GUWAHATI: The 'Assam Budget 2021-2022', has a realistic roadmap for the next five years. This was stated by State Finance Minister Ajanta Neog while she was giving her reply to the Opposition's remarks during the general discussion on the Budget on Tuesday.
The Finance Minister had presented the State Budget on the floors of the Assam Legislative Assembly on July 12.
Neog Further said, "The Budget has incorporated the opinions and suggestions of a cross-section of the society besides experts of various sectors. Hence, the Budget reflects the views of 3.30 crore people of Assam."
Stating that "dialogue, debate, and discussion are the sine-qua-non of democracy", she, however, added, "But, there should not be irrelevant talks during the debate on the Budget in the House."
Neog added, "The Opposition is analyzing the Budget without thoroughly studying it. If they had studied the Budget in depth then they would have appreciated the steps we have taken to make Assam 'swanirbharxil' (self-dependent) in all aspects. For example, our Budget has laid equal emphasis on all sectors – with stress on agriculture, and rural economy. Moreover, we will never compromise on work culture."
With respect to State revenue, the Finance Minister added, "The Budget has envisaged a number of steps to increase the revenue of the State. But significantly, we have not imposed any new tax on the masses. On the other hand, we are aiming to boost the State's revenue by plugging the loopholes in the tax-collection process. For instance, the royalty on various forest resources like sand, stones, and chips right will be culled right at the source. As a result, the State will gain revenue four times more than what we are culling at the present moment."
Brushing aside the criticism of the Opposition that the beneficiary schemes are compelling the public to remain dependent on the government, the Finance Minister said, "The government must provide adequate protection to the financially-weaker section of the society. It is the duty of the government to ensure social security."
Participating in the discussion on the Budget earlier during the day, Congress MLA from Naoboicha Legislative Assembly Constituency, Bharat Narah said, "It is not a realistic Budget. The government has not been able to check the rising prices of fuel and various essential items. On the other hand, the government is crippling the masses with its many beneficiary schemes. This move of the government has dealt a death knell on work culture."
AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) legislator from Mankachar, Aminul Islam stated, "The Budget does not indicate specific ways to increase State revenue especially during the pandemic period. Nor has it mentioned any step on asset creation.