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Assam Assembly Session Update: Key Takeaways

The first sitting of the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly began on Monday, July 12. The session would be for three days.

Assam Assembly Session Update: Key Takeaways

Sentinel Digital Desk

The first sitting of the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly began on Monday, July 12. The session would be for three days.

The proposed Assam Cattle Preservation Bill 2021 was tabled on the first day of the Budget Session of the Assam Assembly on Monday for discussions.

Live Updates

  • 16 July 2021 7:09 AM GMT

    Ruckus Over COVID Vaccination: Assembly Adjourned Till 3 PM

    Today’s budget session of the Assam assembly has been adjourned by the Speaker till 3 pm due to a ruckus over the COVID-19 vaccination.

    The session has witnessed a storming start as opposition members expressed displeasure over the vaccination drive in Assam. A heated debate has started between the ruling and opposition members when Health Minister Keshav Mahanta replied to a question by Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia over the COVID vaccinations in the state.

    Minister Mahanta strongly rebutted the opposition's charge when another Congress MLA Bharat Narah interrupted him. He alleged that several organizations created confusion over the COVID vaccination drive. He was joined by Water Resource Minister Pijush Hazarika who also alleged that Congress and some other organizations spread misconceptions over the vaccination programme. Opposing him, Congress MLA Wazed Ali Chaudhury alleged that the minister unnecessarily dragged the name of a political party and demanded a half an hour discussion on the topic which led to a din. Speaker Biswajit Daimary adjourned the session till 3 pm today.

  • 13 July 2021 1:06 PM GMT

    Assam Municipal (Amendment) Bill, 2021

    On Monday, a bill was submitted in the legislature to amend the Assam Municipal Act, 1956, in order to increase the tenure of administrators in the state's municipalities.

    According to Ashok Singhal, Minister of Urban Development, the Bill seeks to empower deputy commissioners or sub-divisional officers (civil) or officials nominated by them to take over municipal boards for a period not exceeding 24 months, rather than the present requirements of 12 months.

    Municipal boards in the state's general regions finished their full five-year terms in March 2020, and elections to these bodies could not be placed on time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and countrywide lockdown, Singhal stated while tabling the Assam Municipal (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

    The present provision in the Assam Municipal (Amendment) Act, 2020 allows government officials to run municipal boards for a maximum of 12 months. This clause went into effect on April 1, 2020, and will expire on March 31, 2021.

    The government issued the Assam Municipal (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, which extended the administrators' tenure by six months till September 30, 2021.

    When the Bill is enacted, the administrators will be able to continue ruling over the towns.

  • 13 July 2021 1:02 PM GMT

    Bengal, Agra, and Assam Civil Courts (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2021

    The Assam Government intends to propose the Bengal, Agra, and Assam Civil Courts (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2021 during its inaugural Budget session in the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly, which will begin on July 12 and would last 15 working days.

    The Principal Act referred to as the Bengal, Agra, and Assam Civil Courts Act, 1887, was last amended on 12th October 2020 after gaining the assent of the Governor of Assam. After changes brought to the act, it was referred to as The Bengal, Agra, and Assam Civil Courts Act, 2020.

    In the Principal Act, in section 19, in sub-section (1), for the words "fifty thousand rupees", the words "ten lakh rupees" were substituted. In the sub-section (2), for the words "two lakh rupees", the words "twenty lakh rupees" were substituted.

    In the Principal Act, in section 21, in sub-section (1), the sigh "-" appearing after the word "lie", was deleted and the words and punctuation "to the District Judge" was inserted. In sub-section (1), the existing clauses (a) and (b) were deleted.

  • 13 July 2021 12:14 PM GMT

    Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva Viswavidyalaya (Amendment) Bill, 2021

    The Assam Government intends to propose the Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva Viswavidyalaya (Amendment) Bill, 2021 during its inaugural Budget session in the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly, which will begin on July 12 and would last 15 working days.

    This Act was introduced on 8th August 2013 after gaining assent from the Governor of Assam.

    The Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva Viswavidyalaya, 2013, was implemented to establish a private university under the name and style "The Mahapurusha Srimanta Assam Act. No. Sankardeva Viswavidyalaya" under Section 6 XII of 2007 of the Assam Private University Act, 2007. The Act extends to the whole of Assam.

    This Act was introduced for furthering the advancement of learning and prosecution of higher education and research under the name and style "The Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva Viswavidyalaya."

    The details regarding the name, location, jurisdiction, and infrastructure of the University are mentioned in detail in the Act.

  • 13 July 2021 11:55 AM GMT

    The Bodoland University (Amendment) Bill, 2021

    The Assam Government intends to propose the Bodoland University (Amendment) Bill, 2021 during its inaugural Budget session in the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly, which will begin on July 12 and would last 15 working days.

    This Act was introduced on 19th February 2009, after gaining assent from the Governor of Assam.

    The Bodoland University Act, 2009 was implemented to establish and constitute a teaching and affiliating University at Kokrajhar.

    This Act lays out the role of the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor, the Rector, and the members of the Court, the Executive Council, and the Academic Council, as long as they continue to hold such office or membership of the body corporate called the "The Bodoland University."

