The first budget of Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government was presented in the Assam Assembly on Friday. Finance Minister Ajanta Neog tabled the state budget for the financial year 2021-22. This is the first time in history that the Assam budget has been presented by a female Finance Minister.
The budget will be applicable only for six months and the complete budget will be presented in February 2022.
The Finance Minister presented an Rs. 1,07,320 crore budget for the financial year 2021-22. It is worth noting that the Assam government in the financial year 2020-21 had presented an Rs. 1,03,762 crore budget which was later increased to Rs. 1,22,342 crore after five months in the revised estimate for expenditure in 2020-21.
Here are the key highlights of the Assam budget 2021-22:
- Rs. 1 Lakh to be given to every family who lost a member or members due to COVID-19. Rs. 40,000 crore has been allocated for the same.
- Assam Microfinance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS) 2021 has been announced. Beneficiaries have been divided into three categories-
- Category 1- Regular payers to get an incentive of Rs. 25,000.
- Category 2- Overdue Payers, Govt. to clear amount if payment is overdue by 1-89 days. An incentive of ₹25,000 to be paid after restarting regular repayment.
- Category 3- Loans as NPA to be disposed of with ₹7500 cr State funds & ₹4,000-cr benefit to be transferred by lenders.
- Orunodoi scheme -One month every year to be observed as Orunodoi Month. Orunodoi logo to be pasted outside beneficiaries’ homes. Monthly assistance increased from ₹830 to ₹1000 -Additional number of beneficiaries: 6.36 lakh. Total allocated budget: ₹1800 cr.
- Assam government to fill up 1 lakh vacancies. 48 departments and 10 police battalions to conduct recruitments.
- Four major roadways to be completed by 2021-22: 1. Kokrajhar to Rupsi Airport via Bashbari – 74 km 2. Rowta to Misamari – 50 km 3. Gohpur to Dholpur via Ghagrabasti – 28 km 4. NH 52 (Dirak gate) Bijulibon Pengeree – 38 km.
- 250 km roads to be constructed by Assam Secondary Road Network Improvement Project (ASRIP) and 313 km roads to be constructed by Assam Road Network Improvement Project (ARNIP). A total of Rs. 5,556 crore has been allocated for the same.
- An Indigenous Faith and Culture Dept to be set up and three depts – Directorate of Archaeology, Directorate of Museum and Directorate of Historical & Antiquarian Studies – to be subsumed under the new Dept. Fund allocated for the same is Rs. 100 crore.
- 1,000 km of embankment cum roads to be constructed along Brahmaputra and Barak rivers Fund allocated for the project is ₹1000 cr.
- 1,000 model Anganwadi Centres (ACs) to be set up. Fund allocated: ₹13.50 cr. Fund to construct each AC: ₹25 lakh. Allotment of ₹ 144 cr for electrification of 48,805 ACs & 13,656 primary schools.
- Smartphones to be provided to almost 8 lakh Class IX & X students of Govt schools for online education.
- 10,000 village community tanks of 1 hectare each to be constructed in revenue villages. Fish production is expected to increase by 50,000 MT per year. Additional employment to be generated: 1 lakh.
- Small traders and artisans affected by COVID-19 to be given a one-time grant of ₹10,000 through an institutional mechanism in convergence with the PM SVANidhi Scheme of the Government of India.
- ₹ 9.60 cr allocated for the Garukhuti project in which 77,420-bigha land was freed from encroachment in Garukhuti under Sipajhar Block in Darrang district.
- 134 Ecological Task Forces deployed for massive afforestation activities Plan to introduce 2,000 Gir cows.
- Ensuring the welfare of tea garden workers, schemes have been introduced to provide functioning household tap connections to all households in Tea Estates (TE)s, bear the expense of electricity dues & chemicals for 5 years, provide piped gas supply to households. 2,69,648 beneficiaries and 805 Tea Estates to be covered.
- Fair Price Shop dealers’ margin hiked from ₹101.1 to ₹143 per quintal.
- Rs 3500 per month will be provided to COVID orphans below 15 years of age and a fixed deposit of ₹ 7, 81,200 will be done in their names.
- To facilitate good governance, Tamulpur is proposed to be created as a new district.
- CM Widow Support Scheme to help women from low-income families and who have lost their husbands due to COVID-19. One-time financial assistance of ₹2.50 lakh to be provided.
- Five new medical colleges to be set up at Golaghat, Dhemaji, Morigaon, Bongaigaon, Tamulpur. The estimated cost for each medical college is Rs 16 crore.
- New mechanisms to be adopted to ensure hills in Guwahati remain free from encroachments, including 24×7 drone monitoring to identify and preserve open spaces and hills in the city.
- Financial package to be provided to reputed and over 100-year-old educational institutions – Financial support to Sainik School Goalpara, rehabilitation package for NDFB cadres, adequate budgetary provision for Tai Ahom Museum at Sivasagar.
- New Wildlife Safari and Rescue Centres to be set up at Dibrugarh and Silchar.
- Rs 12 crore earmarked to take over land of Assam Polyester Cooperative Society (APOL) Corporation for setting up alternate industrial activities.
- Budget allocation of Rs 8 crore (2021-22), Rs 22 crore (2022-23) and Rs 20 crore (2023-24) to each of six universities to be set up under Tejasvi Navadhitamastu Edu-Infra Funds (TNEIF). The universities are: Majuli University of Culture, Rabindranath Tagore University (Hojai), Bhattadev University (Pathsala), Madhabdev University (Narayanpur), Birangana Sati Sadhini State University (Golaghat) and Aniruddhadev Sports University (Chabua).
- Agriculture Commission headed by a scientist of international repute to be set up. The key function of the commission is to study & suggest measures for achieving self-sufficiency in agriculture, milk, egg & pork production.
- A State University to be set up in Karbi Anglong district There is a possibility to upgrade the present Diphu Government College into the State University.
- Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF) set up in partnership with Tata Trusts to establish cancer hospitals at Dibrugarh, Barpeta, Tezpur, Lakhimpur, Mangaldoi, Kokrajhar, Jorhat, Guwahati, Silchar and Diphu by 2022.
- 10 police battalions to be set up at 10 locations in a phased manner.
- Assam Cultural Complex to be set up in New Delhi.
- Multi-disciplinary sports complexes to be set up in different parts of the state in a phased manner.
- Integration of e-Panjeeyan with Arundhati Gold Scheme portal. Scheme enhanced to ₹ 40,000 for each bride.
- Drones to be deployed to check encroachments in hills.
- Geographical area of Orang National Park to be expanded.
- Azgarh Wildlife Sanctuary to be set up in Goalpara district.
Reacting to the budget Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted:
This pro-poor #AssamBudget2021 will greatly strengthen the #COVID19-ravaged economy of Assam. Many path breaking initiatives in the budget will also drive economic revival post-pandemic & help realise Adarniya PM Shri @narendramodi ji’s dream of #AtmanirbharBharat.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 16, 2021