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BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

*    Under, SVAYEM one lakh youth will be provided suitable credit support for taking up income generating enterprises. The loan amount will be up to Rs. 1 lakh for the new business and up to Rs. 2 lakh for the existing entrepreneurs.

*    The Government proposes to promote 1 lakh women self-help groups. Each SHG will be extended a fincial support upto Rs.5.00 lakh as loan including capital subsidy over a period of time. An initial grant of Rs. 25,000 will be provided to each group in the current fincial year and then subsequent support will depend on fulfilling a set of criteria.

*    The Government has decided to provide eggs to all 42.61 lakh children in the Lower Primary and Upper Primary schools twice a week as part of the Mid Day Meal programme at a cost of about Rs 130 crore per year.

*    The Government intends to provide cooking gas connection to every Government school providing Mid Day Meal.

*    Government plans to set up a Rs. 150 crore “Price Stabilization Fund” to be at the disposal of the Food & Civil Supplies department for them to step in and correct any market failures which lead to rapid increase in the prices of essential commodities.

*    The Government proposes to allocate special grants of Rs. 667 crore in the me of Tejasvi vadhitamastu Funds for infrastructure development of Professiol Colleges and Universities to be spent over a period of three to four years.

*    The Government will start 8 women colleges in Minority domited areas, three Government Degree Colleges, three Polytechnics, 20 B.Ed Colleges (one each in Karbi-Anglong, Dima Hasao and B.T.A.D areas), 33 Skill Development centers, one Dairy Science College at Sorbhog, one Agro Forestry and Biodiversity College at Kukilabari, a new University of Veteriry and Life Science by carving from Assam Agriculture university, a new Cultural University in Majuli and three Universities at Hojai, North Lakhimpur and Barpeta district.

*    The Government is launching the ‘City Infra Development Fund (CIDF)’ worth Rs.1200 crores to be spent on big public infrastructure projects, in the 6 large cities of the State with more than one lakh population: Silchar, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, gaon and Tezpur.

*    Rs. 500 crore has already transferred to the Mega Mission Society and Rs. 1000 crore more has also been provided in the Supplementary Demand of 2016-17. Other Missions under the Mega Mission are being registered.

*    To increase the production of Muga silk by 10 times by the year 2026 and for Assam to emerge as a leader in the world market, an ambitious Mission Muga is being announced in this budget. For this purpose, Rs.100.00 crore has been allocated in this budget.

*    To encourage the uptake of credit by our farmers, Government proposes to introduce “Zero Interest Crop Loans” by giving 100% interest subventions on agricultural loans taken by farmers of Assam. For this purpose, Rs. 25 Crores have been allocated in the budget 2017-18.

*    To re-activate the over 8 lakh ictive KCC’s, the Government  proposes to introduce a one-time cash incentive of Rs. 3000 per ictive KCC holding farmer if he renews the Card.

*    With the support of the Ministry of Railways, State Government has identified 48 such places where Rail Over Bridges can be constructed with 50% state share. Accordingly, Rs. 50 crores has been allocated for this purpose so that the works can be taken either by Railways or PWD(R) as per the feasibility and at mutual convenience.

*    Government will introduce a system of onetime payment of Rs. 12,000 to each pregnt woman of garden areas so that she can better look after herself and her unborn baby without compromising the livelihood of her family.

*    The Government proposes to set up a new Department mely, Pravasi Asomiya Department very soon so as to provide a platform for the substantial number of Assamese diaspora settled in various countries.

*    As part of Government’s mission to reinvent the Social Welfare department, it proposes to provide Rs. 5000 for the medical treatment of each of 4, 50, 000 Divyangs in the State.

*    Expenditure targeted not less than 60% of the total plan allocation by February 28th, 2017 against an annual achievement of 37% in 2015-16.

*    Target to increase expenditure in the first three quarters and ensure that the last quarter spending does not go beyond 30% over the period of next three years.

*    Role of Planning & Development Department is being rede?ned and this Department will be rechristened the “Department for Development and Transformation of Assam (DDTA)”.

*    Rs.1000 crore earmarked for the various projects suggested by Hon’ble MLAs of all political parties.

*    Recommendations of 7th Assam Pay and Productivity Pay Commission have been accepted by and large and will be implemented from 1st of April 2016.

*    Government will pay the arrear of Rs 2200 crore from 1st April 2016 in installments. The first instalment of the arrears will be released immediately in April-May 2017 and the balance arrears will be paid within the fiscal 2017-18.

*    Scheme announced for higher education loan for the children of all State Government employees upto an amount of Rs. 10 lakhs at 4% interest with the State Government bearing the rest of the interest component.

*    Amount of Rs.125.00 Cr allotted to Mission MOITRI – Tha based system reform programme covering 62 thas.

*    Additiol Police personnel to be recruited and total new recruitment will be 8993.

*    Two new IR Battalions to be raised.

*    To introduce E-Challan system to make police force mobile, responsive and tech-savvy with in Kamrup (Metro) and 10 other districts in 2017-18.

*    39,000 Shallow Tubewells to be installed in 2017-18 to increase area under Irrigation.

*    To make the me of Majuli as Assam’s trade mark of organic products in the me of “O’Majuli”

*    Adding to the farmers’ income setting up of a Dairy Science College at Sarbhog, Barpeta.

*    Rs.155.58 crore earmarked for Fishery Department for taking up various developmental programmes.

*    Construction work of three medical colleges at gaon, Dhubri and North Lakhimpur to commence within the next 45 days.

*    To start two new medical colleges at Tinsukia and lbari.