    This Act also lays down the powers the University can exercise like providing instruction and research in the various courses the university has to offer; carrying out infrastructural development within the campus; to organize and undertake extramural teaching and extension services; to conduct examinations and grant degrees, diplomas, certificates, and distinctions; to create administrative posts; and the general welfare of the student community.

    The powers of the University conferred under this Act shall extend not only to the areas of the Bodoland Territorial Council, but also to other areas, colleges, institutions, and other bodies beyond the territorial limit with the approval of the State Government.

  • 13 July 2021 11:08 AM GMT

    The Majuli University of Culture (Amendment) Bill, 2021

    The Assam Government intends to propose the Majuli University of Culture (Amendment) Bill, 2021 during its inaugural Budget session in the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly, which will begin on July 12 and would last 15 working days.

    This Act was introduced on 16th October 2017, after gaining assent from the Governor of Assam. The Majuli University of Culture Act, 2017, was implemented to establish and constitute a teaching and affiliating Cultural University in the State of Assam. This Act was implemented as it is necessary to establish and constitute a teaching and affiliated Cultural University on Majuli, the world's largest river island in the state of Assam.

    The Act lays down the guidelines to be followed by teachers, students, staff as well as government representatives nominated to oversee the functioning of the Cultural University. It also lays down the powers and functions the university is authorized to execute and the various objectives to be pursued by the university. The Act clearly defines the various posts in the university and the powers the officials can exercise. The Act lays down the courses, schemes, programs, and projects for the promotion of literary, visual, and performing arts.

  • 13 July 2021 10:39 AM GMT

    The Assam Women’s University (Amendment) Bill, 2021

    The Assam Government intends to propose the Assam Women’s University (Amendment) Bill, 2021 during its inaugural Budget session in the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly, which will begin on July 12 and would last 15 working days.

    The Principal Act, referred to as the Assam Women’s University Act, 2013, was last amended in 26th December, 2019 after receiving the assent of the governor of Assam. Since then this act has been called the Assam Women's University Amendment Act, 2019.

    In the Principal Act, in section 8, in sub-section (1), for the words "Chief Minister", the word "Governor" was substituted and the proviso thereof was deleted.

  • 13 July 2021 10:34 AM GMT

    The Assam Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill, 2021

    Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog presented a Bill in the assembly on Monday that seeks to empower the government to increase the borrowing ceiling by 0.50 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in order to boost the state's resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

    While presenting the Assam Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Neog stated that the Union Finance Ministry has notified Assam that it would be granted a Net Borrowing Ceiling (NBC) of 4% of the estimated GSDP for the fiscal year 2021-22.

    The state was granted borrowing authority based on 3.50 percent of GSDP at the start of the fiscal year 2020-21.

    The remaining borrowing ceiling of 0.50 percent of GSDP is set aside for additional capital expenditure by the state and will be authorized based on Capital Expenditure spent by the state in the fiscal year 2021-22.

    The decision was made in light of the COVID-19 crisis and to boost state resources to combat the pandemic while maintaining public service delivery standards, according to Neog.

    According to her, the state would be able to borrow an additional 0.50 percent of GSDP over and above the 4% GSDP maximum, depending on recommendations given by the Centre and subject to Act revision.

    The state Cabinet adopted the modification to the Act to incorporate the requirements during its meeting on June 24.

  • 13 July 2021 10:16 AM GMT

    The Assam Agricultural Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2021

    The Assam Government intends to propose the Assam Agricultural Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2021 during its inaugural Budget session in the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly, which will begin on July 12 and would last 15 working days.

    The Principal Act, referred to as the Assam Agricultural Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 1939, has undergone many amendments throughout the years.

    The latest change brought to the act was on 30th March, 2017, after the proposed amendment got the assent of the Governor of Assam. After changes brought to the act, it was referred to as the Assam Agricultural Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

    Through the last amendment in 2017, a new section 4A was inserted after section 4 of the Primary Act.

    "4A. Exemption from payment of tax payable under the Act.- Subject to such conditions as it may impose, the State government may, if necessary so to do in the public interest, by notification in the Official Gazette, grant exemption from payment of the whole or any part of the tax payable under the provision of the act: provided that the state government may grant such exemption retrospectively," stated the official notification published for general information.

  • 13 July 2021 9:40 AM GMT

    The Assam Electricity Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2021

    The Assam Government intends to propose the Assam Electricity Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2021 during its inaugural Budget session in the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly, which will begin on July 12 and would last 15 working days.

    The Principal Act, referred to as the Assam Electricity Duty Act, 1964, has undergone many amendments throughout the years.

    The latest change brought to the act was on 26th August 2019 after the proposed amendment got the assent of the Governor of Assam. After changes brought to the act, it was referred to as the Assam Electricity Duty Act, 2019.

    Through the amendment, the following explanation was inserted in Section 3, Sub-Section (1) of the Principal Act -

    "Explanation - In case of electrical energy consumed by any person or any organization generating energy, the aggregate value of energy charges shall be determined at the rate per unit as may be notified by the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) or the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC), as the case may be, from time to time, for similar category of consumers."

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