Here are key points from Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s budget speech 2020-21
The State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday presented the last full-fledged Budget of the present government at 2 pm.
The Finance Minister in his speech informed that despite sluggish growth across the globe and slowdown of the Indian Economy, the state of Assam achieved an impressive rate of growth.
As stated by the State Finance Minister, the average annual growth rate in respect to GSDP at current prices during the period 2016-17 to 2019-20 (BE) was 12.38%. “Even at constant prices, Assam has grown much faster than the national average which is a notable achievement,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The finance minister had also stated that around Rs 73,000 crores was sent in the last financial year.
Here are key points from Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s budget speech 2020-21:
- Increasing stake of Assam Government in Numaligarh Refinery Ltd- Assam Government holds 12.35% shares in NRL. Government of India has recently decided to divest Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s (BPCL) shareholding in NRL, which stands at 61.65%. NRL will now be taken over by another public sector company operating in the Oil & Gas sector. An opportunity to increase the shareholding in NRL from the present 12.35% and take it to 26%. In the interest of industrial growth and economic development, Government of Assam has decided to acquire 13.65% additional stake. Finance Minister allocated a sum of Rs.1500 Crore in this Budget to acquire this additional 13.65% stake.
- Anna Yojana- Provision to supply rice free of cost for the Tea Garden Workers under the Affordable Nutrition and Nourishment Assistance (ANNA) Yojana. This scheme has benefitted 6.46 Lakh tea workers and Adivasi families. Around 51.39 Lakh families to be benefitted. Also, 4 kg of free sugar will be provided to each of our tea garden families.
- Jyotisman Asom- Government to provide free electricity to all households whose monthly electricity consumption is up to 30 units. Currently, 14 Lakh families consume electricity up to 30 units monthly and this initiative will benefit families belonging to the bottom of the pyramid including tea garden workers, families living below poverty line and our SC-ST population. Also, Government will provide Rs. 300 Crore to APDCL for providing tariff relief to the general public.
- Redesigned ‘Swami Vivekananda Youth Empowerment Yojana’ (SVAYEM)- The concept of self-help groups (SHGs) has helped women from resource poor families to be self-reliant. It has helped increase household income and improves standards of living. Through this scheme, Government of Assam will cover 2,00,000 youth of the state and provide them with seed capital at the rate of Rs. 50,000 per member for initiating entrepreneurial activities. Government to encourage the young members of the society to form entrepreneurial groups on the lines of time-tested women SHGs model.
- Chah Bagicha Dhan Puraskar Mela- ‘Chah Bagicha Dhan Puraskar Mela’ launched in 2018 has played a strong role in incentivizing and strengthening the efforts of financial inclusion of the tea tribe community. During the Financial Year 2018-19, State Government has transferred Rs. 5000 through Direct Benefit Transfer to 7,21,485 bank accounts of Tea Garden workers across 752 Tea Gardens spread over 26 Districts of Assam, in 2 equal instalments of Rs. 2500 each. State Government allocated Rs. 220 Crore in the Budget 2020-21 for the Chah Bagicha Dhan Puraskar.
- Welfare Schemes For the Tea Tribes and Adivasi Community- Expansion of wage compensation from the existing 6 months to 9 months so that the newly born children also get adequate nutritional support during this extended period of maternity leave and are taken good care of. The Government of Assam has decided to increase the wage compensation amount from Rs 12,000 to Rs.18, 000 which a pregnant mother will get in 6 installments. To assist the students in furthering their education ambitions, Government will continue to offer Rs.10, 000 as a onetime support to the Tea Tribes and Adivasi students who pass HSLC and HSC exams in 2020-21. For developing entrepreneurship among the Tea Tribes and Adivasi youth, Government will provide a one-time grant of Rs.25, 000 to help them take up small entrepreneurial activities. Around 4000 Line Sardars to get smart phones under this scheme. Tea Garden workers (after retirement) will receive an average payment of Rs.50000 as gratuity, based on the length of their service and wage.
- Arundhati- Families which have less than Rs. 5 Lakh annual income and who opt for formal registration of marriages under the Special Marriages Act, 1954 can avail a financial assistance of Rs. 40,000 under the ‘’Arundhati Gold Scheme’’.
- Comprehensive Social Security Schemes- To alleviate the pain and sufferings of the widows of the State, Government had introduced two schemes namely ‘Immediate Family Assistance to Widows’ and ‘Indira Miri Universal Widow Pension’ in Budget 2019-20. Also, Government has introduce a new scheme to provide a universal allowance of Rs.250 per month under Aideu Handique Mahila Samman Asoni to each unmarried / divorced / separated single woman in the State above the age of 40 years.
- Vistarita Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Asoni- With the financial grants of Rs.25000 and Rs.10000 under Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Asoni, many rural SHGs run by women have taken up various livelihood initiatives both in the Farm and Non-Farm Sector. To keep this spirit of entrepreneurship shining in the hearts of these rural women, Government of Assam announced a grant of Rs. 50,000 to each such SHG which has availed a bank loan or is eligible for a bank loan. Under this scheme, over, 1,04,000 women SHGs are expected to benefit. In the Financial Year 2020-21, 56,800 new SHGs will benefit under this scheme.
