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Cabinet takes big-bang decisions, to push 100-day action plan

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, June 27: Seemingly in a hurry to hit the ground running, the first cabinet meeting of the Sarbanda Sonowal government on Monday took a slew of big-bang decisions encompassing several sectors, including regularization of 10,000 TET teachers, declaration of Majuli as a district and a welfare fund for cine artistes.

Most of the decisions were in fact poll promises of the BJP.

“A total of 10,000 TET teachers who are now working under the SSA will be regularized in phased manner before March 31, 2017. Moreover, decks have also been cleared to appoint 700 new doctors in government-run hospitals,” cabinet minister Parimal Suklabaidya said.

The cabinet has also decided to upgrade Majuli sub-division to a full-fledged district and iugurate it before August 31, 2016. Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal represents the Majuli legislative assembly constituency.

Moreover, in line with recommendations of the Jahnu Barua Committee, the cabinet decided to ratiolise entertainment tax and service charge for exhibition of cinema. The cabinet decided to reduce service charges from Rs 40 per ticket to Rs 8 per ticket for non-AC cinema halls and Rs 12 per ticket for AC cinema halls. This would increase the proportion of proceedings of admission charges due to producers while the owners of cinema halls are duly compensated.

The cabinet decided to constitute ‘Silpi and Kalakaushali Kalyan Nidhi’ for which Rs 1 is to be collected from every cinegoer. This has been done to create a welfare fund for cine-artistes and technicians and increase the share for producers.

The cabinet approved constitution of District Mineral Foundation under the Chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner with representatives from PRIs and other stakeholders in each district. This foundation will be funded from fees to be paid by the mining lease holders as per Government of India norms. This fund will be used for relief and rehabilitation of those affected from mining activities.

In a move to perpetuate the memory and highlight contributions of late Achyut Lahakar, concerted steps will be taken at his tive village in Barpeta district.  The cabinet has also decided to preserve the house of Swahid Kushal Konwar at Sarupathar in Golaghat district and convert it to a Heritage building. The road leading to Swahid Kushal Konwar’s residence will also be repaired and renovated, a government release said.

The cabinet has also given its nod to develop the house of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika at Kuthari in gaon district as a unique memorial to the cultural doyen.

As a mark of respect to the contributions made by jourlists, the cabinet has decided to grant one time ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 3 lakh to the next-of-kin of 45 jourlists who lost their lives in various incidents of violence in the State.

The cabinet also approved Human Development Report 2014. The cabinet observed that as per report, 77 per cent of the people of the State are not satisfied with the governce provided to them, so the new government will prepare “a 100 days action plan” focusing on good governce and ensuring extensive public participation in governce.

The cabinet also gave its nod to convene budget session of the Assembly from July 18 to August 12.

The cabinet also congratulated Angaraag Mahanta (Papon) on winning the best Playback Singer (Male) Award at “IIFA 2016” and conveyed its best wishes for all his future endeavours.

Besides these, the cabinet also discussed some other issues including the pending environmental clearance for the 31-km stretch of East West Corridor in Dima Hasao and adequate supply of stones to contractors engaged in various infrastructure works in the State.

“We don’t want to talk big. We are saying what we can do. The fincial liabilities of the government have touched almost Rs 15,000 crore. You will know the actual burden during the budget session,” Suklabaidya said. The minister also said that Excise rules will soon be amended.       

*    10,000 TET teachers to be regularized
    Majuli to be district
*    Welfare fund for cine artistes
*    Mineral Foundations to be formed in districts
*    Swahid Kushal Konwar’s residence, Achyut Lahakar’s village to be preserved
*    Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s gaon residence to be developed into a memorial
*    Ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 3 lakh to the next-of-kin of 45 jourlists who lost their lives in various incidents of violence in the State

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Ankur Kalita