GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the annual State Budget presented in the State Assembly today by Finance Minister Ajanta Neog has taken the state a step forward towards its all-round development.
Speaking to the media outside the House after the presentation of the Budget, the Chief Minister said, "The budget reflects the pledge of raising the GSDP (Gross State Domestic Products) of the state up to Rs 5.5 lakh crore, and the expenditure of the government and the public sectors up to Rs 1.30 lakh crore. Hence, this budget has taken a step forward towards our pledge of ensuring all-round development of the state."
Commenting on a few schemes, the Chief Minister said, "This Budget has an allocation of Rs 5,000 crore for the self-employment of two lakh youths of the state. It will lead to fulfilling one of our poll promises. The budget has reiterated the commitment of one lakh government jobs to the unemployed youth. The state has around 3.27 lakh self-help groups (SHGs) with a membership of 39 lakh. We will pay Rs 1,000 to each of these women in the SHGs to let them start house-based enterprises like beekeeping, poultry farming, piggeries, small shops, etc. When the women SHG members submit their project reports, the Finance Minister will pay an additional amount of Rs 10,000 to each of them. The state exchequer will pay around Rs 3,900 crore for this venture. We will construct houses for people, who do not come under the purview of the Central Government's schemes, with the Mukhya Mantrir Awas Yojana (MMAY). We will extend Rs 6 crore each to 500 schools for the construction of their buildings and smart classrooms. The budget has a proposal to launch a scheme, 'Mukhya Mantrir Ayushman Asom' to supplement the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat scheme. Ration cardholders will get free treatment facilities up to Rs 5 lakh annually under these two schemes."
The Chief Minister further said, "The government will provide a subsidy at the rate of Rs 12 per kg on Orthodox tea for the celebrations of the 200-year glorious history of the Assam tea industry. The industry has also gotten a three-year extension of the existing agriculture income tax holiday. The budget also has schemes for the benefits of the tea workers, besides a 3 percent reservation for them in government jobs.
The budget makes mention of an elevated road project at the Kaziranga National Park, the Guwahati Ring Road, the Kopili Power Project, etc. The budget has an allocation of Rs 200 crore for the mission against child marriage. The government will conduct massive drives against child marriages after an interval of every six months.
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