- Asom Mala- Four projects of Asom Mala, namely, i. Improvement & widening of upto 4 laning Singimari Sualkuchi Road upto Rajgarh, ii. Improvement & widening of Ghograpar Damodardham Bijulighat Road in Nalbari, iii. Upgradation of Garmur Jengrai Road to Double Lane in Majuli iv. Improvement of Road from Govali to Bhakatgaon (SH-3). (26) are already under implementation and for the balance work, the DPR preparation is currently underway. This programme has also caught the attention of a number of multilateral banks and have been successful in getting two Externally Aided Projects approved i.e. ARNIP and ASRIP under Asian Development Bank worth Rs. 5,000 Crore. Under this scheme, Government earmarked Rs. 250 Crore for the improvement and widening of the roads which are spread across 7 districts of Kamrup (Rural), Udalguri, Sonitpur, North Cachar Hills, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar with a combined road length of 122 kms.
- Pragyan Bharati- The State Government has decided to provide free textbooks to the students studying in undergraduate courses as well. Under this scheme, Government will transfer Rs.1000 in Direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode to nearly 1 Lakh students by 31st March 2020. As assistance for buying textbooks, students enrolled in graduate courses will get Rs.1500 each and students pursuing post-graduation will receive Rs. 2000 each through DBT mode. In the current Financial Year, a subsidy of Rs. 700 per student per month to be paid for 10 months in a year, irrespective of their economic status, on their mess bills. In Financial Year 2020-21, Government has decided to enhance the subsidy to Rs.1000 per month and accordingly, a consolidated amount of Rs.10,000 will be transferred to all those students who are staying in the hostels of various State-run academic institutions. The students whose parents are employed with the Hindustan Paper Corporation (Nagaon & Cachar) will get a financial assistance of Rs.50,000 as a one-time loan subsidy under Abhinandan Education Loan Subsidy (AELS) scheme. Government will distribute scooties to 20,000 top ranked female students from Class 12th exam during 2020-21.
- Assam Cancer Care Foundation- The Health Department has made rapid progress in implementing the Cancer Care Programme under the aegis of Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF). This will be a first of a kind, three level cancer grid in the State to provide cancer treatment. The apex centres will have state of the art facilities which will be linked to the second and third levels cancer care centres. So far, Government of Assam has contributed a sum of Rs.550 Crore for this ambitious programme and the Tata Trusts has contributed a sum of Rs. 250 Crore for the same. In Financial Year 2020-21, we have allotted an amount of Rs.500 Crore for this programme and the Tata Trusts will also transfer their matching share. The construction works of these centres have already started at Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Barpeta, Tezpur, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Diphu and Kokrajhar while work at Darrang, and Silchar will commence soon. It is expected that the 1st phase of these hospitals will start functioning within 2020-21.
- Bhraman Sarathi- A new scheme named ‘Bhraman Sarathi’ was proposed by the state finance minister. Under this scheme, Government will start free, dedicated bus services for the women and the senior citizens of the State for travel within Guwahati. This scheme will not only ensure safe and comfortable travel but will also encourage them to use public transportation instead of private vehicles. These buses, painted in pink colour, will be on some of the busiest routes through the day and will provide fast, safe and easy mobility to the women and the senior citizens of the State.
- Asom Darshan- As announced in Budget 2019-20, Government of Assam will continue to provide an additional Rs.2 Lakh Annuity grant to each of the Devalayas in Financial Year 2020-21 under this scheme. Government had transferred Rs.10 Lakh as the first installment to each of the 915 identified institutions consisting of a mix of Temples, Satras, Namghars, Mosques, Churches and Gurudwaras to improve the infrastructure and amenities for the pilgrims. Another 377 religious institutions, that have a history of over 100 years and are thronged by pilgrims which were left out of the original list of 915 institutions will be provided with an infrastructural grant of Rs.10 Lakh each. Sarma also proposed to allocate Rs.2.5 Lakh each to about 8,000 Namghars across the State, which are at least 50 years old, to improve their physical infrastructure.
Himanta also announced 18 Flagship Schemes whose implementation will be the topmost priority of the government throughout the year.
- Bodo Accord and provision for the community
- Recognition and award of grants to tribal communities
- Exclusion of Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) from Assam State Capital Region Development Authority (ASCRDA)
- Promotion of Assamese Language
- Announcement regarding making annual patta land transferable
- Indigenous Muslim Development Corporation
- One-time Financial Assistance to 1000 leading Sport personnel, Artists and Mobile Theatre personalities
- Grants for Registered Youth Clubs
- Initiative for Batadrava Than
- Bhasha Gaurav Asoni
- Positions in Civil Services for International Sporting Champions of Assam
- Special Grant for Sivasagar: An Iconic Site of Assam
- Grassroot Olympics for all ages
- Centre of Excellence for Digital Enablement of Assamese Language
- Celebrating different Traditional/Cultural Festivals of Tribal Communities
- Fighting Drug Menace
- Mega Awareness Drive against Social Evils
- Educational Institutions Initiatives
- Sanitary Napkin Scheme
- Resolution of issues plaguing the Micro-Finance Institutions
- Partnerships with reputed private hospitals to provide NICU and PICU services
- City Infrastructure Development Fund
- Assam Adarsha Gram Yojana
- City Infrastructure Development Fund
- Assam Adarsha Gram Yojana
- Chuburi Poka Rasta Asoni
- PPP Partnership for Healthcare in Silchar
- Shram-Gaurav Asoni
- Proactive filling of all sanctioned posts in all departments
- Employees Welfare Measures
- Additional Honorarium to Mid-Day Meal Workers