*    To increase reservation for OBC candidates in MBBS and other courses from the current 15% to 29%.

*     Mukhyamatri’s Free Diagnostic Scheme which includes laboratory facility, X-Ray and CT-Scan free of cost to be launched soon.

*    To establish a Children’s Hospital in Guwahati with state of the art NICU, PICU, trauma center, paediatric specialties, special needs units like speech therapy and learning disabilities unit and child psychology.

*    Onetime payment of Rupees 12,000 to each pregnt women of Tea garden areas.

*    To increase reservation in medical seats at MBBS level to 18 seats from existing 8 seats in medical colleges for tea garden brethren.

*    A sum of Rs. 5 crore is allocated to provide two-wheelers to the top 1000 girl students who pass Higher Secondary Examition 2017, in the next ?ncial year.

*    OBC reservation in the Higher Educatiol institutions to be increased to 29%.

*    Cotton College & Cotton College State University to be merged and shall become one entity under the new bill being brought in the Assembly.

*    Three colleges one each in Barpeta, North Lakhimpur and Hojai districts will be upgraded to the University level. A Bill for the same shall be introduced in the next session.

*    To open a new University of Culture at Majuli with a view to promote Assamese Art & Culture.

*    Two Higher Education Institutes for Mentally retarded children to be set up and Rs.200 lakhs allocated during 2017-18.

*     At least 5% of the Budget of all the departments, excluding budgetary outlay on salaries, to be spent in the tea garden areas.

*    A state-of-the-art Football Academy to be set up to encourage the budding sporting talent.

*    Unstinted support Increased allocations to Autonomous Councils as high as 20% compared to the previous year.

*    Each Women SHG to receive a monetary incentive of Rs. 5 Lakh over a period of time under Kaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Yoja.

*    8 Women’s Colleges to be established in the minority areas.

*    An Innovative Programme for doorstep-delivery of 22 non PDS items in eco-friendly E-Rickshaw through unemployed youths is announced.

*    Under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yoja (DDU-JKY) skill development training to 78,500 poor rural youth will be provided during 2016-19.

*    Six new power projects with an installed capacity of 247 MW have been proposed.

*    50,000 urban-poor youth to be trained under the Skill Development component under the tiol Livelihood Mission (urban).

*    To establish a separate authority mely, “Assam State Capital Region Development Agency” which will work in coordition with the existing agencies like GMDA, GMC and other Urban Local bodies, Panchayats to transform Guwahati region into a large, vibrant metropolis.

*    A new project is conceived for the construction of two bridges across River Brahmaputra, one connecting Panbazar to North Guwahati and another connecting Palashbari to Sualkuchi. Rs. 100 Crore is allocated in for construction of these bridges.

*    An amount of Rs. 200 Crore allotted to be released over 3 years to develop landmark public infrastructure projects in Guwahati

*     Rs. 400 Crore provided for “Guwahati Smart City” Project.

*    33 Skill Development Centres will be established in alignment with PM Kaushal Vikash Yoja with a budget allocation Rs 10 crore.

*    “Assam Inland Water Transport Development Society” to be formed to implement the Assam Inland Water Project.

*    To set up a mini ISBT at Khapara. Two more ISBT, one at Tezpur and the other at Kokrajhar will be set up.

*    A multi model termil will also be set up at Jagiroad.

*    Allocated Rs. 100 crores for Mission Muga programme

*     To establish “Industrial Townships” in different locations of the state.

*    To create a new ‘Department of Act East’

*    Rs.433.50 crore allocated to the Industries and Commerce Department.

*    Setting up of a Three Star Category Resort / Hotel at Majuli

*    Proposal to start a “Ropeway from Kamakhya Railway Station to Kamakhya Temple” with a joint venture with IRCTC.

*     Subsidy of Rs. 50 Lakh for reopening of closed cinema halls and Rs. 25 Lakh for renovation of the existing / functiol cinema halls and a subsidy of 25% of the capital cost in case of establishment of new cinema halls.

*     Proposal to construct a 4 lane road from Changsari (East West Corridor) to Kuruwa along the North Bank with a six lane Bridge over River Brahmaputra to connect near Khapara.

*    Construction of a Flyover at Ganeshguri connecting Zoo road to Ganesh Mandir over the existing flyover and one at Supermarket tri-junction.

*    One flyover in Silchar from Rangirkhari Point to Silchar Railway Station at Tarapur via Premtola and one in Dibrugarh from junction point of Convoy Road and NH-37.

*    Establishment of a State of the Art sports facility med Arjun Bhogeswar Baruah State Sports Academy.

*    Constitution of a Committee to examine the creation of new Revenue Circles

*    Reduction of cess on green tea leaves from 15 paise to 10 paise per kilogram of green leaves for Small Tea Growers with effect from 1st April 2017.

*    Introduced an obligatory ceiling system for this purpose to release Rs. 1.4 crores every month without going through normal ceiling procedures.

*    Media fellowship of Rs. 50,000 to selected jourlists for pursuing higher studies in the relevant field of jourlism.

*    Establishment of Special Court for Redressal of Land Grabbing Cases.

*    1000 Bigha of land has been identi?ed at Lobang, Umrangshu for the setting up of ACS Training Academy on the lines of IAS Academy, Mussoorie.

*    Constituted a high level Committee under the Charimanship of Harishankar Brahma, former Chief Election Commissioner of India to examine the matter regarding Clause 6 of the Assam Accord comprehensively and submit its recommendations to safeguard land issues related to indigenous communities

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Ankur Kalita