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Budget allocation for various departments slashed: Saikia

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Feb 9: The Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia on Thursday said the government has not yet released a huge amount of fund which was allocated in the 2016-17 State Budget.

Taking part in the budget discussion in the Assembly today, Saikia said, “Even though Government has termed the 2017-18 budget, which was tabled on the floor of the Assembly on February 7, a good budget but actually sufficient funds have not been allocated for number of schemes which have been proposed in the Budget.”

“The government has not yet released Rs 400 crore which was allocated for Welfare of Plain Tribals and Backward Classes (WPTBC) department in 2016-17-Budget,” said the Leader of Opposition.  

Saikia pointed out that proposed spending in several departments has been reduced in the 2017-18 budget compared to 2016-17 budget.

He said that the allocation for Agricultural department has been slashed in the current budget.

“The allocation for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yoja (RKVY) has been decreased in this budget compared to 2016-17  Budget,” he said.

Saikia further said that the in the 2017-18 budget, 1000 bridges have been proposed to construct but for this only Rs 100 crore have been allocated. “If the Government goes by this allocation, then bridge wise fund will be only Rs one lakh. Is it possible to construct a bridge with just Rs one lakh?” questioned Saikia.

Similarly a sum of Rs 2.5 crore has been allocated for the prelimiry work of Brahmaputra dredging, which is in no way sufficient, he said.

Saikia said that government is going to organize mami Brahmaputra festival with a budget of Rs 14 crore but it would have been a wise decision had the said amount would have been invested in anti-erosion works.

He said that the allocation for Irrigation department has been reduced as well.

“In 2067-17 Budget, the allocation for Irrigation department was Rs 1600 crore which has been reduced to Rs 900 crore in the current budget,” he said.

Saikia said that following demonetization, the government ordered the tae workers to get the bank account but many workers have not yet got their pass books and ATM cards.

He further said that even though government decided to install ATM kiosks in tea gardens, the process has been stopped after installation of just few ATM booths.

Participating in the discussion, former Minister and Congress MLA Rakibul Hussain slammed the government policy of providing scooty to girl students. “The government has decided to provide scooty to girl students but can every family afford to buy fuel for scooty?” he questioned.

Hussain alleged that BJP has inspired a section of such people, who never repay bank loan on time.

“If necessary, I can produce evidence regarding this,” he said.    

BPF MLA Rabiram rzary, AIUDF legislator Hafiz Bashir Ahmed Qasimi and independent legislator Bhuban Pegu also participated in the discussion.

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Ankur Kalita