GUWAHATI: While the Opposition criticized the Budget, the Treasury Bench fully supported the annual Budget for 2021-2022 presented by Finance Minister Ajanta Neog on the floors of the State Assembly on July 16.
Taking part in the general discussion on the Budget in the House on the sixth day of the ongoing session Monday, Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia said, "The Budget lacks significant decisions on core issues. For instance, there is no mention of any step to check the price hike of essential items. We have not come across any step for addressing the woes of farmers, rearers of livestock, and artistes among others who are facing immense economic issues especially during the present pandemic phase. What is more, the Budgetary allocation has been reduced in the Agriculture and Irrigation sectors."
"Saikia added, "The Budget does not have any provision for the local youths involved at various levels of the Tourism sector. These small-time entrepreneurs have been hit hard due to COVID-19 since March 2020. Even the 'Sanjivini' scheme of the Tourism Department failed to lift off significantly
Referring to salary of Home Guards, the leader of Opposition demanded that the remuneration of Home Guards should be increased in the line of other States. Eligible Home Guards should also be recruited in the proposed Assam Police Battalions.
Saikia demanded that the two HPC (Hindustan Paper Corporation) Mills at Jagiroad and Panchgram should be reopened.
He also demanded that the government must probe the role of MFIs (Micro Finance Institutions) while extending their loans if they violated the guidelines of the RBI (Reserve Bank of India). The Budget has not clarified as to the loan-waiver conditions of the MFIs¬¬¬¬¬.
Among the MLAs who opposed the Budget were AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) legislator from Dhing Aminul Islam; and CPI(M) MLA from Sorbhog Manoranjan Talukdar;
On the other hand, the legislators of the ruling alliance came out in support of the Budget. BJP MLA for Sootia, Padma Hazarika said, "The Budget has taken into account the concerns of all sections of the society. During 2019-20, while the BJP-led State government spent 83% of the Budgetary allocation; the Congress government during the fiscal of 2015-2016 spent only 63% of the total allocated Budgetary amount. This has been possible due to the practical financial management of the BJP government." He also lauded the State government's move to form Assam Police Battalions to man the inter-State boundaries. On the Rs 9.60 crore allocated for the Gorukhuti project at Sipjahar, MLA Hazarika informed the House that 'Bhumipujan' of the project will be carried out on Wednesday (July 21). He added that the project will totally concentrate on organic farming.
I&PR Minister Pijush Hazarika said, "The present BJP-led government will always work for the indigenous people of the State."
Gauhati West AGP (Asom Gana Parishad) legislator Ramendra Narayan Kalita, Independent MLA and president of 'Raijor Dal' from Sivasagar Akhil Gogoi also took part in the discussion on the Budget.