Guwahati: Although the economy has taken a serious bludgeoning due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the country, Assam's finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma remains buoyant that the economy will start reviving by the third and fourth quarters of the current financial year. Sarma's comment came against the backdrop of the central government data showing that the country's GDP shrank 23.9 percent in the April-June period.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, issuing a statement during the ongoing autumn session of the Assembly, said the government of Assam will come out with a compensation package to assist those affected by the crisis.
Meanwhile, Assam's State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (SITA), in its report on the state economy in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, has clearly stated that around 27 lakh youths in the state shall lose their jobs as a consequence of the COVID-19 induced lockdown. This will raise the state's unemployment level to unprecedented highs. Moreover, around 50% of the state's population could be pushed towards poverty if this comes to pass.
The state government had asked the SITA to prepare the report, which did so in collaboration with the OKD Institute of Social Change and Development, Guwahati, and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, This particular report was tabled in the Assam assembly on the first day of the ongoing session on Monday.
Himanta Biswa Sarma admitted on the Assembly floor that in the first two quarters, the economy was affected. He further informed that the GST collection in April this year was Rs 150 crore, down by 90 percent. However, an economic surge was witnessed from April to July, and against the projected GST collection of Rs 960 crores, the Assam Government managed to collect a total sum of Rs 600 crores.