GUWAHATI: The Assam Assembly on Wednesday passed the ‘Assam Appropriation (No.III) Bill 2019’ for withdrawal of Rs 7,580.51 crore from the ‘Consolidated Fund’ of the Government of Assam. With this, the ‘Supplementary Demands’ (Additional Budgetary provision) for grants in 2019-20 was approved. It was placed before the House by Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday. Of the approved amount, Rs 521 crore has been allocated from the State government’s fund for restoration work of various roads, bridge, dykes and embankments in floods across the State.
During the consideration stage of the Bill, Minister Sarma said, “This supplementary demand was prepared keeping in view the recent floods in the State. We’ve introduced the new concept of flood-related damage repairing grant of Rs 521 crore from the State government’s own fund. The money will be utilized for permanent restoration works. Earlier, the State government had to wait for the sanction of the SDRF grant, for which a lengthy process was required to be cleared.”
He also pointed out that “of the allocated amount of Rs 7,580.51 crore, an amount of Rs 200 crore is for the Water Resources Department. If required, another amount of Rs 300 crore will be approved for the department’s flood damage-repair work by March 2020.”
Adding that 32 embankments have been breached across the State in the current wave of floods, the Minister pointed out that “the usual process earlier was to repair just the breached portions. However, this time we will go for repair, restoration and strengthening of the entire breached embankments. There is a separate budgetary provision for flood management programmes (FMP) as well.”
Referring to the PWD department, the Minister said that “the department suffered a damage of road and bridges amounting to Rs 300 crore approximately. The allocated amount for PWD in the supplementary budget is Rs 150 crore. The government will approve another amount of Rs 150 crore this fiscal.”