Governor's address focuses on constitutiol safeguards as per Clause 6 of Assam Accord, protecting xatras and places of worship from infiltrators, complete sealing of Indo-Bangla border within definite timeframe, NRC update and electoral roll revision
BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 2: The state of affairs of the State finces is alarming, Governor PB Acharya said today, asserting that his government has, therefore, decided to pull up socks and is prepared to take tough decisions for fiscal discipline and instill confidence in the system for smooth implementation of developmental schemes.
In his customary address, the Governor told the 14th Assam Assembly that though the State budget size has increased manifold over the years, the revenue receipts of the State government have not kept pace with the ever-increasing bills of salary, pension and other non-plan expenditure.
"This has put an enormous stress on the State exchequer and virtually no money is available for State Plan," he said, adding that the State is not in a position to satisfy its budgetary demands and can barely meet its basic commitments like salaries, pensions etc.
Pointing out that the source of worry zeroes in on the State's own resources, Acharya said the trend of revenue generated from Excise, Transport, Forest and Mines & Minerals during the last five years has been "disturbing".
For augmenting revenue generation, he said, the government has identified areas such as revamping its Excise policy, plugging loop-holes and arresting leakages, and that it will work on mission mode to raise interl revenue generation.
The Governor said the government will ensure "near zero human interface" in revenue earning departments through end-to-end IT applications which will result in real time reporting of revenue collection.
"The government has recognized the necessity of bringing new treasury rules in the era of IT-ebled banking and accounting system and modern treasury practices," he said.
Outlining the vision of the new government, Acharya said 'Sab kaa saath, sab ka vikaas' will be the beacon of the government, even as he stressed on ensuring accountability and transparency in the delivery system.
Stating that his government is committed to ensure the security of life and property as well as protecting the identity and "swabhiman" of all citizens, Acharya said the Assam Accord will be implemented in letter and spirit.
"The efforts would, inter alia, include ensuring constitutiol, legislative, social and cultural safeguards as per Clause 6 of the Accord, protecting the xatras and other religious, cultural and ecological lands from infiltrators, eviction of encroachments on government lands by persons of doubtful citizenship, complete sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border within a definite timeframe and putting identifying markers on boats plying in border areas," he said.
Besides completing the NRC exercise on time, the government will also take up the matter for leveraging biometrics and other IT tools to assist in electoral rolls revision with the authorities concerned, he said.
On the security front, the Governor said vulnerable zones will be identified and infrastructure of police forces strengthened by creating more police stations and outposts.
The government's vision for the tea industry includes implementation of the Plantation Labour Act in letter and spirit and providing adequate social, fincial and health security to tea workers.
In the health sector, the Governor said the State faces many challenges. "We have serious scarcity of doctors, nurses and paramedics. Medical colleges have infrastructure and other constraints, especially in tertiary care segments," he said, adding that strengthening the primary and secondary health-care centers is among the important tasks in this sector.
The Governor said that protecting socio-economic and political identity of bofide Indian Muslims, including the indigenous Assamese Muslims like Goriya, Moriya, Desi, Jaloah and Maimol, besides conducting academic research on their identity, language and culture is a priority for his government.