Report card on promises to precede annual budget, people must be involved in budget-making exercise, says Fince minister
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, August 9: Assam Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has informed the Assembly that from next year, an 'outcome budget' will precede the annual budget.
An 'outcome budget', according to Sarma, is one that clearly spells out the implementation of all promises and schemes announced in the previous budget, as well as the reasons behind not meeting any of the promises or not implementing any of the schemes.
Replying to the debate on the State budget, Sarma said: "We need to involve the public in the budget. Earlier budget promises were made, but nobody bothered if the schemes were implemented or not. However, we don't to tread the path trodden by our predecessors. We want to be accountable to the people. If any promise is made in the budget, it has to be implemented. If we can't meet or implement any of the promises or schemes proposed in the budget, we need to keep the people informed of the reason or reasons behind not meeting or implementing it."
Sarma said: "The budget tabled in this session of the House has as many as 418 declarations that are to be implemented in five years. In this budget, we've made an effort to make the people of the State self-reliant. We don't believe in distributing blankets and yarn. We just want to show the people of the State how to earn their living. This will make them self-reliant. This apart, we don't have any room for caste-wise appeasement policy in the budget as was the case over the years. We're for equal rights and equal dignity for all. There are no schemes based on caste or creed."
Sarma, however, said that the government can do little if the first line of employees who face the public first are not honest. "Emphasis has been laid on changing the mindset of employees," Sarma said, adding: "We're not sitting tight after tabling the budget in the House. We've already started to work in accordance with the budget proposals. We've already chalked out the plan for the Gramya Yoja. There's a proposal in the budget on employees' housing. The HUDCO chairman approached us yesterday and filized Rs 3,000-crore housing loan for employees."
On the State Health department, Sarma said: "In five years, we can complete the construction of as many as ten medical colleges in the State."
Sarma further said that in line with the facilities given to Assam Agitation martyrs, similar facilities will be given to Bodo movement and Bengali language movement martyrs. "We're going to chalk out a plan in consultation with BTC CEM Hagrama Mohilary," he said.
The Fince Minister said: "Last year, the UNDP conducted a survey to ascertain if the public is happy with the government mechanism in Assam or not. While 6 percent of the respondents said they were happy with the system, 94 percent said they were not happy. Our thrust is to reverse the situation."