GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma hopes that the annual budget of the state for the financial year 2024-25 will take Assam to a Rs 10 lakh crore economy.
Speaking to the media after Finance Minister Ajanta Neog presented the budget in the House, the Chief Minister said, "As of now, we are a Rs 6.43 lakh crore economy. However, the kind of capital investment we have proposed in this budget will make Assam a Rs 10 lakh crore economy soon. This is our intention, and we are working on that. This budget has many new concepts. Nobody talked about 'heritage belts and blocks'. Assam witnessed many agitations, but nobody gave solutions. Through this budget, we have solutions. It was Gopinath who introduced the concept of tribal belts and blocks in the state. After 75 years, we are planning for the creation of heritage belts and blocks. We will make the birth places of Mahapurush Madhavdev, Srimanta Sankardev, Barpeta Xatra, and Majuli heritage belts and blocks where none other than indigenous people can purchase land. This decision will safeguard the security, xatras, and sacred places of Assam for years to come."
The Chief Minister said, "The collection of revenue from own sources has increased by 30 percent this financial year compared to last year. This has been possible because of the no-agitation atmosphere in the state. GST collection has also registered a 14 percent increase. It's a good sign for the state. We have recruited 94,000 youths for state government jobs. We have a proposal to recruit 35,000 more youths in this budget. The budget has a proposal, 'Nijut Moina'. I hope it will be a game-changer. Under this scheme, a girl will get Rs 10,000 as incentives for her admission in class XI, Rs 12,500 for admission in degree courses, and Rs 15,000 for admission in postgraduate courses. This is in addition to the existing schemes benefiting students. The budget also has a proposal to include 2.50 lakh more beneficiaries in the Orunodoi scheme. The budget also has a proposal to avail of the benefits of Orunodoi schemes by all ration cardholders in the Charaideo and Biswanath districts."
On government jobs, the Chief Minister said, "The budget has a proposal to ensure a fair distribution of government jobs. Families that have no government employees will get some extra preferences."
The Chief Minister said, "The Assam Budget 2024-2025 draws inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's grand vision of transforming India into a Viksit Bharat during Amrit Kaal. For the first time, Assam has said that we will not be a dependent state. When India becomes a five-trillion-dollar economy, Assam cannot be a dependent state. We have to be a contributory state. This budget said that Assam will contribute whatever little we can to the growth of the nation. This is a loud and strong message from this budget."
The Chief Minister wrote on X, "I congratulate Finance Minister Ajanta Neog for presenting a budget that will help to place Assam amongst the top 5 states in the country. There are exceptional takeaways in Budget 2024-25:
" This budget has provided a realistic roadmap for sustainable growth through the creation of employment opportunities. Our economic growth is consistently exceeding the national GDP growth rate. Our per capita income has more than doubled since people voted for the Double Engine Government in 2016.
" Assam has taken capital expenditure to a new historical level, and we are likely to cross the Rs 20,000 crore figure in 2024-25, compared to 16,000 crore in 2022-23. Our state has successfully dovetailed all schemes and programmes, including Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment, to enhance the pace of Capex in all segments, primarily connectivity, tourism, education, etc.
" Budget 2024 places the requisite focus on the creation of employment opportunities. After achieving the goal of 1 lakh plus jobs this year, our government has laid emphasis on strengthening entrepreneurship in the state. There will be additional support in the form of subsidies and grants for SHG members to take up income-generating activities.
" We have been continuously supporting Mahila Sabalikaran through expanding coverage of Orunodoi up to 30 lakh, providing more relief to microcredit borrowers, providing financial support to Nijut Moina, and supporting 39 lakh women entrepreneurs.
" With the launch of Asom Mala 2.0 and taking up many iconic projects, a big push to infrastructure has been given. This will have multiplier effects, helping common citizens of the state.
" Green growth is an essential pillar of Budget 2024. Under this, we will plant 3 crore saplings, introduce electric buses, and set up over 1000 MW of renewable energy plants and roof-top solar plants.
" Budget 2024 places a special emphasis on the well-being of the Tea Garden community through greater investment in schools, a 3% reservation in government jobs, and paying their arrears in electricity dues.
" Celebrating our rich cultural heritage has been an underlying theme in the budget. The construction of the Maa Kamakhya Corridor, preserving land in and around our Satras, taking pilgrimage to Ram Mandir and Ayodhya, and incentivizing Bhaona and Raas Lila find prominence in our quest for cultural identity."