 crore. What is intriguing in all this is the close similarity of the figures after the commas and the surplus of Rs 999.90. All this symmetry appears to be plotted by some planner or executive in the government. Be that as it may, there is actually a small surplus if one does not take into account the opening deficit of Rs 3,149.04 crore which has resulted in the deficit of Rs 2,149.04 crore. So the deficit of Rs 2,149.04 crore is more a notiol deficit than a real one. Yet, in times when deficit budgets are fashioble perhaps because they help in securing bigger development grants from the Centre, it may be more profitable to show deficits. Another matter worth cheering is the earmarking of Rs 1,515 crore for the development of Guwahati. And yet one cannot help worrying about how the Rs 1,515 crore is going to be spent for want of very detailed proposals about the outlays. Let us not overlook the fact that the city already has two overbridges near the Sukreswar Temple and at Bharalumukh at huge cost that no one uses. There are also two multi-storeyed car parks put up with investments of crores of rupees that are lying totally unused. Then there is the infrastructure for a ropeway to north Guwahati across the river that has been left unfinished. One cannot help fearing that large grants made for the development of Guwahati without very specific details will only end up getting diverted to persol coffers. We cannot allow this to happen.

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