BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Feb 13: Assam Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has promised that the State government will release its share of Central schemes suo motu for the departments concerned as soon as the Central government releases its share of funds for the same.
Informing the Assembly on Monday while replying in the general discussion on the State Budget, Sarma pointed out that some departments are slow in seeking State share of Central schemes, even after having received the Central share for the same. “From now onwards, even if any department doesn’t move the ceiling seeking State share of funds of a Central scheme, we will not wait for it and release the fund,” he said. In this context, Sarma promised that the Fince department will track movement of Central funds to the departments concerned, and will move on its own within 20 days to release State share if no ceiling proposal is received.
According to Sarma, the expenditure of the Assam government in fincial year 2015-16 was Rs 11,475 crore as on January 31. In the current fincial year 2016-17, already Rs 15,549 crore has been spent by the State government, which is 42 per cent higher than the spending in last fiscal.
Sarma informed the House that all the departments have been directed to complete their tendering process by April-May and not wait till schemes are sanctioned. “I have also told the ministers that funds will not be a constraint for implementation of schemes. The State government is stressing economic buoyancy as a must to make the State economically self-reliant,” Sarma said, adding, “In 2001, the economic condition of the State was poor, but it improved between 2001 and 2005. But thereafter, the State’s economy has been going downhill. We are now trying to revive the economy by re-connecting with the 2005 baseline.”
On the growth in tax collection, the Fince Minister said, “In 2005, the rate of growth in tax collection was 21 per cent, but it came down to 7 per cent during Congress rule. After we came to power, growth in tax collection has touched 17 per cent. By March 31 this year, we will be able to achieve remarkable growth in tax collection.”